Nov 27, 2014

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5 Personal Finance Tips for Stay at Home Moms

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Are you a stay at home mami?  What are you doing to look out for your personal finances?  Protect yourself and your family by following these 5 personal finance rules!

1.  Prepare for the unexpected

As a mami, you know how important it is to be prepared for the unexpected.  That’s why we carry baby wipes and hand sanitizer everywhere we go, right?  We know that life can change in a matter of moments and we have to make sure that we are prepared to deal with whatever life throws our way.  Prepare yourself by having these two legal documents in your mami stash: a will,  and a power of attorney for your children.

Every adult person needs a will.  If you have you have children, the need is that much more.  In a will you can establish guardianship for your children as well as distribute your assets in the event of your untimely death.  You can also set up provisions in the event something were to happen to both you and your spouse.  Wills are not for the dead, rather they are for the living.  They make life easier for your family in your absence.  Unpleasant to discuss.  Totally necessary to have.

We provide power of attorney (POA) for our children to my parents and renew it as required.  The POA  grants my parents the authority to act as my kiddos’ guardians in my absence.  Since our children spend quite a bit of time with their nana and papa, it makes life easier during their extended stays.

2.  Plan for the worst

Divorce

Divorce has an overwhelmingly negative impact on stay at home moms.  Women who choose to stay at home often sacrifice potential earning power,  career development opportunities, and end up with significant gaps in their j0b history.   You can read more about the economic impact of divorce on women by visiting LIVESTRONG.

Protecting yourself from divorce is not something we want to even have to think about.  I love my husband and I trust him completely.  I have faith in my marriage and the strength of our relationship.  There are, however, two things I do not posses: 1) the ability to read his mind; 2) a crystal ball.  As much as I trust us, I cannot, in good faith, say “never.”  I have no idea what time or the future has in store for us, but I know that, without his income, I’m vulnerable.  Take the steps in this article and you will be more than on the right path in protecting your financial well-being from the dreaded “big D.”

Disability & Death

By no means are disability and death the one in the same, but the action you need to take in order to protect yourself from these two threats are: Insurance.  Both you and your spouse need to have adequate insurance coverage in the event of  death or disability.  If your spouse works full-time and is salaried, chances are they already have some type of term life insurance coverage.  As a rule, I personally advise my clients to seek out term life insurance rather than whole life insurance policies because term policies are cheaper and provide the same coverage.

Disability insurance is a lesser known and even less understood insurance policy by most.  You can read more about disability insurance by checking out Quick and Dirty Tips Money Girl article about disability insurance

3.  Don’t turn a blind eye to the family finances

Just because you’re not the money manager in your household doesn’t mean that you’re excused from knowing what is going on with the family finances.  “I am just not good with money” or “He handles the money” are not sufficient excuses to ignore your family’s personal finances.

If something were to happen to your spouse, like an unexpected death, do you know the bare bones to run your home, like when the bills are due, or how much your family earns and spends each month?  Do you know how much debt your family is carrying?  Do you know where the passwords are to the online banking and bill paying accounts?  Do you know if you have emergency savings?  Are you an authorized user or a joint account holder for the checking, savings, loans, and credit card accounts?  There’s a difference.

Several years ago I realized that, as the money manager, I was doing a horrible disservice to my spouse if I didn’t inform him about our finances.  From that point forward, mi amor and I sit down at least three times a year to review our personal finances.  You should do the same.

Did you know that Divorce.com cites financial disagreement as the top cause of divorce?  Being on the same page about your finances is a great way to fend off the “big D.”

4.  Invest in yourself

One day los ninos are going to head out on their own and do wonderful things in the world.  What are you doing to prepare for that inevitable transition?  Will you go back to school or work?

If you’re not actively thinking about and investing in your future, you are selling yourself and your potential short.

Start establishing a goal timeline for yourself to figure out where you want to be in the next 10, 15, 0r 20 years.  If you have a dream, there’s no time like the present to start figuring out how to make that dream a reality.

5.  Save for your retirement

Yes, one day, you will retire.  I don’ t know about you, but I plan on being that viejita with the white sun visor and gold tennis shoes living it up by cruising 4 times a year.  Mi amor and I have grand retirement plans, so we’re working hard now to be able to fulfill our senior years dreams.  Hubby has the benefit of a pension and retirement savings with his Air Force career.  When I worked, I set aside in my employer’s 401k, but when I stopped working, so did my contributions.  Did you know that stay at home moms can save for retirement with a spousal IRA?  Check out SmartMoney’s Guide to Spousal IRAs for more information.

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Adrianna Domingos-Lupher

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher, MA, is an Accredited Financial Counselor and proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a military spouse and mami of two who is constantly reinventing her approach to career and family life. She is the owner and writer at Military Money Chica and the Co-founder of Military Spouse Bloggers. On her personal blog, Military Money Chica, she seeks to empower military spouses to make the most of their money, family, and the military experience with a sprinkling of Latina sabor. Military Spouse Bloggers is the first professional network and agency that seeks to help military spouses build a portable and sustainable career in new media.

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