My mom always worked. When we were kids, she worked for a dentist. Smart. We got great deals on dental work and braces. When I was in high school she worked at Brigham Young University. Smart. We got half tuition.
Was it my mother’s life dream to be a receptionist for a dentist and later work as an administrative assistant to the vice president of BYU? Not really, though she excels in her work and is beloved by her employers.
She went to college and graduated in History. She taught for a while before she was divorced and if she could have chosen any career, I think she might have chosen to be a teacher. But she didn’t get to choose.
My dad, on the other had, dreamed of being a veterinarian. He did well in school and worked hard to achieve this goal. Apparently his dream also included another lady and not me or my older sister. He got what he wanted and my mom got to move across the country with 2 little kids to find a job to support herself. Sometimes things turn out differently than you plan.
When I was pregnant I developed an irrational fear of my husband dying. We’d been married for 4 years and while I, of course, didn’t want him to die, I never really thought about it until I was pregnant. Being pregnant made me feel vulnerable and dependent on him.
My husband has been starting up businesses for the last 10 years. We’ve had some ups and downs. And just like divorce and death, you can rarely predict the downs.
In addition to all the catastrophic things that can effect a woman’s finances, sometimes you’re just underemployed and need more money. I think everyone feels like they could use a little extra cash most of the time.
There are really only 2 things we can do to effect our cash flow: 1) Spend less money. 2) Bring in some extra cash.
Women all over the internet are working on these 2 things whether they are couponing, surfing the web for deals, pinning homemade laundry soap and handmade gifts or managing their own Etsy shops, selling photo shoots, and running ads on their blogs. We are an industrious group! The internet is a great tool for women who are trying to supplement their income or make their paycheck go further.
There are exceptions to every rule, but it just seems like moms have to get a bit more creative about bringing in the extra cash. My friend does comedy improv and voice-over work to supplement her family’s income while “staying home” with 5 kids.
In addition to spending less and bringing in extra, I think it’s important to keep the following tips in mind no matter what tax bracket you fall into:
- Be informed about money–even if you aren’t the primary breadwinner. Know your accounts and policies.
- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.
- Get an education and prepare for a job, even if your dream is to quit and raise babies.
- Live frugally–spend less than you make.
- Model good spending habits. Children learn their attitude towards money from their parents.
What about you? Are you hustling to bring in some extra cash? Planning menus to stretch that dollar? How do you stay informed about money and who pays the bills in your household? Share your craziest money-making enterprises and your best frugal secrets in the comments!
Read my blog, Every Day I Write the Book