It doesn’t matter if your husband makes a million dollars a year, every stay at home mom needs a back up plan when it comes to making money. A back up plan can be something as simple as a side hustle or something as complicated as continuing education courses. You never know what the future holds, which is why it’s so important for women, especially stay at home moms, to be financially literate and have a back up plan when it comes to providing for your family.
Every Stay at Home Mom Needs to Prepare for the Worst
Ugh, this is such a hard post to write because I just finished listening to The Power of Vulnerability, a talk by Brene Brown. She has this entire section dedicated to foreboding joy- where you can’t fully enjoy the moment because you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I know that in order to appreciate life, we need to enjoy the moment and stop preparing for the worst. However when it comes to money, I fully believe that we must prepare for the worst. If you plan for the future and save wisely, you will feel more secure which in turn allows you to be happy since you aren’t worrying about money all the time.
I know this is an awful thing to think about and this blog post will probably bomb. I mean, who really wants to read this? Who sees this on Pinterest and thinks, “yes, I’ll work on my finances today instead of planning the Pinterest perfect charcuterie board”? I’m willing to bet that not many stay at home moms are excited to read this. Yet, I also know that most stay at home moms need to read this.
Death, illness, and divorce aren’t fun topics. Still, we need to talk about them and think about how we might care for our families if something bad happens.
Why I Side Hustle
I had my own huge epiphany a few months ago when I was laying down next to my boys. I was letting them fall asleep on me while I read Expert Secrets. As a blogger and entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to improve my business and make more money. Part of that is to read as much as I can about successful people in my field. For that reason, I read Expert Secrets and made notes in the margins like a mad person.
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My son recognized the money symbol that I’d written in the margin and asked me why I had written that symbol in my book. I answered, “because I want to make enough money to take care of you.”
That’s when my huge epiphany came crashing down on me.
I often wonder why I cling so hard to my blog and making extra money. After all, Tom isn’t struggling as an attorney. Now that he has paid off his student loans, we don’t have to live on such a strict budget anymore. We still live on a budget though! I strongly feel like everyone should live on a budget no matter how much money you make.
When my son asked me why I want to make money, it all become clear to me. Has that ever happened to you? Where you know the answer, but you don’t really understand it until someone asks you?
I side hustle because of the experiences I had as a child. As much as I love my mom, I don’t want to be in the same position as her.
I look up to my mom in so many ways. She’s the kindest and strongest person I’ve ever met, but she hasn’t had an easy lot when it comes to money.
She left the workforce after I was born and didn’t reenter until she and my dad divorced when I was 17. She has since had a hard time making an income. As a stay at home mom myself, I worry that I may end up in her position.
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My driving force in college was to get a degree that could serve me well. I always knew that I wanted to be in a better situation than my mom. I ended up with a bachelors in biology and a masters in science education. Going into motherhood, I felt prepared that I’d be able to get a job if I needed to. After all, science teachers are always in need.
A Side Hustle and a Back Up Plan
I realized pretty early on in my teaching career that I didn’t enjoy teaching. However, I love knowing that my masters in science education means I can get a teaching job easily if I need to.
What really makes me happy is making some extra money blogging when the kids nap or sleep. I love knowing that I am able to provide for them in a small way with my side hustle. I truly believe that everyone needs a side hustle or a back up plan, no matter what their financial situation is. I hope that if I do need to earn a full time income again, I’ll be able to ramp my side hustle up and do this instead of going back to work as a science teacher.
Why Stay at Home Moms Need a Side Hustle or Back up Plan
Let me ask you this: if your primary means of income were to stop today, would you be able to provide for yourself?
If you didn’t answer yes, then you need a side hustle or a back up plan.
Instead I’m saying that you need to make sure that you can get another job easily, or make sure you are keeping up with marketable skills in your industry.
A side hustle can be so much fun
First off, I have to tell you how much I love having my blog as a side hustle. I can’t express how great it feels emotionally to have something to focus on other than my kids. Even if I didn’t make a dime from my blog, I would still do it because it gives me a purpose other than being a mom. It’s a creative outlet that is also a form of meaningful work for me.
Even if you don’t feel like you need to make money from a side hustle, I strongly encourage all stay at home moms to find something that gives you a purpose outside of being mom. It feels so nice to have something that you can check off of a list that isn’t cooking dinner, cleaning up after the kids, or cleaning the house. I’m telling you, a side hustle or hobby can only change your life for the better.
Other than feeling like you have a purpose, here are some reasons why stay at home moms should have a back up plan or side hustle.
Need a side hustle idea? Check out these side hustles!
Reasons you need to have a back up plan or side hustle
This post wasn’t easy for me to write, however, it’s really important that you think about these scenarios and have a strategy for how you might deal with each of them. It’s also important to work on your own financial literacy. If your partner takes care of all the bills, you should come up with a system to understand how to do it too. Even though you aren’t the bread winner, you must be involved in the money making decisions.
Here are some of the not so fun reasons you need to have a back up plan for how to make money without your partner.
No one plans to get divorced, but it happens. Tom and I talk about divorce a lot because we are both children of divorced parents. We don’t plan to get divorced. We don’t want to. However, we want to have open conversations about what our expectations would be if we were to get divorced.
I’m not naive enough to think that these conversations will make it easy for us if we do get divorced. What these conversations do is help me think about what I’d do financially if alimony and child support aren’t on the table. It’s a scary thing to think about, but it’s something that is so important to me. Having a back up plan to teach middle or high school science helps me feel confident that I can take care of myself financially if I need to.
What would you do if you got divorced and got zero alimony or child support?
This is not a fun topic to discuss, but it needs to be done. Talk to your spouse about insurance policies and benefits that might roll over to you if your partner were to die. No one wants to plan for death, but it’s inevitable. Do you know what you will do if your partner dies?
As messed up as this sounds, Tom and I have already talked about what we would do. I’d take the money from his insurance policy to buy a new home in a cheaper town and I’d go back to work as a teacher. I hate talking about it, but I feel good knowing that it’s something that Tom and I have already discussed. If he dies while the kids are young, I’ll know that the decisions I’m making are something he agrees with.
Do you know what you would do if your partner died?
Even the best health insurance can’t pay for everything. I hate thinking about this one because you really can’t prepare yourself for it. Who knows what will happen, but it’s still good to have a back up job or side hustle that can help you pay for extra hospital bills if needed.
Do you have a way to pay for bills if the breadwinner in your house gets sick?
Ah, the goal! This is a fun one to talk about. Tom and I talk about retirement a lot more than we talk about death, divorce, and illnesses.
I fully plan to retire. That’s why I contribute to my retirement plan even though I don’t work full time. Having a side hustle allows me to contribute to it without feeling like I’m taking away from Tom’s income. Tom also contributes to it as Christmas and birthday presents.
It’s very important to me to have my own Roth IRA because it’s money that is 100% mine and cannot be taken away from me in a divorce. It’s money that no one else can touch.
Are you contributing to your retirement even though you aren’t working?
Prepare today so you won’t have to worry tomorrow
I know all of this is hard to think about and even harder to talk about. You might even be nervous to talk to your spouse about these topics. Don’t be. Just start small and have open and honest conversations about it. You might find that you want to go back to school at night while the kids sleep. Or you want to start selling something on Etsy. Maybe you will take continuing education courses to stay relevant in your field. No matter what you decide to do, it’s important that you do something that helps you prepare financially for road bumps that may lie ahead.
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