Being young and single without a care about budgeting, or retirement planning is acceptable – to a certain degree. Priorities are skewed and responsibilities are less.
However, being a mom with children, it’s down right careless.
Yes, it’s unfortunate financial education isn’t taught in schools. And of course it’s frustrating that we have to be dragged through the school of hard knocks in order to set things straight. But, at some point it’s simply up to us to take the bull by the horns and put into place a solid financial plan – for the sake of our families.
No, money isn’t everything. But, it ranks pretty high up. And money problems can cause a ton of damage and stress that’s perfectly avoidable.
Don’t be scared. Getting a grip on your finances and tidying them up isn’t difficult. You get to see results rather quickly with a little focused attention. Just like you need to fill your kids emotional bucket, you need to “fill your financial bucket”. Watch how some TLC can make a big difference in your life.
If the checkbook is ignored, it gets naughty. It just sits there, dangerously silent. Like the eery quietness from your kids when they are in another room… you just know they’re up to something. You need to check in, frequently. Know what’s going on, daily. Stay focused and alert. You’re a mom, it should be easy for you. The instincts are already in place.
Now, I don’t recommend spanking children but I do think a proverbial financial spanking may be necessary as a means of waking you up. Here are some red flags that may indicate a spanking or good slap is necessary (in no particular order):
1. Money fights with your spouse.
Fighting isn’t fun. Fighting about money is even less fun. It carries a ton of stress and makes the whole house cold and unhappy. Being able to talk to your husband and work out a plan, together, is so much better. If you continually fight about money *SMACK*, time to change that!
2. Charging your groceries on a credit card.
Boy, I remember the days when I never thought twice about charging groceries. Of course we didn’t pay off the bill each month and the interest and other charges likely doubled the actual grocery amount. Two, three months of doing this and things spiral out of control. Do you charge your groceries? *SLAP*, you need to change this!
3. Ending each month with zero money left over, and no savings.
Now if this isn’t the best indicator that you’re living well outside your means, than I don’t know what is. Let me assure you, it doesn’t matter if you bring home $30k per year or $300k per year, creating a financial plan that allows you to pay the bills AND save is perfectly doable. *SPANK*
4. Spending your money without a game-plan.
It’s called a budget. Or you can call it a spending plan, or a game-plan. It involves a little time and effort. It’s awesome and wonderful when you have one. Oh, you don’t? *POW*
5. No back-up savings in place.
An emergency fund. No? *KABOOM*
6. Financial goals, what are those?
What better time than the new year to put into place some short term and long term goals. Preferably sitting down and creating goals together as a couple of course. Pay off all your debt this year, budget for a family trip to Disney Land, or make this year one that is free of any money arguments. Got goals? *BIFF*
7. Having no clue where all your money goes.
Don’t feel bad. There are millions in the same boat as you if you found yourself committing any of the above. If you haven’t already, get your free Mainstream Mom workbook and get to work!
Trust me, after awhile this stuff becomes fun… 7 Simple Strategies to Take the Stress Out of Money Management.
Imagine never fighting over money and paying for things you want with money you have. Never swiping a credit card because you simply don’t have the cash. Planning vacations, creating a spending plan and making money issues a thing of the past.