Making the decision between continuing to work and staying home with her children is one of the toughest calls to make for any woman when the time comes, with many women struggling with justifying putting their job on hold in order to commit to the raising of their children. Apart from getting used to a different lifestyle, giving up your job can also feel like giving up your financial independence, which many mothers are reluctant to do. However, if you do make the decision to stay at home, there are several finance habits you should adopt, in order to manage the costs of living with one salary less.
Prepare for it ahead of time
If you know you would prefer staying at home with your kids, you can try to see whether you can live relying on only one income before you need to make that decision. This way you will see what cutbacks you will need to make and whether it is something you can grow accustomed to and be comfortable with. More importantly, this way you can make sure you can afford to quit your job to be able to spend more time with your children. Apart from that, putting one paycheck aside for a longer period of time should amount to a hefty sum in your savings account.
Make monthly budgets
In order to prevent struggling money-wise, you should make a habit of making monthly home budgets. Keep track of how much money you have available and where it is being spent. You can divide the expenses into several categories, in order to distinguish between essential and non-essential expenses. Also, if possible, try to include an emergency fund in the budget for unforeseen circumstances. This will allow you to make smart cutbacks if necessary and make sure money is being distributed responsibly. Although you may not be used to making budgets, getting good at it is bound to make your life easier.
Hold off investments which can wait
Adjusting to a new stay-at-home lifestyle may also mean postponing any renovation plans or other investments you’ve had in mind, in favor of other, newly-arisen expenses. And this sounds logical enough. However, what about certain must-fixes or unexpected breakages which require immediate attention, leaving you unable to budget for them? In such cases, you may want to apply for an Our Money Market home renovation loan in order to cover the associated expenses while receiving flexible loan terms. Simply put, there are some things which you can’t really prepare for, but you should always be aware of your options and how to pick the best one.
Work from home
Although your obligations around the house will probably leave you with little spare time, try to find the room to squeeze in a part-time job you can do from your home into your busy schedule. If you manage to do so and stick with it, not only will it help your family financially, but will also make you feel more self-satisfied. Some of the more popular part-time jobs among stay-at-home-moms include freelance writing, blogging, transcribing, etc. but it can also be virtually anything else you have experience with or are good at.
Try to pay off your debt
Although this may seem a daunting task, or even impossible, paying off a part, or even all of your debt is entirely achievable if planned for in advance. The key is to start working towards it in a timely manner and with the right plan. Managing to repay some of your debt will probably free up a substantial amount of money for your monthly budget, and thus make it far easier for you to take on the role of a stay-at-home mom.
Renegotiate your existing contracts or get better ones
Many service providers you have signed contracts with would be prepared to offer you better rates, rather than see you take your business elsewhere. If you have never renegotiated contracts with your cable or internet provider, or your insurance company, you should definitely give it a shot. Alternatively, if another provider could offer you better contract terms, consider terminating your existing contracts. Budgeting in this sense could also include giving up some of the non-essential services you are subscribed to, in order to cut back on your expenses even further.
Staying at home to raise your children is a decision which requires some sacrifices to be made both by the stay-at-home mom and the family as a whole. However, if you decide to do so, the suggestions described above are just some methods which can help you make ends meet and cope with the financial struggles you might face in order to maintain your financial security. Finally, although it may seem a daunting prospect, remember that many families have managed to make it work before and that many are doing so now.