Tag Archives: city

The Price of Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Seeing this headline, you’re probably thinking this post will be about how you lose one full salary by staying at home, or perhaps what you’re giving up of yourself to raise your children. Not even close. This is about much more money I think I spend because I stay home.

When I was working, I certainly spent money while on the clock. Online shopping, Starbucks runs, liquid lunches, happy hours (actually sounds kind of fun!). You working people know the drill. Once I traded in my paycheck to raise my kid, I figured I’d budget and probably be spending less given the fact that there wasn’t much to do during the day while running after a little one. Fast forward to almost three years later at this SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) gig and I probably spend more money every day than I did when I was working. Hear me out…

My daughter goes to a preschool program so I have about two hours to myself a day. In this time, I usually go to the gym and run errands that are easier to do without a small child in tow. There’s always a shit ton to do, not to mention the few times I decide to treat myself to a tea or pedicure. ShopRite, Target, Starbucks, CVS, dry cleaners. The list is endless, especially when holidays and birthdays roll around. And sometimes it’s just nice to get out and break up the monotony whether I’m alone or with my little one.

After my two hours are up, I pick up my daughter and more money goes out the window. We’re pretty resourceful and don’t often treat ourselves to lunches out or fancy mall shopping sprees, but we are superfans of Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. My child eats munchkins and chocolate milk, so added to my $5 chai tea latte or ice tea, this all adds up throughout the week. But I am oblivious most times, because I just reload my DD or Starbucks app and it’s like the money just magically appeared for me to fuel up. Then we run some errands, let’s say I didn’t get to Target while she was in school, so we go together. My kid wants everything. And when I say no and she melts down, sometimes the $7 stuffed Minion is worth it to avoid me losing my mind and her losing her shit even more. But how many $7 Minions and other crap do I purchase to either appease her or simply because it puts the biggest smile on her face? It all adds up.

I guess with the holidays, and the amount of trips to Starbucks and Dunkin’ I have recently made, it’s become a little more apparent to me that my spending habits have changed, and possibly increased a little, sans paycheck, even though I’m just trolling the ‘burbs versus gallivanting though the pricey city. Who knew staying home could cost so much (insert deep thought, quote or mantra here)?

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City Mouse vs. Country Mouse

It’s been a beautiful weekend. It’s one of those weekends that reminds me of why I love living in Hoboken. I have the ability to do so many things in this little square mile of a town and the sun beating down on me makes everything just that much better.

I’m a city girl. I think I became that way because I grew up on a mountain where you had to drive everywhere. I endured snowstorms and bad weather which held me captive in my home for days, because, and rightfully so, my parents did not want to drive in torturous weather, nor could they. There were only chain restaurants to eat at and they were all at least 20+ minutes away. There weren’t many places to hang out as a kid and not much to explore, unless you really liked nature or had a license.

I finally landed a job after college and commuted to the city from my mountainous home which was hell. I couldn’t wait to move, just for the pure joy of a normal commute. I came to Hoboken in February 2002 and have never looked back.

I love that I can walk to eclectic restaurants and discover new food. And if I decide to drink too much, I can walk or take a cab home for $5. I can hop into the city in 15 minutes or less. I can do my food shopping across the street and if I forget something, I can run right back out and pick it up. Just this week, I had an interview in the city, came back, went for a run along the Hudson River, popped into the bar my girlfriends were hanging out at, grabbed a water to quench my thirst and got back home just in time to enjoy the nice weather with my man. What more could a girl want?

My husband on the other hand, he’s kind of a country guy. He’s been in Hoboken longer than I have, but when he came out of work on Friday, he complained about the city smog, longed to grill a steak in the backyard we don’t have and swing in his hammock connected to our non-existent trees. He wants a home, more space, a driveway. I understand and want some of those things too, but I don’t know that I am ready to give up some of my favorite things just yet. This weather certainly doesn’t help his case.

I know we’ll find our dream home when the time is right and I finally land a full-time gig. I will likely have a less-than-desirable commute again and the grocery store won’t be as convenient when I forget the lentils for the lentil soup. So until then, I will savor in all of Hoboken’s delights until my country mouse takes me out of the city. As long as I’m with him though, I know I’ll be OK!