Monthly Archives

October 2022


Weight Loss Tips for the Work at Home Mom

October 10, 2022

I know that this blog is about money; making money, saving money, and basically anything to do with money. But, its also about me and you. We are the working moms, single moms, stay at home moms, and ideally work at home moms. I’d also like to think that you, the readers, come here for me. Your here for my opinion, my experiences, my advice, and even my story.  This may start off a little too personal, but I want to emphasize how close this is to my heart. Its not just another how-to, numbered list.

I’ve been struggling for a while with my self image. I may not be obese or extremely overweight, and you may look at me and think “oh wow, she’s skinny! I wish I looked like that”. But, the reality is that self esteem issues come in all shapes and sizes. No one is immune to feeling bad about themselves. I know that as a stay at home mom for 2 years and as a single mom for the last year or so, I’ve had to focus on 2 things. My priorities have been my daughter, and our financial situation.Weight loss tips

As a single mom, I had not time for anything but keeping a roof over our head and food in our bellies. It was about survival. My emotions and feelings were not a factor at the time. So, I let myself go. I have now gained 10 pounds in the last six months! I finally had that moment where I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “who is that?”. In my mind, I still thought I was this fitness freak, health advocate, and Army Strong. I mean, I was a soldier, a soccer player, a track star (star might be going to far). But, I was far from having to ever worry about my weight until I got pregnant.

Time For a Change

Its time for all of us to start focusing on ourselves again; to put ourselves first for a few hours out of the day. I want this to be a place where us women, us moms, to stand together and support each other. I will be working towards a healthier, better me, and I invite you to join me. I will be posting weekly updates on my progress, and encourage you to share your story too.

Weight loss is a difficult process to begin with. But, when you add in the stresses of being a mother (married or single) and work (from home or the office), weight loss can be next to impossible. So, I’m going to share with you some weight loss tips that I plan to personally use in my life.

Weight Loss Tips for the Work at Home Mom (or anyone)

1. Stop Snacking – As a work at home mom, I know that I eat WAY more than I would if I was working a regular 9 to 5. The fridge is right there. We walk by and instinctively grab something. These calories add up fast! You may have to treat your meals just like you would if you were taking your lunch to the office. Spend Sunday organizing and portioning meals out for the week. Include something with protein, fiber, and a fruit or vegetable. Don’t just grab whatever you feel like. For me, I realize at the end of the day; all I’ve eaten is carbs.

2. Get Moving – Working from home means a lot of sitting. Most work at home mom jobs (including mine) are centered around the computer. So, I get nice and comfy on the couch with my lap top, and I don’t move all day. This is not good! So, set a timer to go off every hour. When it does, get up and do 5-10 minutes of some kind of activity. This can be jumping jacks, push ups, squats, or a quick walk around the block. I promise, you will be even more focused and productive when you get back to work. You can also try creating a schedule, and include some form of a workout. Just squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise like its one of your daily tasks that needs to be completed.

3. Relax – Did you know that stress can actually make you fat? That right, look it up! So, even though you are crazy busy running around, you need to make time for yourself. Whatever it is that makes you feel sane, do it. Give yourself a pedicure, take a hot bath, read, go for a walk, or anything else that makes you smile. {Read: Tips for Stressed out Moms}

What do you do to keep your weight in check when your home all day?


2015 Life/Blogging Review & Goals

October 10, 2022

2015 has been a big year for me with a lot of changes. If you’re new here, you may not know that 2014 was a rough year for me. I went through a divorce as a stay-at-home mom, I moved in with my parents at 25 years old as a single mom. I managed to get by as a single stay at home mom and finally started working full time towards the end of 2014. But, 2015 changed in a lot of ways for me. This post is my opportunity to reflect and review on the last year financially, personally, and as a blogger- my goals, my successes, my failures- everything. I want to share it with you

There’s so much to share that I’m not sure where to start so I guess I will start from the beginning.

My 2015 in Review

I definitely started off my year very good financially, and by that I mean that I had no debt – zero. I had no car payment, no mortgage, no student loans, no credit card debt – nothing! I was completely debt free. That quickly changed during the year, but the things that I am in debt for are worth it to me and will be paid off quicker then what is typical.

My first major milestone in the beginning of the year was that I bought my own house as a single mom; and I did it while making less than $30,000 a year. I am now a proud owner of my own three bedroom, two bath house with a nice green backyard and plenty of room to garden.

In May 2015, I finally got my dream job I currently make almost $50,000 a year, and I do something I love. Most would think that I would be staying at this job forever because it’s great, but this job is actually going to help me achieve one of my goals for 2016 but we will talk about that later

June 2015 brought an amazing man into my life. There is so much I could say about him but let’s just put it this way – he’s an amazing father to my daughter and his two sons, and without him I think I would’ve gone crazy this year.

Meg & Jason

October was bitter sweet. It marks two years since my ex-husband left me and I had to start all over as a single mom. But, it was also my daughter’s fourth birthday – holy cow she’s four. Every mom knows this feeling. Where did the last four years ago? She grew up so fast and has so much personality now I don’t know what to do with her. But, as she gets older it makes me want to be home more and even though I have this great paying job – I have to be away from her a little more than I would like.

Goals for 2016

So after reflecting on all of the things that went on in my life in the last year, I am now focusing on my goals for next year. 2016 is going to bring a lot of changes – I hope. I plan to save up as much money as I can, quit my job, and be a work at home mom. I’m tired of missing special moments with my daughter, and feel like she is changing without me even noticing. I’ve decided I want to be there. I’ve always had the goal to make enough money from home to stay with her, but 2016 is going to be the year that I make it happen. I’m giving myself a year to build up the income from blogging and other extra income ideas that I have so that I don’t half to go to work outside of the home.

My New DIY Blog!

