Being a mother is difficult, and you didn’t need anyone else to tell you that. You’ve got to think not only about looking after your little ones but looking after yourself so that you can continue to be a healthy and sane mother to your little ones. Whilst there are so many factors to being a decent parent on an emotional level, there’s the looming importance of money, on a physical level, that continues to hang over your head. Here are some tips to help you become the money-conscious mom you really want to be.
Organizing your spending.
This is Financial Advice 101, but it’s vitally important that you give this point an absolute priority above all else. It’s often baffling that so many people find themselves deep in a downward spiral of debt until you consider just how easily it can happen if you’re unorganized with your money management. It’s time to lay out a budget for the month because that’s the best way to get an overall look at your in goings and outgoings so as to avoid spending beyond your means and having to borrow to cover the difference.
Begin by accounting for all your necessities. You need to ensure that your money stretches to cover all the important aspects of your household so that your children and the family as a whole are well looked-after. Factor in rent/mortgage payments, utility bills, taxes, food, and gas money; after that, the sum you’re left with is your disposable income for the month. It helps to set aside some of these into an emergency fund for the kids and the rest of the family, should that ever be needed. Then you’ll know how much you can afford to spend on luxuries for the little ones (and yourself, should you ever feel that you deserve a treat for being a great mom).
Learning the tricks of the trade.
This doesn’t mean turning socks inside out so they can be worn again; this means the real financial tricks of the trade. You should be doing all the research you can in order to become a financial expert because this isn’t knowledge reserved for the suits in the big corporations; everybody needs to know how to be smart with their money. We’re so dependent on the resource that it seems silly for us to neglect its importance.
Picking up tips from articles such as this one or browsing expert advice over at Fortunate Investor are both good places to begin. You need to learn not only how to save money but how to spend it because, no matter how frugal you are, you will need to spend money at times simply to live. It’s best that you learn how to cut out unnecessary costs and get better deals on goods you need rather than avoiding consuming everything. Of course, sometimes cutting back is plausible and entirely the smart thing to do…
Reducing your daily consumption of all things as an individual is hard enough, but, as a mother, you also have to think about reducing the consumption of your entire family household. You need to use water, electricity, and a variety of other resources in your household, but you might not need to use as much of these things as you’re all currently doing. Eco-friendly living might help you to develop more money-conscious habits too because saving the planet is all about using less. Start thinking about how long members of the family take in the shower; teach your kids responsible behavior when it comes to not wasting water whilst brushing their teeth either.
Teach them all the basics about turning off light switches and their computers when they’re not using them, but also think about the things you can do as a mother to reduce the amounts of consumption around the household. For starters, you could replace old and broken appliances with energy-efficient alternatives. That’s a great way to cut down on energy bills, as are double glazed windows and insulated walls. Just think about all the ways you can trap energy or avoid using it altogether. You’re in charge of your utility bills, and all it takes is a little forward-thinking.
Maybe you’ve never been one of those moms, but you should give it a go. Packed lunches are huge money-savers because preparing your own meals with grocery ingredients is far cheaper than sending your kids off each day with money for the ridiculously expensive (and often not very nice) school lunches. In fact, you could make a packed lunch for your husband whilst you’re at it because he’s probably wasting a ridiculous amount of money on lunches at work too.
Invest money in your family’s future.
This is a very different approach to being a money-conscious parent, but investing your money could be a great way to help it grow for your kids and give them an even better future. Think about real estate because this is a great business model for anybody with the will and determination to turn an asset into an even more valuable commodity down the line. You could invest in stocks and bonds, but real estate investments are far more solid and secure; they’re based on an asset which exists physically in the ground.
Show your kids how it’s done.
You want your kids to have a good role model, and that’s even important when it comes to boring things such as money. You need to teach them how to spend within their means because that’s a key skill in later life. Children are very influenced by their parents, and if they see your smart money-saving habits and the ways in which you purchase goods when you’re out and about then they’re bound to follow your lead. You could show them how to write up a simple budget and then let them prove to you how good they are at using their pocket money effectively.