One woman’s TikTok series is going super viral for showing the day-to-day realities of a stay-at-home mom on an extreme budget, and moms everywhere are openly praising her for being so honest.
The series was created by a mom named Sam (@shawtgal49), who has posted two videos so far to take viewers through what she does to save money on activities.
“This is for the very broke SAHMs,” Sam says in the first clip, explaining that by “broke,” she means a new mom who used to work but no longer does in order to stay home with her baby full time. As a result, they rely on their partner’s income, but that salary is just barely enough for them to get by.
She has to resort to some pretty crafty measures in order to make her budget stretch, and while it isn’t always easy, it’s worth it.
With very little discretionary income, Sam says that if she wants to get out of the house, she has to do something that’s either totally free or nearly free. This has led to a ton of Googling, but it’s also introduced her to a ton of local events she might otherwise not have known about — like free story times and music hours at her local library.
In a follow-up video, Sam shared another budget-friendly trip with her baby that required minimal planning and effort.
“Today, I dressed my baby up in a themed outfit and went to the farmer’s market for some free samples,” she shared. “Obviously, we don’t have the type of money to grocery shop at a farmer’s market; we’re definitely more on a Walmart-type of budget.”
But that hasn’t stopped her from trying to experience what she can at the local destination, even if it just means she walks away with some free samples and just one or two low-cost items.
Since starting the series, Sam has earned a lot of praise from fellow SAHMs. She’s also gotten a ton of appreciation for offering something different from all of those “aesthetic home” TikTok moms who seem to have endless supplies of cash.
“Love this!!” wrote one commenter. “It’s so rare to see people sharing what it’s like to be a SAHM on a regular single in one household.”
“This is so helpful and reassuring to see a realistic view [of] motherhood,” said someone else.
“you are one of the 1st moms I can actually relate to on this app and I’m loving it,” added another.
At the same time, other SAHMs chimed in with free ideas that they’ve come across, too.
“pro SAHM tip, ask for season passes for birthdays and Christmas gifts,” one mom shared. “We get to go the zoo/museum and water parks all year round.”
Another mom suggested first trying her local library since they sometimes have free passes to parks, museums, and zoos as well.
“picnics at different parks and small hikes are my lifesavers,” one mom wrote, while another suggested looking into WIC benefits, which sometimes offer vouchers to farmer’s markets, depending on the state.
“[Another] tip is going to a fish store and just looking at the fish….really relaxing,” someone else suggested.
But by far, the best comments came from moms who encouraged Sam to keep going — no matter how hard it sometimes feels.
“You’re doing it Momma!” one person cheered.
“It will get better,” another reassured.
“SAHM was the best but poorest 12 yrs of my life,” one mom shared.
Sam could definitely relate to this one and told the mother in her reply that so far, she doesn’t regret a single thing.
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