I’m actually working on a new website that I’m extremely excited about. It all started with the fact that; now that I have a home of my own, I’ve been doing so many projects. My boyfriend thinks I’m trying to kill him! We are constantly doing new DIY and homemade projects in the garden, in the garage, and around the house. It’s something that him and I enjoy doing together, and we realize that a lot of the things that we do people don’t know how to do. So, we are launching DIY by MJ which is going to be a blog the details all of our projects, with tons of pictures and instructions, supply lists, and everything you need to complete the project that we’ve done. I firmly believe in making things yourself to save money, and I enjoy doing it so DIY by MJ is going to be a joint project between myself and Jason and I hope that you enjoy that blog as much as you do this one. Most of my DIY projects are going to be posted there instead of here now. So if that is something that you enjoy seeing, make sure you subscribe on that blog.

Here at Momma Loves Money

Don’t worry! My new blog is not going to take me away from here and all of you. I have a lot planned for Momma Loves Money in the New Year as well. I will be trying to post more regularly, probably weekly at first. But, by the end of 2016, I want to be sharing something with you 3 times per week. I also have a goal to write my first e-book. I’d love to hear what you would like to see me write about. What do you feel I could share with you, or you want to know more about? I plan to turn this blog into a full time income and a “real” job, so I hope you don’t get sick of me. : ) I also have plans to start doing a monthly income/expense report since I have been so motivated by other bloggers doing so.

How about you? What did you accomplish? What will you accomplish in 2016? Let’s support each other!

2015 review - pinterest


How I Plan to Become a Stay at Home Mom (Again)

October 10, 2022

In 2013, my husband left me and I became a single stay at home mom. This wasn’t by choice with any stretch of the imagination. I was a stay-at-home mom when the subject of divorce came up and it was a hard transition. But, I did the single stay-at-home mom thing for a while, and tried to make money from home. But the only way I could survive was living with my parents, and that wasn’t a lifestyle I wanted to keep. So, I got a job full-time and then I got a better job. Now, I’m at a place where I barely see my daughter and I’m working too many hours.  This is a pretty common thing for single moms. We do what we have to do to survive. We kill ourselves at work every day just to make sure our kids have a roof over their head and food on the table. But this year, as I mentioned in my 2015 Review & Goals post, I plan on getting out of the rat race again. I plan on staying home with my daughter, and this is how I plan to do it with the same lifestyle I have now.

Cut That Budget Down

Finally having a stable full-time job has actually made me change my spending habits. I told myself it wouldn’t but it did. This is called “lifestyle inflation”. I took on the debt that I normally wouldn’t. I spend a little more than I normally would here-and-there on little things. I’m a little less frugal then I used to be. So the biggest thing is to get back to the money mentality that I had when I was broke.

If you always live like you don’t have much- you will be a lot safer, financially, when you have more.

The funny thing is that this entire blog is about saving money and making more money. So I’ve succeeded in the making more, but I spent more. It’s time to get back to those basics. I’m going to be cutting my budget as much as I can and paying off debt. This will make my monthly bills lower and allow me to make less money, and still have the same type of lifestyle.

I’m going to share with you some ways to cut your budget and make money from home so that maybe you too can quit your typical 9-to-5 boring job and become a stay at home mom too!

Create a Budget

The very first step in doing any financial planning is creating a budget. Look at you bank statements, and write down everything you spent money on. Here are some free printable budget worksheets you can use.

My starting budget looks a little like this:

  • Mortgage – 540
  • Taxes & Insurance – 200
  • Car Payment – 377
  • Auto Insurance – 98
  • Fuel – 120
  • Phone – 70
  • Electric – 80
  • Water – 20
  • Daycare – 260
  • Netflix – 9
  • Internet – 70
  • Groceries & Supplies – 250
  • Spending Money – 300
  • Health Insurance/Co-pays – 50
  • Retirement – 1000
  • Other Debt – 200

Total – $3644

Determine How Your Budget Will Change

Take a look at your current budget, and determine what costs you are incurring by just going to work. I know most people have specific work uniforms, dry cleaning, tolls, parking fees, etc. I get my uniforms free from work but have to drive 60 miles round trip for work. That means I can reduce my budget in the gas section when I quit working outside of the home. I also wont be paying for daycare anymore because I will be a stay at home mom. My spending money will go down because I currently work 24 hours shifts and end up buying in on dinner with my shift crew.

I can reduce my budget by $385 every month just by quitting my job!

Find Ways to Reduce Your Bills

Once you have an idea of what your budget will look like when you aren’t working, lets work on reducing it a bit more. Remember, the more you cut – the less you have to make from home.

The first thing you should do is call the companies that you pay regularly every month. This includes: cable, internet, auto insurance, electric, cell phone, etc. Find out if you are missing out on any incentives or discounts. The first thing I did was call my internet and act like I was cancelling because I couldn’t afford it. They quickly, and easily dropped my bill by $15. Then they told me that if I signed up for auto pay, I would save another $10 every month. Companies like this want to keep you service and will practically give you stuff for free to do it.

Take a look at your budget line by line and call each one to find out if there is a smaller package, or anything that would help reduce your bill.

Create Your Stay at Home Mom Budget

So, you have your original budget done, now you need a second one. This will be your “stay-at-home-mom” budget.

Mine looks like this:

  • Mortgage – 540
  • Taxes & Insurance – 200
  • Car Payment – 377
  • Auto Insurance – 98
  • Fuel – 80
  • Phone – 70
  • Electric – 80
  • Water – 20
  • Netflix – 9
  • Internet – 45
  • Groceries & Supplies – 250
  • Spending Money – 250
  • Health Insurance/Co-pays – 50
  • Retirement – 365

Total – $2,434

As you can see, I only included the expenses I would have as a stay at home mom. I also reduced my retirement contribution to 15% of my total budget.

