• Smart Money Moves for Stay-at-Home Moms

    Drop the victim vibe and start having a say in the family’s finances.
    by Minna Peralta .
  • woman saving coins

    These days, it isn’t uncommon for both parents to be working to meet the financial needs of the family. Stay-at-home moms are now becoming the exception rather than the rule, and there are tradeoffs to be made and money issues to be faced in being such.

    Among these may be trust issues, as well as feelings of guilt, inadequacy, anger, and resentment. Dealing with these issues can be a cinch if you keep in mind these few simple tips.

    Remember your worth
    When I was still working, I thought nothing of indulging in occasional shopping sprees or spa treatments. But now that I no longer contribute to our family income, I’m hesitant to spend money on myself even when there’s a little [money] left over at the end of the month. I haven’t had a professional manicure in over a year - Armi Avila, former retail establishment assistant manager and mom to Micah, 7, Philip, 5, and Chloe, 4

    All stay-at-home moms know that they hold one of the toughest jobs in the world, one that doesn’t give time off for vacations and illnesses. The least it should do is ‘pay' reasonably.

    Tess Carpio, a psychologist with nearly two decades of marriage and family counseling experience, agrees. "When it comes to spending on themselves, guilt seems to be the knee-jerk reaction of many non-working moms," she observes.

    To minimize any guilty feelings, Dr. Carpio recommends a trick that has worked for many of her patients: Draw a clear line separating the family budget from personal expenses.

    Once funds for the monthly essentials and savings have been earmarked, you and your husband should agree on how much you should each be paid. Whether you call it an allowance, salary, or personal budget is just a matter of semantics; what’s important is that you both agree that this should be money that neither of you have to answer for, money that you can each spend at your discretion without fear of recrimination.

    This ensures that neither of you feel deprived nor taken for granted. You can use your personal funds or save them for big-ticket luxuries. Either way, dipping into your own piggy bank should become worry- and guilt-free.

    Dr. Carpio adds that non-working moms shouldn.t feel intimidated to negotiate for their allowance. “Use the most practical argument of all - without you at home, the family would have to shell out extra money for a nanny and a helper. Even a fraction of that amount can go to your personal budget. You’re more than worth it.”

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