How to Go Back to Being a Stay at Home Spouse

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This is a guest post.



Over the last few decades, many families have gone from being a one-income to a two-income
household. Back in 1977, about 66 percent of homes had both couples working, compared to 79
percent today.

Statistics aside, after awhile, you might start to think it is time to stay at home again with the kids, or
perhaps you want to go back to school. Is it feasible to go back to one bread winner?

With some good planning and brainstorming, it is very possible to survive on one income. First,
have a heart-to-heart with your spouse, and explain why it is important to you to step away from
your job. Financial decisions should always involve both spouses, so it does not lead to domination of
finances by one person.

Next, work on a budget; not a fun task, but a must if your income is going to be cut in half. You know
you have to pay for your home and groceries, but what can you live without. Is cable television
necessary, or having a home phone and cell phones? Review your expenses and get rid of those
deemed unnecessary.

If you have quite a few larger expenses you may feel it won’t be easy to cut back, but think outside
the box. If one person will no longer be driving to work, sell that extra vehicle. Have a hefty
mortgage? Perhaps you could rent a room out to a college student. If you have any credit card debt,
be sure to pare that down also.

Be practical. If you live in the country, selling one car could save you money but cause problems
transporting the kids and doing the household tasks. Perhaps unloading a car with a payment in favor
of a less expensive second car might be a better option for you.

You may have to look at your social life, and back off a bit. Cut back on those dinners out, movies, and
sporting events. You can always cook an exotic meal at home, or rent a movie.

Most importantly, practice living on one income before you take the leap. Basically live as though you
are not making that second income. Put it into a saving account, do not use it for any expenses, and
see how you fare after a month or two.

If you are ready to quit that job and make it on one income, do your research and be sure all of your
necessary bills will be covered. If you’re cutting back, be patient with your family while they adjust
to the changes. In the end, it may be easier than you think to live on less.


Just a little anecdote from me. When Brayden was born, we made very little money. Very little. I was not working, my husband was going to school full time and working a part time job at a whopping $10 an hour (which we thought was a whole lot of money–and it was for a part-time job). We couldn’t afford much, but this I do know. We were no less happy than we are now. We can buy a lot more now, but I believe the saying that money doesn’t buy happiness.

The other day my sister commented that money doesn’t buy you happiness, but debt can sure make you miserable! I believe that, too. Do what you can to cut your debt–live responsibly. This article has some good tips for you to be able to cut back on your spending and save some money!


Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. jennymeigs
    March 31, 2011 / 3:49 PM

    Thank you for your tid bit at the end. That is exactly where we are right now! I quit my job as the breadwinner and my husband makes 10.75 an hour and is a full-time student. Thank you for your encouragement!

  2. Plowmanators
    April 13, 2011 / 8:45 PM

    You are welcome and best of luck!

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