Stay home parents are oftentimes portrayed as having a great time at home because society equates hard work with those who has a full time office job. When you say that you stay at home, you might hear how jealous they are with what you are doing. They feel that when you stay at home, you often just watch the tv and not do anything.
There are also some people who would feel that you are not teaching finances to the kids because you let them see you out of work. This is because society again feels that income only comes from having a career outside the house. If you are not dressed for work in the morning, you are not being a good example for your kids by letting them know it is okay to be out of work.
These are all views of people who either doesn’t have children around the house running around making a mess of all the things you just fixed or those who doesn’t have a clue who you are. If you are a stay home parent because you are too tired and lazy to get off the couch and work, then that is another matter altogether.
Pewsocialtrends.org came out with a research showing that there was an increase to 29% in 2012 from 23% in 1999 in the number of mothers who are preferring to stay at home. That is a big percentage of the total population and they must be doing something right. Even though there are still some people who think that being at home does not contribute anything to the household budget.
That may be true in the sense that staying at home usually does not come with a steady paycheck unlike people working in offices but that is not the only thing you should look at. Stay home parent might not earn from managing the household but they definitely help save with the budget. Just like saving on a nanny or even with food allowance as they can plan out and cook meals ahead of time.
Stay at home parents budget
If you are already starting to appreciate the potential of being a stay at home parent, there are things that you need to consider to help you get your finances in order.
- Build up your reserve funds. Your reserve funds will be your support system in case you get into any financial problems along the way. If you are staying at home and your spouse is the one working, then you both need to discuss what you target amount is for your reserves. This is because when something happens that merits the use of your reserve funds, getting it back up to the same level would take a much longer time because income is now coming from your spouse.
- Pay your bills ahead if possible. One of the things that you need to budget and schedule carefully are your bill payments. The Federalreserve.gov shared that 2014 ended with about 2.1% of consumers in default. This means that they have not been able to meet their financial obligations for quite sometime now. One of the things you can do to manage the payments a little better is to consolidate your debts to have one due date and payment amount every month.
- Brace your budget for a smaller income. This is one of the realities of a stay home parent because your spouse would seem more to be a financial contributor than you because the money comes from the one with the job. This is wrong in so many levels but at the end of the day, you still need to face reality that income might actually dip regardless how well you can manage the budget. With this, you need to plan your expenses accordingly to address this issue.
- Check alternative sources of funds. Being a stay home parent doesn’t have to equate to the absence of income. There are a lot of ways to earn money even while you are managing the household. You can take up consultancy where you get to dictate your time. You can also look for multiple available jobs online again, the charm of this is you get to work on your own time. You can also set up an online shop where automation is your friend and best ally.
- Get the whole family into the picture. It is tough to try and work with a smaller budget and going through it alone will not make things easier. You and your spouse might want to try getting the kids into the picture by explaining what is happening and see how they can help in their own small way. It can be making sure all the lights are off when they get home or helping make sure that there is a grocery list before heading out to buy stuff.
How to get some extra work done at home
If you are looking to earn some extra money even while you are at home, here are a few things you might want to read on to help you manage expectations. Remember that it might not be sole reason why you chose to stay home but earning a little extra on the side can help with your monthly finances.
- Make schedule and stick to it. Huffingtonpost.com recently came out with an article which is actually a satire piece pointing out that stay home parents is not an easy job with all the things that has to be done. But if you are looking to earn a little extra income on the side, you need to be able to manage you time very wisely. If you took up an online part time job then you need to know the best time to squeeze that in. It could be after everyone else is outside at work and in school. It could be after lunch when all the chores are done and over with. Whatever it is, you need to make a schedule and learn to follow it. Of course there will be times that you would not be able to stick to that schedule so you just have to learn how to adjust some work to meet a target
- Know that it will be hard. Your household chores are already tiring enough and just trying to think of adding a few more hours of work might already be exhausting. It will surely be a challenging ordeal but not totally impossible. You need to expect that you will have a hard time and would need to make a few sacrifices, like an afternoon nap just to get things done. But when you see the result of your sacrifice, you will see that it is worth it.
- You can start small. You do not have to stress yourself out with trying to earn the same amount of money as before. Remember that if you used to work in an office, the money that you were getting was because you worked full time using your skills and experience. When you stay at home, your boss can be your 2 year old whose idea of fun is throwing food in your face. Start with small targets when trying to work from home and gradually increase that amount over time.
You can stay home and manage the household but remember that your income and budget will be directly affected. Apart from lowering down costs to stretch the income, there are other stay at home parents who are able to earn a little extra on the side.