Spending Review of a Stay-at-home Mom

December 13, 2010 by Shirleyshirley  
Published in Motherhood

Having turned to be a full-time mother after quitting a job with stable income, I regularly review my expenditure, finding out the difference between the spending with and without a full-time job and room for improvement financially. Gradually, I have noticed that changing lifestyle can also bring tremendous changes to my spending habit as well as my financial situation which does not come worse so far luckily. I still maintain and improve my living standard actually.

If you are still struggling between turning to be a full-time mom and staying in your full-time job earning a stable income, you may take this example for your reference. Definitely, this is an example only as everyone’s financial burden and needs are significantly different. Besides, lifestyle and living expenses vary a lot individually and in different cities.


Monthly Average Expenditure: (I live in Hong Kong. I express the expenses here in terms of US$ instead of HK$ for easy reference.)


Working Mom

Full-time Mom




(I still need to take a full breakfast daily to kick off a good day)



(On weekdays, I used to having lunch in restaurants with colleagues. Each meal costs around US$5)


(On weekdays, I prefer simple lunch or just eat the congee I cook for my baby. That saves a lot of money and makes me healthier.)

Tea, snack and coffee


(Especially in need of energy-boosting foods when working!)


(Enjoy brewing coffee or hot tea/eating chocolate at home)




(I used to having dinner with my husband after work and pick up my child after dinner. Each meal costs around US$8-15)


(I am used to cooking at home on weekdays. Each meal costs around US$3-5 per person as I spend around US$6-10 on buying ingredients.)



(Travelling costs a lot here and we often drive to office. That costs a lot more with parking fee and tunnel fee)


(On weekdays, we just stay at home or take walks nearby. On weekends, we may go out by driving. That saves a lot in commuting between office and home without work.)

Home expenses-water, electricity, management fee, etc.


(More expensive in summer due to air-conditioning fee)


(More cooking at home increases the expenses a bit)

Clothing and Accessories


(There was need to buy suitable clothing and gorgeous heels for working. Accessories, such as earrings were necessary to make you look smart and charming in a dull office!)


(My baby will tear off my accessories whenever she sees them! So there is no need for accessory and working clothing anymore with almost zero chance to wear high heels now.)

Skin care/cosmetics


(Makeup with foundation and eye shadow, etc.)


(I am used to having a natural makeup to keep myself beautiful.)



(There was more need for entertainment due to invitation from colleagues and work stress.)


(There is lack of time to hang out with friends normally but there are still other less costly activities, such as gatherings with family and friends, watching movie at home or spending weekend at countryside.)

Baby day care service


(Hired maid/part-time helper or day care)


(Hire part-time or hourly helper)

Baby Food




(same as before)

Baby diapers and clothing


(Most expensive item is diaper)


(same as before)

Monthly Basic Expenditure (Myself only)



The biggest expense item, rental or mortgage expense is not included in the above. Thanks to my husband who take good care of this biggest item. Taking the above basic expenditure into account, actually I have saved at least US$1085 in my individual spending without lowering living standard. But please note I cannot buy new bag in brand name of LV, Gucci or Chanel anymore. On the other hand, the truth is they are not user-friendly for mothers who need to take care of infants and I just put aside my brand-name bags I bought previously.


Regarding income, without a stable full-time job, I have been exploring other streams of income from investment, freelance jobs in writing and translation and writing articles on Triond, etc. I choose to work at my own pace and place! But I need to work harder and harder with wisely spending my time because I still love money and am longing for leading a carefree life sooner!


Though significantly reducing my income, I enjoy my life much more now with changing lifestyle as well as spending habit. Money is the king in this society but it is not an obstacle for you to choose and enjoy your life. There are always alternatives in this world.


Thanks for reading. Enjoy your life.

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2 Responses to “Spending Review of a Stay-at-home Mom”
  1. uiputra Says:

    Good writing, good to read.

  2. Shirleyshirley Says:


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