Balancing Family and a Budget: Finance Tips for Working Moms
Being a mother is hard work. It’s safe to say you probably already know this. However, a mother’s lifestyle is even busier when she works (which is becoming more and more common).
Between preparing vegetarian meals for kids and raising them in the most stable environment, it can sometimes feel like quite a challenge to be a responsible mom. Having to hold down a job and maintain financial stability on top of that can make it seem even more difficult to stay on top of essentials like money management.
That doesn’t have to be the case, though! If you’re a busy working mom, keep these financial tips in mind. They’ll help simplify what could otherwise feel like one of your more overwhelming responsibilities.
Know the Basics
Getting control over your finances takes some degree of effort at first. You need to complete a few early steps to make life easier for yourself in the long run. Luckily, the financial benefits are worth the time.
Specifically, sit down and determine what your expenses are. This includes both regular expenses (rent/mortgage payments, food, etc.) and any debt you need to pay off. You also need to monitor your family’s spending for about a month.
Once you’ve done so, you can better understand what you need to set aside money for, and what your family is already spending money on. That’s critical to figuring out where you need to make changes.
Don’t worry if this sounds a little intimidating. There are now plenty of apps that let you monitor spending easily. You don’t need to jot it down in a log every time you spend money anymore!
Knowing what you need to spend money on is obviously important. That said, you should also determine what you want to eventually spend money on. Doing so helps you decide how much you need to put away in savings each month.
For instance, perhaps you want to send your kids to college. Find out what college will likely cost when they’re old enough to attend, and calculate how much you’ll need to save each year to ensure you can pay for it. You’ll be much less stressed in the future if you set these kinds of goals, and make plans for achieving them, now.
Learn to Invest
Saving money effectively doesn’t need to involve merely setting aside part of your paycheck in a bank account every week. To maximize your savings, you may want to invest.
Just make sure you know what you’re doing beforehand. Investing can be a great way to grow your savings, but it involves a little bit of risk.
Before jumping into an investing strategy, read blogs and books on the topic, watch relevant videos, and consider taking online investing courses. Some of them are even free! Again, it will take some time to learn the essentials, but once you do, you can invest with confidence.
Discuss Spending & Financial Goals with Your Partner
Don’t overlook your partner’s role in personal finance. Odds are good their spending affects you, and vice versa. You need to be on the same page to make sure you’re working together towards a common goal. If you take the time to get on the same page, you’ll have someone on your side who can also help with tracking finances, making plans, and finding investment opportunities.
Most importantly, be proactive. Tracking your spending is something you need to do constantly. There may be instances when you find you need to make changes to your habits. There might also be times when you find you can afford to spend more than you have been. As a busy mom, you’ll be more likely to know when those times are if you remember these tips.