You can also see that the “other debt” category is gone. This is because I don’t plan on becoming a stay at home mom until the end of 2016. This gives me enough time to pay off that debt, saving me $200/month once I quit my job. If I can pull it off, I will also be cutting my car payment out of this budget as well. But, that one will take a ton of more work.

Make Money From Home

Now that you know exactly home much money you need to stay afloat as a stay at home mom, you can start planning how you will make this money. A good idea is to have daily goals of how much you want to make and then do whatever you need to each day to reach that mark. Just take the total of the second budget you created and divide it by 30. Using my total of 2434, I would need to set a goal of making $81 per day from home. This is manageable!

I’m actually creating an “earn money from home” resources page that will list all of the different things that I’ve tried to make money from home. You can check that out and try some of them, and as I try new projects, I’ll update the page.

Let me know what ways you use to make money from home and maybe I will test it out and let everyone know.

Stay at home mome


How to be a Single Stay at Home Mom (Not on Welfare)

October 10, 2022

October, I wrote about how to cope financially with a stay at home mom divorce. This is, in a way, a continuation of that. My divorce is finally complete; paperwork in hand. Now, instead of being a stay at home mom, I am a single stay at home mom. What a difference one word, single, can make. In this blog post, I want to share with you how I am managing to be a single stay at home mom and the things I have had to sacrifice to make this work.

Killing Myself Trying to do Everything

Single Stay at home mome

I was attempting to color with my daughter when I got off work at 8 am. I didn’t even get to change clothes.

A few months after I moved out on my own after finding out about my pending divorce, I got a full-time job. I worked as an EMT for 24 hours at a time, every third day. This wouldn’t have been possible if my ex wasn’t available to have our child when I worked. I lived too far away from family at the time and was new in town and knew no one.

I was making great money as a single mom but it was killing me. I worked all day and night and then had to keep myself awake enough to spend time with my little one. This lasted for about 5 months before I had it. My daughter was cranky all the time because I didn’t have the time or energy to focus on her. I pretty much worked, slept, cooked, cleaned, and ran errands when I could. And a social life? Forget it!

Swallowing my Pride to do What is Best for my Child

I finally decided enough was enough. My whole family lived 9 hours away from me and I was stressed out beyond belief. I knew I couldn’t keep up that kind of lifestyle for long. My mom, my dad, and my uncle drove up to help me load up a Budget truck and haul all my crap home to Florida. I had moved away from home 7 years ago, and was now moving back into my childhood bedroom as a 25-year-old single mom. This was a huge pill to swallow but was the best I could do for my daughter and I.

How I Pay my Bills as a Single Stay at Home Mom

Before I had become a stay at home mom during my marriage, I spent my money wisely. I didn’t really have any money saved up but I didn’t have debt either. This made me have a lot less debt than most people like me. What I’m getting at here is; the first step to paying your bills as a single stay at home mom is to cut them down.

This is my budget as a single stay at home mom (living with my parents):

  • Phone – $70
  • Car Insurance – $115
  • Health Insurance – $70
  • Student Loan – $50
  • Cable – $70
  • Groceries – $50 (I help out occasionally)
  • Vehicle Gas – $200
  • Spending Money – $150
  • Necessities – $50
  • Total – $825

This may seem like I live on nothing but this isn’t much different from the budget I had when I wasn’t living with my parents. I’m “only” cutting out rent, utilities, and some food costs.

Single stay at home mom

My Income as a Single Stay at Home Mom

I have multiple sources of income and none are that much but when I add them all together, I make more than enough for my bills. In fact, living with my parents is just a way for my to save up money for a down payment on a house.

Child Support: This is self-explanatory. Man and woman make baby. Man and woman divorce. Woman gets custody. Man pays woman for 18+ years.

Blogging: I started blogging back in the summer of 2012. I love writing so it seemed natural for me to do.

Army Reserve: I guess, technically, for one weekend out of every month I am not considered a stay at home mom. I still serve my country on a part-time basis and if they really need me.

Going to College: Because I served in the Active Duty Army for a few years, I earned myself a GI Bill. The way it works is that Veteran Affairs pays me a monthly allotment as long as I am in school. They will also pay for the tuition cost I incur and up to $1000 per year for my textbooks.

Pell Grant: This is part of the going to college section. Because I have been a stay at home mom, I qualify for the full Pell Grant ($5600-ish per year). Since my tuition is paid for by my GI Bill, all of this money is mine to keep. (Yes, it’s legal to do this).

How I Make it as a Single Stay at Home Mom Without Being on Welfare

  1. The biggest factor in me being able to be a single stay at home mom was my family. Without their emotional and physical support, I couldn’t do it. I had a baby sitter when I needed it for school or just to relax. This kept me from going crazy! : )
  2. I had barely any debt to speak of and plan to keep it that way.
  3. I found something I was good at that I could do from the comfort of my home. I tried a ton of different things when I was still married because I hated not contributing financially.
  4. I proudly served in the Army, which now pays me to go to school.


As of May 2015, I am a homeowner again. However, I did not stay an single stay at home mom. I am dating an amazing guy and have a full time job. I pay all my own bills, save for retirement, etc and he pays me a small portion of the household bills. Eventually, I plan to be a full time SAHM again. But for now, I am working on building my income from home until it is enough to replace my salary. If you want to hear a real life story and about a woman who mastered this and makes plenty of money as a single stay at home mom of 2, you have to check out Sarah’s blog.

Everyone has a different situation, and I know not everyone will have the advantages that I have. But, others may have some that I don’t. Share your story by emailing me at!


Lessons I Learned as a Stay at Home Mom & Wife

October 10, 2022

Stay at Home Mom Lessons

Being a Wife and a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) is one of those things in life that has a steep learning curve. We make mistakes and hopeful learn from them and change our behavior; sometimes we don’t. Throughout the beginning of my marriage and motherhood journey, I have made a few mistakes. Some of these have become stories my (ex)husband loves to tell to embarrass me. So, I figured I would put them all out there for everyone to read instead of giving him the pleasure. Enjoy!

