Some things to factor in. I spend more $ being at home than I did when working. More elaborate meals. Most of our playdates are not free, they're at toddler time places, art design places, etc etc etc. I also buy more for myself and the kids to entertain us at home (books, toys, craft supplies). It all adds up. I easily spend more than $500 each month. I'm also not going to say being a SAHM is difficult or the hardest thing I've ever done. It's easy compared to getting up, going to work, getting kids ready and out the door; coming home to keep up with laundry, food, errands, groceries. My career required much more brainpower and being "on" than being a mom does. I'm going stir crazy right now though!