Soon after I became a mom, I took the decision to leave my regular job and stay home with my newborn. This decision even though was born out of my need to experience the joys of being a first time mom, but also hesitation to leave my baby to daycare and the lack of close relatives nearby contributed to an employment break which is now close to running over a year. Will I ever resume full time working? I don’t know yet but the fact remains; for this season of life, I am a stay-at-home mom.
In the meanwhile I found myself going through a lot of emotional upheaval because my financial independence has been curbed at the roots. I do have savings but then they only deplete with every expense decision that I make. Dependence on my husband to cater to every need or desire has increased a lot, somewhat decreasing my own feelings of independence and financial sufficiency.
A lot of stay-at-home moms like me out there have found themselves battling with feelings of worthlessness when they don’t contribute to the family income and no matter how much busy they are at home, somehow it doesn’t give the kind of self-validation that we get when we are employed. Wait a minute! When did a piece a paper gets to decide the importance of any kind of labor and its associated dignity? But well, it’s a whole different issue altogether that permeates down to societal flaws but for now here we are, feeling like we are sitting on our behind and breaking free bread. So let’s address this issue with a few of these financial planning ideas you can do straightaway and grab your confidence back. Heck! After your done with them go and indulge in a new lipstick or whatever your feel-good thing is, without feeling guilty about it.
1. Start a Money Generating Activity
Any passive source of income is a great thing for you that gives you not only a revenue flow but also flexibility of working around your schedules. Furthermore, if it’s a gig you are naturally good at and enjoy spending time on, it doesn’t get better than that. Some things to get you started on brainstorming are listed as follows:
- Are you a good cook?
- Are you a good designer?
- Are you good in communication?
- Are you good in software?
- Are you a good consultant?
- Are you a good photographer?
- Are you a good blogger?
Grab one thing that speaks to you and launch it. Eventually it will start paying off.
2. Start Budgeting
Perhaps a lack of budgeting got you into this situation in the first place. Don’t wallow in self-pity and start maintaining a financial journal from now onward. Record everything you spend on and plan everything you want to spend on. It will not only help you track your expenses but also help in saving unnecessary expenditure that looks small but can accumulate to a bigger amount overtime.
3. Start Investing
You don’t want to get into the same situation again ever in your life where you feel financially helpless.So even as you start earning, start investing also. Any amount invested regularly is easier to do than waiting for a considerable amount to accumulate in your savings before you invest. An ECS system can make sure than a fixed amount is getting deducted from your bank towards any investment option that you choose. Some of the best investment vehicles are mutual funds, SIPs etc.
It may be small scale when you start to take charge of your financial well-being but I can’t drive home this fact: consistent efforts reap benefits. If you wish to, you can also take on a financial consultant on board as their know-how can stand in good stead in your journey of being an independent and financially sound stay-at-home mom.
Guest post by Sheryl. Thank you Sheryl.
Writing is an ally for Sheryl whose attempts to juggle her creative outlets and motherhood are often met with piled up baby diapers and crowded kitchen sink. Sheryl’s love for words, however, has nothing to do with her frequent realization that her tongue needs a ‘backspace’ button too. Satire and humour form part of her arsenal against much of her woes. Her writing looks to engage people in conversations that point towards a more desirable and livable world. Find her on Twitter @SherylShijuSam.