Lesson #1: Always Check the Oven Before you Turn it on

Sometimes, men were brought up to store things in the oven. Specifically, pizza boxes with left over pizza in them. If your husband likes to do this and you didn’t know, you may end up smoking yourself out of the house. This is a very dangerous fire hazard. Don’t even bother asking him to stop after you almost burn the house down because “that’s where you’re supposed to put the leftover pizza”. Apparently, there is an unwritten rule about checking the oven before you turn it on. Who knew people used an oven for something other than cooking!

stay at home mom lessons
Source: By gran (Own work) CC-BY-3.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

Lesson #2: Cook Your Rice Separate

Since rice is cooked by absorbing liquid, it is best to cook it in water and separate from whatever liquid you are using to flavor your meat. Especially if you are using some kind of orange, mango, pineapple juice to create a concoction you have never made before in the slow cooker. The rice will be flavored, and potent I might add. You may have to order take out or pop a frozen pizza in the oven; but don’t leave the box in the oven!

Lesson #3: Rice Expands, A Lot!

When a recipe calls for something like 3 cups of rice, it is referring to the amount of cooked rice not uncooked rice. If you put 3 cups of uncooked rice in a pot and cook it expecting to come out with 3 cups of cooked rice, you will be very shocked. Rice actually expands to 3 times its uncooked size once it is cooked. Repeat after me, rice expands a lot!

stay at home mom lessons
Source: By MpegMan CC-BY-SA-3.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

Lesson #4: Separate Your Whites and Colors

So, you and your husband both got brand new shirts for Christmas. That’s great! Go ahead and wash them so that you can wear them as soon as possible. But, if one is white and the other is a bright hunting orange, you should probably do two separate loads of laundry. If you don’t, that new white shirt is going to become a new tie-dye shirt. Good thing it was a Florida Gators shirt and the orange (kind of) worked with it.

Lesson #5: Do Not Take A Bath With Your Recently Fed Baby

When babies eat, they typically poop. I know this is a new concept and everything, but it’s true. On top of that, they are even more likely to poop after you have taken their diaper off. So, do not think that you are going to feed your baby, take a nice warm, relaxing bath with your baby, and then go to bed. Chances are, there will be more steps involved in the process that include freaking out because you just got “shat” on.

Lesson #6: Dish Washing Soap is Not the Same as Dish Washing Detergent

stay at home mom lessons
Source: By Carlos Paes ( [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons


Yes, both the soap and the detergent are made to wash dishes. But, one is made for washing dishes in the sink and by hand (soap) and one is used for washing dishes in the dish washer (detergent). These are not interchangable. If you use dish washing soap in your dishwasher, you will end up using your kitchen as a bubble bath. Although, it looks fun at first, it is not fun to clean up.

Lesson #7: Stew is Not Supposed to be Too Thick

This tip was passed down to me from my mom. Stew should only derive it’s thickness from the meat, potatoes and other veggies you put into it. So if someone tells you that stew is supposed to be thick, this does not mean that you should add flour to it until it becomes a paste that your could use to build a house.

Lesson #8: Silence is Scary When You Have a Toddler

Do not, under any circumstances relax because it is quiet. Most likely, this is when you should be most worried. Do not assume that if it is quiet in your house, that nothing disastrous is going on. This is the moment when the most havoc is wreaked. Check every room in the house. Toddlers are fast workers!


Creating a Stay at Home Mom Schedule

October 10, 2022

Where do I Start?!

Being a stay at home mom can sometimes feel like you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off. You know you have a million things to get done but you just can’t figure out where to start or when. Then there are days where you have too much time on your hands so you decide to relax and watch t.v. or talk on the phone and before you know it, it’s bedtime and you got nothing accomplished. It can be hard to stay on track, motivated and organized as a stay at home mom. But, the best way to do it is with a good stay at home mom schedule. It gives you something to commit to and gives you focus and purpose.

Make a List

Stay at Home Mom Schedule - To Do List

Every night, sit down and make a list of all of the things you need to accomplish the next day. Also, it helps to estimate how long the activity will probably take you so that you know how much you can realistically get done in a day.

If the things you need to do are large projects, don’t write down the main project. Write down each individual task so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Be sure to organize and group together anything you will need to complete a task so it is all ready to go once you decide to work on it.

My typical stay at home mom schedule checklist looks something like this:

  • Clean – 60 min.
  • Workout – 45 min.
  • Work on Blog – 120 min.
  • Study – 60 min.
  • Make phone calls – 30 min.
  • Total – 5 hours, 15 min.

These are just my general categories. To keep myself even more on track, I break these into sections. For example, cleaning would be broke into the specific areas of the house or projects I plan to do that day.

*Keep in mind, these are just things that I need to do for ME. This doesn’t include normal mommy stuff like reading, baths, cooking, etc.

Choose Your Times Wisely

When you make your schedule, it’s never going to come close to working if you don’t choose the times of day for each activity wisely. There is not one set schedule that will work with every stay at home mom or even every child. If you had a certain schedule with your previous child and now have a new baby, you will need a new schedule.

Think about the times of day that your child takes their naps, is the most cranky or happiest. And don’t forget to note the same things about yourself. You will want to think about when you are typically hungry, when you are at your most energetic and when you are typically the most lethargic. These things will impact how productive you are. Plan to do the tasks you don’t enjoy as much during the times where you are more energetic and can focus more. Save the more fun tasks for the times when you don’t really want to do anything.

Break it Down

I have found myself to be most productive when I split things up into short sessions. It keeps me moving and I don’t burn out on one activity. For example, I clean for about and hour per day. Also, since I work from home as a writer, I also spend somewhere around 2 hours per day doing things relating to that. So, when my daughter sleeps, I clean and work. I set a timer and clean for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, I reset it for 30 minutes and start working on my writing. I then keep rotating through until my daughter wakes up from her nap or until I have completed what I needed to do. This helps with my mommy ADHD too.

