Before you have kids, you can take a fairly relaxed attitude towards money. Usually, you have a reasonable disposable income, and plenty of spare cash at the end of the month, even if you indulge yourself from time to time. That state of affairs, however, tends to change once you start a family. All of a sudden, the future becomes increasingly important – not to mention the extra mouths you need to feed.
If you’re planning on becoming a mom, you’ll want to read this post. It outlines all of the money lessons it’s wise to learn beforehand to save you financial trouble once kids finally arrive.
Emergency Funds Are Indispensable
Running a family is a little bit like running a business. You have to carefully manage income and expenses, and ensure that you’ve got sufficient funds for the months. What’s more, you’ll often face unexpected expenses that will damage your finances. School trips, car breakdowns, and medical bills are all common outlays.
It’s imperative, therefore, to have an emergency fund ready to go when disaster strikes. You want to be able to ride in with cash the moment trouble hits so that your family’s life can continue as usual.
If you don’t have a cash fund, it’s a good idea to build relationships with brands like Plenti that allow you to access cash when you need it. These allow you to avoid having to “go without”, maintaining your lifestyle through a cash flow pinch.
Don’t Plan to Spoil Your Kids – Teach Them the Value of Money
When you become a new parent, you’ll want to spoil your kids endlessly. After all, they’re your creation and right at the center of your life.
Spoiling your children, however, is generally a bad idea. Doing it a couple of times a year is fine. But if they get used to it, they’ll expect more and more – and that can drain your finances like nothing else.
Be aware that kids are extremely susceptible to marketing. They’ll always want the latest toy and gadget they see on the TV and through social media advertising. And that makes your job as a parent difficult. The trick here is to teach them the value of money. Show them how hard it is to earn and what they need to do to get it. It’s not something you can do overnight. Once they understand the difficulty in acquiring it, they might bring their demands down a notch.
You Should Always Go Grocery Shopping With a List
Kids aren’t the only people who are highly susceptible to marketing. Adults are too. Studies show, for instance, that when people go shopping, they inevitably wind up spending way more than they initially intended.
Before you become a mom, therefore, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of taking a list with you every time you go grocery shopping – and sticking to it. Only get the items you need, and avoid adding to your weekly bills.
Going Out for Meals Is a Luxury
Going out for food seems like a great way to spend time before you have kids. Your friends and colleagues continually invite you out for meals at swanky restaurants.
But when you become a mom, things change. You suddenly realize which items are pure luxuries, and which are absolute necessities.
Take diapers, for instance. They’re costly, but they’re also vital for managing your baby at home. The same goes for high chairs, cribs, and bottles. If you want to raise your child successfully, it’s important to have all this paraphernalia in the house. It’s not something you can do without. By contrast, restaurant meals are!
It’s Okay to Indulge Yourself From Time to Time
When you become a mom, your whole life suddenly starts to revolve around your children. And rightly so. However, that doesn’t mean that your needs disappear. They don’t. And ignoring them can actually make family life more difficult. If you feel like you’re unable to enjoy yourself, it could have a knock-on impact on your relationships.
One critical money lesson, therefore, is to permit yourself to indulge from time to time. That doesn’t mean that you should be spending all your family’s disposable income on clothes or holidays. But it does mean reserving some of it for your personal enjoyment, outside of your family.
Perhaps the best place to direct money is into your hobbies: things you love doing because they’re fun. Having a balance in your life will make it much easier to build up the energy you need to bring up your kids in a loving and supportive environment.
Accept the Importance of Savings Automation
If you are a regular employee, your employer automatically takes taxes out of your paycheck every month.
Ideally, you should have the same approach to savings. Every month, you should set up a direct debit with your bank to withdraw a certain amount of your pay – maybe 10 percent – to your savings account. While this practice might seem a little artificial, it really works. Eventually, you learn to live on less and adjust your lifestyle around a lower income. And, what’s more, the money in your savings account tends to accumulate very rapidly over time.
Becoming a mom, therefore, is about more than just preparing for new relationships. It’s also about making sure that you’re on solid financial ground. A lot of people get into parenting without fully considering the effects that it will have on their finances. In many cases, they’re not ready for it.
The problem with this is that it detracts from what should be an enjoyable time. Nobody wants to be a stressed-out parent, worried about their financial situation. They want to be able to enjoy time with their kids, especially during their early, formative years.
Once you learn the lessons outlined in this article, you put yourself in a much better position. Getting your finances sorted helps to grease the wheels of your family’s relationships with each other, and makes the entire project considerably more enjoyable.
Become financially literate today and enjoy a better tomorrow. It’s really that simple.