Reducing from two salaries to one (in conjunction with increasing your household from two people to more) is no walk in the park. The financial impact for a stay at home parent is pretty obvious, and if you think it’s all coffee mornings, shopping and brunches you should think again. Being at home whilst trying not to spend isn’t easy, and there is a bigger picture to consider beyond the day to day self control of spending on bacon baps and lattes.
This guest post from Gabby Revel includes a few pointers that all stay at home parents may want to consider…
“Let’s talk about money, honey.” If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you and your partner have probably had conversations that start way. If the conversations happen often or, worse, are uncomfortable, maybe it’s time you both looked at the way you’re managing your finances and see if you can do better.
Even if you’re doing OK now, what about your financial future? You do want to retire at some point, after the kids are gone, right?
Here are some ways to manage your money better now and secure a better financial future.
- Keep Your Hand In
Before you do anything else, make a commitment to keep your hand in every piece of the family’s financial pie.
Turning asset management control completely over to one partner is a recipe for disaster. Stay informed. Discuss everything. Sure, you may not be bringing in a paycheck but your contributions are clearly valuable.
Any number of things can happen – death, divorce, accidents, illness – that have an impact on your financial security. If you don’t know what’s going on now, how will you fix it later?
- Take Advantage of Financial Tools
Investment books, online resources and financial managers are tools that deal with everything from your monthly budget to retirement savings. Money management apps provide real-time information to keep your budget in line and allow you to sync your financial transactions with that of your partner. Here are some of the best money management apps available:
- Mint: Mint is an app available at the AppStore and Google Play. Mint does more than keep you on budget. It also tracks and pays bills, sends alerts, schedules payment and monitors your credit score. The app also offers tips for improving credit scores and suggests ways to budget better and save more.
- GoodBudget: GoodBudget is an app based on the old but reliable envelope budgeting system. It’s perfect for people who want to budget daily expenses, save for something big and those who need to share data.
- Mvelopes: Also based on the envelope budgeting system, Mvelopes provides tools and tips for long-term financial planning. It also offers solid strategies for getting out of debt to build a strong financial future.
- Prosper Daily: Prosper Daily, formerly know as BillGuard, not only budgets your money, it protects your identity as well. The app synchronizes your accounts and sends alerts if there appears to be a breach. The alert continues until you take action.
- Prepare for the Unexpected
No one wants to think about emergencies and death. But, emergencies happen. Accidents occur. People get sick.
Make sure there is some financial backing if something happens to you or an unexpected financial emergency takes place. That’s why, as a stay-at-home parent, you have to have life insurance, whether you earn a paycheck or not. At the very least, your partner will have to pay for child care if you become incapacitated. If you die, someone has to pay for the funeral.
Making sure your partner and children are financially secure if something happens to you is just plain smart.
Gabby is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of experience writing about personal finance, beauty and fashion as well as other lifestyle topics. When she’s not writing, Gabby likes traveling and exploring the world. And she loves cats.