I feel this is the best way to avoid finishing only one activity if she wakes up early or something comes up. This way, I get a little of everything done and feel accomplished every time my timer goes off. In my schedule I’m going to list this rotation as “clean/write”. You can use this technique with everything that needs to get done (other than errands of course). Sometimes, if my house is clean, I replace cleaning with working out. I’ll do lunges, or push ups, sit ups, etc. There is always a way to fit in everything you would like to get done. You would be shocked at what you can accomplish in 10 or 15 minutes.

Treat Your Stay at Home Mom Schedule like a Job

  • Go to bed at a set time.
  • Set your alarm and wake up at a set time (do not press snooze).
  • Tackle the things you hate doing first and get them out of the way.
  • Decide when you will work (I try to act as if it is a normal job- I plan most of my schedule during the 9 to 5 hours.)
  • Do not procrastinate, your husband/kids are very strict bosses.

Your Stay at Home Mom Schedule is not set in Stone

Remember, the schedule and routine you create are only used as a guide to help you organize your life and stay on track and motivated. Your schedule doesn’t have to dictate when you breath and it’s not set in stone. Being a mom, things come up and disasters strike. The trick is to have a routine and schedule but maintain the ability to roll with the punches.

Check out some of my favorite posts that helped me get organized and create a stay at home mom schedule.


Living at Home at 25 Years Old

October 10, 2022

I have a confession: I am a single mother and living at home at 25 years old. In the beginning, I was so embarrassed to say this to friends or even family. It was even worse when I met a man… But, I have now come to terms with it, and it is the smartest decision I made for my situation. Let me tell you why living at home at 25, or even older is not always pathetic; it can be a very smart move financially.

Let me first tell you a few things: I’m not a drug addict, alcoholic, or in massive debt. I live at home as an adult because I am preparing for a better financial future for myself and my daughter.

Living at Home to Save For a House

You definitely do not HAVE to live at home to save up for a house. But, it will save you a ton of money in the long run. The amount of money I am saving right now by not paying rent is going to be my down payment. The bigger the down payment, the cheaper it is to buy a house. Let me show you.

Go to any mortgage calculator online and you will see how much you really pay for a house in the end. You don’t just pay the sale price. You pay interest, and a lot of it. If you don’t have at least a 20% down payment, you are probably going to have to pay mortgage insurance until your balance is down to 80%.

Below is a mortgage repayment summary for a 30 year, $100,000 mortgage with no down payment, and a 4% interest rate. Total Private Mortgage Insurance payments over the life of the loan is $4750.38. Total interest paid over the life of the loan is $67,119.51. That is just crazy!

living at home at 25 -no down payment

No down payment. $100,000 purchase price and 4% interest rate.

Below is a mortgage repayment summary for a 30 year, $100,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment, and a 4% interest rate. Total Private Mortgage Insurance payments over the life of the loan is the ZERO. This means I save almost $5000 over those 30 years just because I had $20,000 for a down payment. Total interest paid over the life of the loan drops down to %57,495.61. This is almost $10,000 less that what I would pay without a down payment. In the end, I save almost $15,000 just because I waited and saved up the 20% down payment.

20% down

20% down payment. $100,000 purchase price and 4% interest rate.


Living at Home at 25 While in College

Living at home at 25 has never been my dream, but it has allowed me to pursue my dreams. I have always wanted to be an ER nurse, and always heard how time consuming nursing school was. If I lived on my own, I would have to find a “real” job to take care of myself and my daughter while going to school. But, living with my parents has given me a huge opportunity. I have free babysitting while I go to class at night. On the weekends, my parents will entertain my princess while I study. All of this has allowed my to focus.

savannah helping me study

If I wanted to live on my own, I would have to find a full time job. The problem with that is I would be working during the day and going to school at night or visa-verse. I would then be paying for full time daycare. In my area, it would run me around $700 every month. This would really defeat the purpose of working. The majority of my income would be taken up by daycare unless I made a good income. If I made a good income, why would I need to go to school, right? Without my parents, I would be so stressed out that my grades or my daughter would suffer. Let’s be realistic, my daughter is my priority and I didn’t want her to be neglected for me to pursue my dreams.

Final Thoughts on Living at Home at 25

If you are living at home passed the age of 18; take advantage of it. I’m not saying screw your parents over or take advantage of them. I am saying that if the living situation is not permanent, there is nothing wrong with it. Use the time to make a better life for yourself. Go to school, save money, start building and preparing for your life in the future. Don’t just sit there and watch t.v. all day because you don’t have to work. I may be a single mom and live with my parents at 25, but wait until you see me at 27 or 28! I WILL have the life I’ve been working towards.


Should I Become a Stay at Home Mom

October 10, 2022

The decision to become a stay at home mom (SAHM) is a difficult one for the working woman with a baby on the way. There are so many factors to think about when making the decision. You need to decide if having a job is really worth your time for how much it costs you financially, mentally and emotionally.

How Much do You Make Working?

Take a look at your paycheck and write down your net pay for the month. You are going to need this later to calculate your income after your expenses from working.

Another big part of your income from working is any benefits you may get. Do you work somewhere that has an employee discount and you use it often on things you truly need? Note having this discount could cost you a lot of money if you no longer work for the company. Are you the one providing insurance for your family as a benefit from your job? Insurance can be quite costly if you have to get it on your own. Insurance is a necessary evil when you have a child. You will likely pay much less for your insurance than it will cost you when your child gets sick or injured.

How Much Does it Cost You to Work?

You need to compile all of the costs associated with having your job. This will help you determine how much financial benefit your job actually provides you. Only include the costs that you would be able to get rid off if you became a stay at home mom. For example, you may use your car to get to work and owning that car means paying for insurance, maintenance, gas, etc. However, you will most likely still be using your car even if you didn’t have to go to work every day.

