Being a stay-at-home mom is a full time job (minus the paycheck), but if you ask Jessi, The Budget Mama, she’ll tell you it’s the most rewarding endeavor of her lifetime. Raising a family on one paycheck requires a solid budget, patience and dedication to both family and saving, and Jessi’s blog is inspiring for others looking to realize their full financial potential.
Where I’m based: Woodstock, Ga.
How long I’ve been blogging: Just under a year – July marks the one year blogiversary!
Blog basics: The Budget Mama is all about surviving in our debt-ridden economy by using the power of a solid budget and great money saving techniques. It’s also about saving money by living greener, doing more yourself and understanding the power of saying “no.”
Guilty pleasure: Beauty products, They’re my weakness.
Last thing I bought: I restocked my Avon Clearskin Professional Deep Pore Cleansing Scrub & thermal mask – my faves.
Do you ever splurge? Of course! My husband and I have an agreement that any money that is made outside of his normal paycheck belongs to the one who made it and they can spend it as they please. I sell things we don’t need on eBay or Craigslist and use the money to buy myself fun clothes or beauty products.
What budgeting tools do you use and like the most? I love writing my budget out by hand. I used to keep a spreadsheet, but I found that was too out of sight out of mind. Forcing myself to write a new budget every month has kept us in check. I use Clean Mama’s Budget and Bill Pay Kit in my budget binder. I also use Mint.com to evaluate any changes in our spending habits. It’s a great free budgeting tool that can help anyone maintain a budget.
What’s your favorite thing — and the hardest thing — about being a stay-at-home mom? My favorite thing about being a stay-at-home-mom is being able to watch my son grow and change every day. I love being there for his milestones. The hardest thing about being a stay-at-home mom is definitely the no pay factor. Living off one income is challenging, especially when you are still in the process of building your family.
What’s the toughest lesson you’ve had to learn on your journey of budgeting so far? That I have to adjust our budget every month. I used to create a budget and think that would last the entire year — or until I got around to looking at it again. Your spending habits will change each month as cars need brakes, kids need clothes, food prices will go up and unforeseen circumstances will arise. You have to stay ahead of the game, which is a challenge for everyone — not just those new to budgeting. The lesson learned is to not beat yourself up when the budget doesn’t work for that month; just sit down and try again. Keep evolving and changing your budget as needed.
You use a daily cleaning calendar to help keep up with the house work. What’s on the schedule tomorrow? Tomorrow is catch-up day. It’s the day I finish/start anything that didn’t get done during the week, so I’ll be finishing up my last load of laundry and washing my floors. Oh, so fun!