How to Make it on $25,000 a Year (and live like no one else): Part 1

I’ve felt like I needed to write this post for quite some time now to explain and make sense of a few things for you. You may or may not have noticed that the projects on Charming Imperfections are slightly different and come out a little less often and that is because of money. It's tough to live on one income of $25000, but this family has made it happen so that the mom can stay at home!

Not long ago, we made the decision to live off of one income so that I could become a stay at home mom and raise our child the way we want him raised. We have felt a passion for the concept of good old fashioned parenting practices and couldn’t wait to start implementing them ourselves.

If you are on the fence about becoming a stay at home parent, let me persuade you a little. I worked for the first year and a half of my child’s life and was right where you are. The extra income and chance to get away was nice, but that came at a price. The price was knowing I was missing moments of Jordan’s infancy that I would never get back.

baby jordan

The price was thinking of the teachable moments I would miss and therefore lend to someone else if I wasn’t home with him.

Jordan and Rosco

The price was a fortune more than the little I was bringing home by leaving him to work. That is why we decided to take that huge pay cut and I wouldn’t go back for a second.

I feel I must disclose at this point that we aren’t rich. I think there is this underlying thought that only the rich can afford to stay home with their children and live off of one income, but I would like to discredit that myth. We are living off of Mr. Charming’s electrical apprentice wages which is about $25,000-$30,000 a year. He works incredibly hard and picks up all the overtime he can get, so please don’t for a second think that I blame him. I’m incredibly proud of how he is a “Real” man who loves and provides well for his family. Regardless of how much he works, however, we have to keep a tight ship to stay on top of things money-wise.

Another reason why our money is so tight is because we decided to attack our home mortgage with “Gazelle intensity”. Our goal is to pay it off while we are still in our twenties.


Impossible! You may say, but with proper planning, scrimping, and saving, we know we can do it.

Need a hand planning out your finances? I've got just the printables for you!

Now for some honesty, when I decided to become a Stay at home mom, I thought we could manage it financially, but we never took a realistic look at the numbers. Fast forward to a few months into this journey, and so far we had been spending more than we were bringing in by an embarrassing amount.

For this past month, we implemented some changes that have made a huge difference and I’m proud to say that they have worked! We have come out on top this month and I couldn’t be more excited to continue in this way.

So, these are the reasons why we are on a crazy tight budget and why I haven't been publishing DIY posts that require new materials: being a stay at home mom, living on an apprentice’s wages, and paying off our mortgage while in our twenties require a strict budget.

I hope you will join me for the following mini-series that will explain how we make it on $25,000 a year and live like no one else. We will talk about the change in mindset that needed to talk place, the person to listen to when starting a journey like this, and a few practical tips on how to make it happen.

It's tough to live on one income of $25000, but this family has made it happen so that the mom can stay at home!


I’m here to tell you it can be done! Be inspired by our craziness and share these posts with your friends. Maybe we can all get on the road to financial victory together!

Part 2: Changing Your Mindset

Part 3: Who to Listen to

Part 4: Practical Advice

A really helpful resource for getting your budget in order (as well as the rest of your home and family life) is my eBook: the Stay at Home Mom Survival Kit!

If you are thinking of becoming a stay at home mom, but can't because of income, please check out my brand new Mom Business Starter Kit. You could be earning legitimate income while home with your kids!