  • Gas- Figure out the gas mileage your vehicle gets. Measure the distance you travel to get to work and back every month. Don’t forget to include in that the miles you will also drive dropping off and picking up your child from daycare or dropping off and picking up your dry cleaning. How much do you usually pay for gas?
  • Parking Fees- Do you have to pay a monthly fee to park at work? Do you use parking meters, valet or anything else like that? These are things you wouldn’t have to pay if you weren’t working.
  • Child Care- How much is it going to cost you to put your child in day care or pay a babysitter? “According to the report, in 2011, the average annual cost of full-time child care for an infant in a center ranged from about $4,600 in Mississippi to nearly $15,000 in Massachusetts”
  • Clothing/Uniforms- Do you have to have a certain uniform for work that you only wear at work?
  • Dry Cleaning/Laundry – Do you have to get your work clothes dry cleaned?
  • Food – Do you spend more money on food at work then you would at home?

How Much Net Income Does Working Provide?

To determine how much net income you get from working; simply subtract all of the costs associated with working from your net income from your job.

Example Calculations

Let’s first use the example of a single mom who works full time at a minimum wage job.

Net Monthly Income = $1,200

Gas Costs = 30 miles X 20 days = 600 miles per month

= 600 miles / 25 mpg = 24 gallons

= 24 gallons X $3 per gallon = $72 per month

**Information used: Round trip drive – 30 miles, gas cost per gallon – $3, working days per month – 20, average gas mileage – 25 mpg

Day Care = 40 hrs X 4.33 weeks = 173.2 hrs working per month

= 0.66 hrs X 20 days = 13.2 hrs spent traveling per month

=13.2 hrs + 173.2 hrs = 186.4 hrs paid

=186.4 hrs X $3 = $559.20 per month

** Information used: she pays a friend $3/ hr to watch her child. On top of the 40 hours per week she works, it takes her 40 minutes to get to and from work from where she drops her child off at. She still has to pay for that time she is gone.

Net Income From Working = $1,200 – $72 – $559.20 = $568.80
Net Income per hour from Working = $568.80 / 173.2 hrs per month = $3.28

When you think about it this way, is it worth it to go to work every day?

Can You Live Without it or Replace it?

Once you have figured out how much you would actually benefit financially from having a job, you need to figure out if you can live without it or replace it.

The factors that play a role in this part of the decision are:

  • Do you have any other form of income?
  • Are you married?
  • How much does your spouse make?
  • Can you live off of your spouses income alone?
  • Can you make, from home, as much as your net financial benefit is from working?
  • Are there any costs you can cut to make do with one income?
  • How much money is it worth to you, to get to see your child grow up?

Surgical Heartache: My Emergency C-Section Story

October 10, 2022

My Real Labor Story

I first want to say that this is my individual and very personal story. I am in no way trying to scare, preach or convert. I am simply writing this as a part of my coping process because my labor and delivery were not the fairy tale I had dreamed of them being and there is still a hole in my heart because of this.

My Ideal Labor & Delivery

I had always dreamed of having a completely natural child birth. I pictured the big dramatic moment where I rushed to the hospital after my water broke. I would bounce on the birthing ball, walk the halls and use breathing techniques during the worst of the labor. I wanted the least amount of medical intervention as possible. I would scream and grunt, covered in sweat as I pushed my little princess out. The whole time, my husband would be massaging me, comforting me and encouraging me. Finally, my beautiful baby girl would be placed on my chest, where my husband and I would look down at her and fall in love instantly. In that moment, she would be ours and we would be hers. An instant connection.

I had dreamed of being fully aware of every moment of my labor and delivery. It was supposed to be the most amazing moment of my life. The happiest day of my life. Now, for the reality…

Learning About our Pregnancy

Pregnancy tests


My husband and I had been married for exactly 16 days. We were both soldiers in the Army and were on orders to deploy to Iraq in about 7 months. I was thrilled to deploy since I was a Medic and I wanted to do my job. I hadn’t planned on having a child until I was a bit older and had all of my Army adventures out of my system.

The day we found out we were pregnant, we were packing to leave for a field exercise that would last 3 weeks. Of course, I still had to go. This led me to start thinking about the two of us being soldiers with a baby. We didn’t think it would be good for our family to continue a dual military lifestyle with a child. So, we made the decision for me to separate from the Army.

My Pregnancy

husband kissing pregnant belly

The day my husband had to say goodbye to us and leave for Iraq

I had a very easy pregnancy a with no complications. I had the typical morning sickness, fatigue, etc. But, none of my symptoms were too awful or made me miserable. My little girl was perfectly healthy and in perfect position to deliver from week 20 and stayed that way the whole time. I was even dilated to 1 cm at 36 weeks.

The day I found out the gender of our baby, my husband wasn’t even in the same state. He was away at pre-deployment training for his upcoming tour to Iraq that I was supposed to be on as well. Then, when I was around 31 weeks pregnant, my husband left for Iraq.

At around 32 weeks, my birthing coach and I went to a child birth class at the hospital I planned to deliver at. We learned about all the different pain management techniques, where do go, when to come, what signs to look for, etc. But, there was absolutely no talk about breathing patterns or birthing positions to relieve pain for natural childbirth. I had to research these more on my own and did so and made sure my birthing partner knew my preferences and my goals for natural labor and delivery.

The Days Before Delivery

40 weeks and 1 day belly

40 weeks and 1 day

As soon as I hit 40 weeks, I started trying all the safe and natural labor inducing techniques I knew of. I finally went for a mile long walk and started have decently painful contractions. I decided to head to the hospital, hoping this was it. After waiting around and getting checked out, the contractions went away and I was still only 1 cm dilated. Disappointed, I went home.

