What does “financial independence” look like for a work-at-home mom (WAHM)? Can a woman who works from home achieve the same kind of financial independence and security as a woman who is employed in a regular, 9-to-5 job out of the home?
The answer: Absolutely yes!
Heather Armstrong’s dooce.com generates millions of views, gets tons of traffic, hence, thousands of dollars in advertising. Her blog is so popular that she is called the “queen of mommy bloggers”, and earns so much revenue that her husband resigned from his former job and now manages the back end and technical requirements of her blog.
How’s that for WAHM financial independence?
As a WAHM myself, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a steady and ample income that is separate from my spouse’s. My freelance consulting business has grown so much that my income has more than doubled (considering my previous employment and take-home pay!). My blog has also helped me create a little sideline income stream. So, in many ways, being a work-at-home freelancer has allowed me to contribute to the family’s savings and small investments.
It’s the same for many of my fellow WAHMs, both here in Manila and those in other countries. Whether they are telecommuting employees, freelancers or entrepreneurs, home-based, income-earning moms are finding ways to earn their keep and contribute a significant amount to the family income.
How? Let’s take a look.
1. WAHMs “own” their financial obligations, businesses, and bank accounts, too. Marge Aberasturi, a professional virtual assistant who owns the VA company, shares how financial freedom is real for her. “I am actually part owner of a science high school in our town, and I'm proud to say that the money we invested on that venture all came from my virtual assistance income,” says Marge. A self-professed former corporate slave, Marge and her husband were used to the cushy incomes and perks of a dual-corporate life. However, since Marge decided to set up shop through her home-based venture, husband and wife have discussed and have “owned” certain financial obligations in the family.
“(For instance) I take care of the tuition and materials of my two homeschoolers and all other miscellaneous expenses (treats for the kids, gadgets, etc.),” says Marge. Her husband, on the other hand, takes care of the household expenses, the family's health insurance and building their retirement fund.
Similarly, Gayle Ortiz, a health and beauty product retailer and owner of a printing business, says that she and her husband have also “laid claim” to certain family expenses so that both can maintain their own personal incomes. “We talked about our financial contributions. Hubby takes care of the household expenses,” says Gayle, whose income goes to her personal expenses, the children’s “wants” and treats. She also makes it a point to set aside her life insurance contributions from her own savings.