Being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job, but the pay isn’t very good. Compensation comes in the form of hugs, doodles to put up on the fridge, and all the messes you have to clean up. Unfortunately, these aren’t legal tender.
The world would be a better place if you could pay your mortgage or utility bills with your kids’ crafts, but right now, you need to cut a check and pay actual money to cover these expenses. That can be tricky when you’re a stay-at-home mom, but you can make living on a single income work. Follow these three simple tips to help balance your family’s finances.
Make and Revisit Your Budget
A budget is your family’s spending plan that lets you know where your money goes each month.
This is important from an organizational point of view — you’ll see the bills and other expenses that help you keep a roof over everyone’s heads. You can track their due dates and make sure you have the cash ready at the right time.
It’s also crucial as a learning tool. You can spot bad spending habits that waste your family’s money.
You can write one down on a piece of paper or use an app to help you along. Either way, don’t be afraid to revisit your budget often. You’ll want to update it any time something happens to change your income or expenses.
Plan for Emergencies
Surprises are a natural part of raising a family, but they aren’t always welcome. Maybe you need to rush your child to the ER after she crashes her bike, or your trip to the mechanic’s cost twice as much as you were expecting.
These unwanted bills put a lot of pressure on a single income, which is why you should plan early for these emergencies. Setting aside a small amount of cash each month could help you tackle these bills down the line.
Financial rule of thumb states you should save anywhere between three and six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund. This may seem like a lot, but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to build an emergency fund, so don’t be discouraged.
Have a Backup
If something goes wrong before you can rebuild your savings, an online line of credit might be the answer. Line of credit personal loans act as a cushion when you’re in a tough spot financially. Unlike personal loans, an online line of credit acts as a standby of cash when you’re short on funds, and you’ll only be charged on what you borrow.
You’ll also have the option to make a minimum payment or pay a larger amount once you receive your bill.
Here’s a hint: the online line of credit experts at MoneyKey always recommend paying as much as you can against your bill. Making more than the minimum on a CC Flow Line of Credit through MoneyKey may leave you with more available credit for the next time you’re in need of funds to help with an emergency.
Managing your family’s finances as a stay-at-home mom is simple — just remember these tips when you sit down to make a budget.