The very next day I had my final prenatal doctors appointment. My doctor decided it had been long enough and wanted to encourage my labor to get started. He suggested that he strip my membranes. Having never even heard of this, I hadn’t had a chance to research it like I had everything else to do with my pregnancy. But, I was getting a little impatient to meet my little girl. I agreed to the procedure under the assumption that my doctor knew best.

The procedure only took a minute or two and was about as uncomfortable as a cervical check. I like the doctors office at around 11:30am and headed to the grocery store with my mother-in-law, who was with me at my appointment. Not even halfway through our shopping, I started having a cramping feeling. It was a little more uncomfortable than menstrual cramps that came and went.

I continued on with the rest of my day assuming that I was just cramping as a result of the membrane stripping. The cramping wasn’t too bad and seemed to come and go about every 20 minutes or so. By around 10:00pm the same day, the cramping feeling was a bit stronger. I had to actually breathe through each contraction. It was happening about every 7 minutes or so. Finally, at around 2:00am, my mother-in-law (birthing coach) and I headed to labor and delivery once my contractions become very painful and were 4-5 minutes apart.

Membrane Sweeping/Stripping Proceedure

The doctor or midwife places their fingers into the opening of the cervix and attempts to gently separate the amniotic sac from the uterus. This will signal to the body that labor has started and will encourage contractions to begin.

My Labor

I arrived at the hospital and was pretty quickly checked into my room. We were originally told that the hospital room had an Internet connection so I could Skype my husband during it all. Long story short, that never happened. Just after I was settled into my room, a nurse can in with paperwork. She said that signing it was my consent to a Cesarean if it became necessary. I signed it, never thinking it would actually happen.

I was strapped to a monitor that would track my contractions, which were getting very strong. However, I was still determined to go through it all naturally. The doctor finally came in and did my cervical check only to tell me I was still only 1 cm dilated. These contractions weren’t doing anything! It was so discouraging.

After a few hours I was in a lot of pain. I could feel the contractions through my belly, hips, sides and back. I hurt my back when I was younger so the back labor was by far the worst for me. It felt like a knife digging into my lower back. I started to not be able to think very clearly through the pain.

When the doctor finally came back in to check on me, I was still only 1 cm dilated. He told me I was fighting my contractions too much and it was keeping them from doing their job. The nurses started to strongly suggest that I get an epidural. I told them no. Eventually, they convinced me that breaking my water would help me progress. I agreed. I barely even noticed the nurse doing the procedure until I was laying in all the blood and fluids.

The nurse came back a whole later to see why was going on, still no progress. Now, they try again to get my to agree to some kind of pain management so that the contractions would be more successful. At this point, I was getting so upset that I was in so much pain and could see no light at the end of the tunnel. I agreed to some IV fluids just in case I decided on an epidural. I also finally consented to something called Stadol. The nurse told me it would make the pain more manageable but I could still get up and move around.

The truth about Stadol was that I felt drunk and high all at once. I still felt the contractions but I barely noticed them. I was too busy making a fool out of myself, acting like a drunken sailor from what I was told. However, the Stadol did as promised. It relaxed me enough for the contractions to do their job. I quickly dilated to 4 cm.

Once the Stadol had almost wore off, I decided to sit up on the edge of the bed and grab onto my mother-in-law to go back to breathing for pain relief. I got into a zone and was doing good. The pain was the worst it had been but I was coping a little better. I was soon 9 cm dilated. I could finally see the end coming.

At this point in my labor, I was exhausted and a little delirious. I was so tired of laboring through this. We had arrived at the hospital around 2:00am and it was now around 11:00am. So, I had been having some form or contractions for 24 hours. I caved and asked for the epidural. After the doctor shooed my loan or coach out of the room, they began digging around in my spinal column. It was horrible. I felt the needle go into my back at least 4 times. I screamed at the to stop. My mother-in-law came back in and I sat on the edge of the bed and labored holding onto her. I refused every other intervention now because I quite frankly did not trust my doctor anymore.

My Delivery

mom and baby meet

The moment I met our little girl.

As I was sitting on the bed, in my own little world, rocking back and forth I hear talk of my baby’s heart rate dropping during each contraction. I’m told to lay down on my side so that the baby is in a different position. The next thing I remember is seeing a name tag on a new nurse that said OR tech. I was confused and disoriented. Everything from this point on was all a rush and hectic. I had now clue what was going on and no one was talking to me.

I was lifted up and put on another bed. They wheeled me into another room that was so cloud I was shaking. I was again lifted, put on a hard, cold table an my arms strapped down. I was terrified. The last thing I remembered before waking up was being told to breath deeply while some mask was placed over my face.

I woke up groggily a few hours later. I was covered with a heavy blanket and no one was around. My mother-in-law came in and explained to me what had happened. I asked her where my baby was and she went and got her from the nursery.

My Emotions After it All

mom and baby

Introducing Savannah

It took me a long time before I really felt connected with my daughter. In reality, she could have been anyone’s baby. I never saw her come out of me. I was so angry for feeling like I missed out on so many of the rights of passage of childbirth. I felt like my childbirth experience was tainted since it wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. I was anger at the doctors, nurses, myself and even my husband for not being their for the birth and my mother-in-law for getting to hold my little girl before I could. That is my right as the mother. Now that I have been able to spend the last year with her, I am connected and closer than ever. But the first few weeks, she felt like a stranger. Now, every time I look at my stomach and see my scar, I am reminded of my horrible emergency c-section experience.

Tips to Prepare for a Natural Birth

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Suggested Read

  • Discuss your labor and delivery intentions and wishes with your doctor.
  • Discuss your ideal childbirth situation with your spouse or birthing partner.
  • Put everything you want down in writing so there is something to show the people involved.
  • Remember that it is your childbirth and your body and it should go according to your wishes.
  • If you are dead set on avoiding a c-section, do not sign the consent form ahead of time. If you do, they can decide at any time to take the baby via cesarean without even letting you know what’s going on.
  • Do not agree to any form of medical intervention unless it is absolutely necessary. One usually leads to another.
  • Choose a midwife for your delivery and plan a home birth. These are just as safe and much less likely to end in a c-section or any other medical intervention.

