Some moms decide to take a break from the workforce to focus on being full-time parents. If you have a spouse or partner supporting the family through their income, this becomes a much more realistic option. However, it’s important for everyone to remain involved in the household’s monetary affairs. We have some related tips that we’ll cover below to help stay-at-home moms.
1. Stick To a Spending Plan
All families need to come up with a workable household budget. That becomes even more critical if one of you is working while the other stays home to take care of the kids.
Your spending plan should cover your rent or mortgage, utility bills, vehicle payments, the various kinds of insurance you need, and food. If you have outstanding debts you’re trying to pay down, it should cover those as well. You might also employ a tool like a debt consolidation loan calculator if your situation warrants it to make paying off debt simpler and faster.
Your spending plan is something you should work out with your spouse or partner. You’ll need to allocate money for the essentials we mentioned, but it’s also ideal if there are some discretionary funds left over to cover gym dues, dining out, haircuts, new clothes, etc. If there’s enough leftover that you can contribute to a retirement account each week or month, that’s even better.
It’s helpful to sit down with your spouse or partner to discuss what insurance you need. At a minimum, you’ll want health insurance that covers all family members. Your spouse or partner might get that through their work. If not, you’ll need to look for a plan through your state’s healthcare exchange marketplace.
In addition, you’ll need homeowner’s insurance for liability reasons if you own your home. If you rent, you should strongly consider getting renter’s insurance.
You might look into a life insurance policy that covers both you and your spouse or partner. If something happens to either of you, that money will come in handy. You can use it to support your kids until they are grown.
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3. Your Credit History
Just because the family’s primary income comes from your spouse or partner at the moment, that doesn’t mean you should have nothing to do with the family’s finances. You can set up an IRA in your name.
If you’re homeowners, you and your spouse can talk about putting the house in your name as well. That should make you feel more financially stable, just in case the unthinkable happens and you end up separating from your partner.
You should also build up and maintain your credit history. You can do that by having at least one major credit card in your name and paying off the entire balance each month. That will make it much easier to take out a car loan or mortgage if you ever need to do those things.
Stay Involved in the Household’s Finances
The bottom line is to remain directly involved in the household’s monetary affairs. Set up an IRA in your name and consider putting the house in your name if you’re a homeowner. Maintain your credit history by keeping a credit card in your name and paying off the balance every month.
Further, talk to your spouse or partner to ensure you have set up adequate insurance policies. Those should include homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, health insurance, car insurance, and possibly a life insurance policy as well.
It’s also a good idea for you and your partner or spouse to have a realistic spending plan in place. It should cover all your weekly and monthly expenses, but try to leave some extra income for nonessentials or that you can put toward a retirement account.
Stay-at-home moms should know about the household’s finances. If your spouse or partner is handling all the monetary matters, it’s time that you step in and take a more active role.