Stay-At-Home Mom, gain your financial confidence back
This blog first appeared at Capital Worx and has been updated for use here.
After becoming a new mom, I left my job to stay home with my newborn. This decision was cumulative of my need to experience the joys of being a first-time mother as well as hesitation to leave my baby to daycare and the lack of close relatives nearby. It was a tough call as this meant a career break and ultimately financial loss. That decision is now close to running for about four years and two kids. Will I ever resume full time working? I don’t know yet but in the meanwhile, I am a stay-at-home mom struggling with financial independence.
Are you in the same boat like me? HEY THERE SISTA!
In the meanwhile, watching my debit list grow and credit staying at a big fat zero pinched my feministic fat cells. Sure, I was smart enough to heed sound advice to invest in savings from my working days. Those savings let me indulge in my postpartum retail therapy but that was a sinking boat without an income to keep it bobbing.
Having to depend solely on my husband to cater to our financial needs while being unable to contribute had impacted my confidence. It also adversely affected my
misplaced feelings of independence and financial sufficiency (no, thank you feminism!) or I could have been just as happy being a couch potato eating fries (ironic much?)
A lot of stay-at-home moms like me have found themselves battling feelings of worthlessness when we don’t contribute to the family income. No matter how busy we are at home, somehow it doesn’t give the kind of self-validation (or is it the SOCIETAL VALIDATION?) that we get dragging the moolah sack through the front door.
(Wait a minute! When did a piece of paper get to decide our self worth? But well, it’s a whole different issue best left to another post).
But for the moment, here we are, feeling like we are sitting on our fancy behinds and breaking free bread. So let’s address this issue with a few of these financial planning ideas you can start straight away and grab your confidence by the neck.
Heck! Once you start making some money, Honey, go and indulge in retail therapy or throw a kitty or whatever dings your bell, minus the hubby’s frenzied palpitations.
So here are 4 steps to get you started in making money while you change diapers:
1. Start Upskilling
As a SAHM, we often get trapped in the thought that our primary focus is our children. While that is true, it shouldn’t stop you from investing in yourself. Learn something you have always been interested in, but didn’t get the time to pursue. We live in a world that is bursting with knowledge resources. I learn many new things via the power of internet and cannot recommend it enough. The world is moving fast even while moms stay at home looking after their kids, You don’t want to wake up one day and see a world completely unknown to you right? One way to ensure you don’t become redundant is to learn, learn and learn.
Some of the great resources to upskill yourself in any field:
- Youtube is an amazon of tutorials if you are focused on learning (say no to useless content)
- Courses on Udemy, Coursera, etc. You can look for free ones or if you can, paid ones are often valuable too
- Books on Kindle, Google playbook, Apple Book, etc (I don’t know about you, but physical books are a no- go with toddlers around for me!)
- Physical classes, but that will depend on whether it is feasible for your situation at home
- Webinars on zoom and the likes have increased in numbers and frequency since more of our lives have gone online
Start with one topic of interest and commit to it. You will be growing your knowledge and skills and staying in touch with job trends. Benefits that don’t come from scrolling on social media or binge-watching your downtime away.
2. Start Passive Earning
Passive income rocks. You know why? because it works even when you don’t. Any passive source of income is a great thing for you that gives not only a revenue flow but also the 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 suggestions for your grey cells to munch on:
- Are you a good cook or love baking?
- Do you have an eye for fashion, home decor, landscaping?
- Are you passionate about digital content? blogs, audio, video, photos everything counts
- Are you good at technology, design, software?
- Are you a good consultant in a niche field?
- Do you love crafting, sewing, making handmade stuff?
- Are you a good teacher?
Grab one thing that speaks to you and launch it. Use the free hours to invest in yourself and eventually your efforts will start paying off.
Disclaimer: This is not easy, this is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. It is you putting in efforts into yourself in the time as a SAHM, before you can go back to a job or choose entrepreneurship as a way forward.
3. Start Budgeting
Not enough savings? Perhaps a lack of budgeting got you into this situation in the first place. Yes, I understand its hard to resist the season-ending sale. But mend your ways girl! 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 bigger amount overtime.
Yes, even a bottle of nail polish adds up if you have hundreds of them sitting like a museum collection! (guilty as charged, under reform)
Keep a spreadsheet accessible at all times. and review it every month.
Remember RDRM – Record Daily, Review Monthly.
4. Start Investing
You don’t want to get into a situation in your life where you feel financially helpless. Right? So even as you start earning, start investing too. Don’t shy away from the piggy.
Save, save, and save!
Any amount invested regularly is easier to save than waiting for a big amount to accumulate in your savings before you invest. An ECS system can make sure that a fixed amount is getting deducted from your bank and invested without you forgetting it every month. Some of the best investment vehicles are mutual funds, SIPs, etc.
You can also take the help of your spouse, a trusted friend, or a financial consultant if you are like me who doesn’t understand the money language. Their know-how can stand in good stead in your journey of being an independent and financially sound stay-at-home mom.
Remember what grandma used to say?
Every drop fills the ocean. Your efforts may be small scale when you start to take charge of your financial well-being but I can’t say it enough: consistent efforts reap benefits. Start at the earliest with these four steps and build from there. Upskill and then use your skills, budget prudently, and save proactively. Your financial health is in your hands, so no need to wait around for Prince Charming to rescue you. Tie up your hair and rescue him instead!
I’d say that’s a good plan, what do you say?
I recommend you check out CAPITAL WORX ADVISERS for your financial advice needs. Samson is the Coach and Co-Founder at Capitalworx. Personal finance advisory is very close to his heart. He is overjoyed when he sees people become stress-free because their finances are securely planned.