Tips for Stressed Out Moms

October 10, 2022

Whether you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom, single mom, working mom or any other variation of a mom, you are going to get stressed out every now and then. Being a mother or parent in general is a heavy load. There are so many things going on and so many things to take care of at all times. Throw life, love, friends, work or any other commitments into the mix and your head could pop off, it starts spinning so fast. The idea is to know when you are dealing with too much, what to do when you realize that you are stressed out and how to avoid getting stressed out beyond your breaking point.

Signs You are a Stressed Out Mom


It is time to de-stress if this is what you see when you look in the mirror.
It is time to de-stress if this is what you see when you look in the mirror. Source: Emergency Brake from Your mom’s house  [CC-BY-2.0] Via Wikimedia Commons

If you find these statements to be correct for the most part in describing you lately, it may be time to deal with your stress:


  • You’re depressed or unhappier than normal
  • Your eating habits have changed drastically. You either barely eat of you are constantly eating
  • You have a hard time relaxing even when there is nothing urgent going on
  • You have been fighting more with your husband or yelling more at your kids
  • Things that don’t usually bother you are setting you off
  • You either can’t sleep of you are constantly sleeping when you get the chance
  • Your body just feels “off” including frequent headaches, nausea, dizziness, aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation
  • You caught a cold and cant seem to shake it
  • Your sex drive has completely died
  • You are procrastinating or avoiding your responsibilities
  • You need alcohol, cigarettes and/or drugs to relax
  • You have shut yourself off from everyone else

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter can do a great deal towards helping relieve stress. Laughter can actually relax your muscles, getting rid of the physical pains of stress. Laughing can even release chemicals into your body that can combat stress. In the long run, laughter can even improve your immune system.

So, tell a corny joke, watch a funny movie, go out a watch a comic act. Do whatever it is that can make you laugh. If you have that one friend who always makes you laugh, find a way to be around them. Surround yourself with anything that will make you laugh. You can even try just laughing at nothing, maybe it will trigger a real laugh because you will feel so silly. Give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Have a laugh at the things I had to learn the hard way.

Take a Break

We have all had those days where the dog just chewed the couch, laundry, dishes and bills need your attention, your late to pick up one kid and the other has been screaming all day for god knows what. This is when you need to find somewhere quiet in your house. Go to that place whether it is your room, garage, shed or backyard. Take a few deep breaths, sit there enjoying the silence, get your thoughts together and then go back to whatever it is you need to be doing.

The best thing you could do is not to wait until you are about to crack to take a break. If you were working a 9 to 5 job, you would get a few coffee breaks and a lunch break. There is no reason moms shouldn’t get the same thing. It is necessary to keep the stress in check and your sanity present.

Do Something Non Mommy Related

Sometimes you just need to forget you are a mom. As harsh as that sounds, it’s true. Get a babysitter or leave your kid(s) with their daddy. Go out and do whatever it is you loved to do before you had kids and you haven’t done in a long time. Meet up with your girls at the bar for karaoke and drinks. Join a soccer league that meets regularly and make that your “I’m clocking out” time. Even though being a mom is a full time job, you need to make sure you are “off work” occasionally. Don’t ever forget that you were a person, a woman, before you were a mother. All moms still need to be who they are and do what they love or they will not be happy with their life.

Get Some Exercise

Exercise is great as helping you manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy! So, make time for some kind of physical activity everyday. Go for a walk, play tag with your kids, do an exercise video in your living room. Just get your heart rate up in one way or another and you will feel much better.

Get Organized

Being a mom means you are being pulled in a million different directions all at the same time. Multitasking is an essential mommy skill. Being organized makes it much more possible to multitask because you know where everything is and what you need to do to get things done. Organization keeps you from wasting precious time looking for things or trying to get your thoughts straight. Your mind and emotions follow your environment. If your house is chaos, most likely you are too.

Before you go to bed at night, tidy up the house and lay out anything you will need first thing in the morning. This way, your day will start off smoothly and hopefully will continue to be less stressful.

Pamper Yourself

A facial massage can do wonders for a stressed out mom.
A facial massage can do wonders for a stressed out mom. Source: Slyngebehandling CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

It seems like moms only get special treatment one day out of the year. Don’t wait all year for Mother’s Day to come around just so you can get pampered. Pamper yourself, you deserve it! Moms need to regularly take time to relax and unwind. If you forget about taking care of yourself in the hustle of motherhood, quality of life for the whole family will decrease.

So, make time to get your hair cut, get a massage, go to the spa, anything! Something you can do at home is to turn on some music, light some candles and take a bubble bath all by yourself. You need to make sure that you feel good first and then worry about everyone else. Mothers spend too much time thinking about everyone else. Focus on yourself for a change. It is much easier to take care of everyone else if you take care of yourself first.

Ask for Help

Yes, everyone knows you are SuperMom. But, must you prove it at all times? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t be everywhere at all times and sometimes you cant get everything done that you wanted to. Ask your husband to cook dinner or do the dishes. Call your mom or a friend and ask them to come over to watch your kids while you get some things done. Everyone needs help every now and then and there are always going to be people willing to help you. It does not make you weak to ask for help, it makes you strong because you acknowledge that you can not do it on your own.

Let it Out

If you bottle up all of your stress all of the time, you are probably going to have a mental break down one day. You need to let it out; talk to someone, vent, scream, anything. Just don’t keep it all inside. Find a good therapist to see when you notice that you are starting to get overwhelmed. Call a friend or family member on a regular basis to just talk about life and whats going on.

Let me know how you deal with it when you turn into one stressed out mom.