Why a Budget Can Make or Break Your Homeschool

Budgets.  Yes, budgets.  They’re often the least favorite household chore.  In fact, according to a Gallup poll, two out of three households don’t even have a budget!

Yet if you want to homeschool, I find budgets to be essential.

Why Are Budgets Essential for Homeschoolers?

You’re Likely A One-income Family

If you homeschool, you’re likely a one-income family.  In our family, my husband brings in 89% of our monthly income; I bring in the other 11%.  We’re not entirely a one-income family, but we’re pretty close.  That means money is often tight, and we need to budget to make sure that we have enough money to cover our expenses.

I’ll be honest here.  There are some times when I think to myself, if the kids were in school, I’d be able to work part-time or full-time and make additional money for our family so it would be easier to meet our financial goals.

However, as long as we keep and follow a budget, I’m blessed to be able to stay home with my kids and teach them.  I love this time I get to spend with them!  For our family, homeschooling works because we get to take vacations around my husband’s schedule, we sometimes get to go to conferences with him, and we can teach our kids at their own pace.

Without a budget and a firm financial plan, some homeschoolers have to make the difficult decision to put their kids back in school so that the homeschooling spouse can return to work and alleviate financial stress.

Homeschooling Can Be As Expensive Or Cheap As You Make It

Another reason why a budget is essential is that it is very easy to spend a lot of money on homeschool curriculum.  If you are a curriculum junkie like I am, being tempted by the latest and greatest is very easy.  If you’re not careful, you may have excess homeschool curriculum filling storage tubs and book shelves.

A yearly homeschool budget can help motivate you to carefully research the homeschool curriculum you’re considering using as well as motivate you to buy during sales or to look for cheaper places to buy the curriculum.

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support!

You ultimately have to find the budget that works best for you.  We’ve been using YNAB (You Need a Budget) for three months now, and we really like it!

This post is part of Blogging through the Alphabet, Letter B, hosted by A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool.  To read more posts focusing on a topic starting with the letter “B” click on the button below:

A Net In Time Schooling


  1. I’ve not used a budget developed by others before. Spending cash for everything really helps maintain a budget as it makes you count your nickels (can’t say pennies anymore as we don’t have pennies in Canada any longer)

  2. A budget really is important, isn’t it? Know how much is available and how much I’d like to spend, and finding a compromise between the two has helped me have what we needed as far as supplies and materials in our homeschool over the years. I’m so grateful these days that there are so many things available for all spending levels!

  3. Having a budget has really helped us over the years. I just cannot imagine how families live without one!

    Sometimes I help out the budget by selling the gently used curriculum to fund the new ones 🙂

  4. We have lived with a written budget plan for the past 18 years. It makes everything easier and we have been able to meet so many of our goals as a one-income family. If you don’t plan for where the money will go, it manages to spend itself. 🙂 Great post. – Lori

  5. My husband was unemployed off an on the last five years, and for the last year has been on medical disability. Even though he brings in money from the state, that is allocated to rent. So I now bring in 100% of our spendable income. It’s been hard but God has been good. I rarely purchase curriculum new. We do not own a credit card so it’s like using cash which helps a lot. I’m hoping to not have to spend more than a couple hundred dollars this next year, if even that.

  6. I am one of those families who does not keep a budget 🙁 I try, and than forget. However, when it comes to homeschooling, I know my max amount to spend each year and stick to that! I love that you can find cheap to free quality homeschool products if you know where to look! Thank you for joining us as we Blog Through the Alphabet!

  7. Melissa, thank you! This is a great encouragement and reminder. I really do think that rather than bring constraint, a budget brings freedom. 🙂

  8. What a great reminder 🙂

  9. My husband does our budget and it always surprises me how each month we make it. Sometimes we think of going to cash again. So far after 15 years we pay or credit cards off every month and never go over.

    Yes, I sell curriculum to help out the homeschool budget which is so helpful.

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