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Financial tips for stay-at-home moms

Melissa Chapman and her brood of three live in the urban concrete jungle of NYC. She writes Kids in the City Kids in the City a weekly column and blog for the Staten Island Advance, contributes to SheKnows, Time Out NY Kids Time Out N...

Money matters for moms

If you're a stay-at-home mom, anxious about your financial future and fearful that your spouse's once hefty paycheck may at some point significantly decrease, check out these sound financial tips to help you keep your family's finances on track in spite of the rocky economy.

As the American economy continues to nosedive on a daily basis and unemployment numbers increasingly rise, many stay-at-home moms are succumbing to the pressure to reign in their family's spending habits and get the biggest bang for their buck.

1. Plan for a pink slip - even if you're sure your spouse won't get one

According to Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, a personal finance expert and the author of Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom, while your family may currently be able to get by on just your spouse's income, you must think about how you would fare if he lost his job. Avoid potential money battles by establishing a budget together, eliminating debt, and building up an emergency cash cushion. You'll never regret being prepared for a "worst case" scenario.

2. Open at least one credit card in your own name

Ms. Khalfani-Cox notes that many stay-at-home moms make the mistake of allowing all the family's credit to be held solely in their husband's name. It's best for their personal credit rating, in the event of divorce and/or a spouse's death to have one credit card in their own name.

3. Get a life insurance policy on yourself

Stay-at-home moms need life insurance because if something should happen to them the cost of replacing all the services they provide for their kids would be enormous. Ms. Khalfani-Cox says according to Salary.com, if the typical American stay-at-home mom got paid she'd earn more than $116,000 a year for her work! This means that if she were to die, a life insurance policy would help pay for services, like child care so that their kids aren't short-changed.

4. Have fun for free

Stay-at-home moms can research ways to have fun without spending too much money, says Leslie Truex author of The Work-At-Home Success Bible. These include taking their kids to parks, museums and libraries, which in addition to books, offer videos and electronic games too.

5. Buy used and barter

It's easier than ever to buy and barter quality used items through resources like Freecycle and Craigslist. Leslie Truex author of The Work-At-Home Success Bible reports that local consignment shops are also a great resource for stay-at-home moms where they can shop for gently used items. This will not only help save money, but it will also put money back into their local community.

6. Develop a part-time income from home

According to Cristin Frank Frankhaus, LLC, co-owner of CarryCargot.com, stay-at-home moms can use their talents and skills to find freelance work or start a home business. If they're crafty they can check out Etsy, an online marketplace for selling and buying all things handmade. If they've got trade skills such as copy writing, proofreading, research and design, they can contact local businesses and schools to see if they need help.

7. Cash-only grocery shopping

Always take a list and cash allotment for a shopping trip advises Kelley Scarsbrook AKA, The Stay at Home Mother. Cash allows stay-at-home moms to monitor their spending a lot closer as it isn't something abstract (like a debit card or credit card) and helps them become a lot more aware of what is passing through their fingers. Whenever possible buy in bulk, and use coupons.

 


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