Whether your child is off to college this year or next, you are thinking about the needs. There are a lot of things a new student needs aside from their supplies list for classes. There are tons of commercials and ads on bedding, laptops, and mini-fridges. When is the right time to buy? How do you know if you are saving money? Here are some of my recommendations.
When a child struggles and the budget is tight, tutoring can become a frustrating ordeal. Some schools offer after-school programs that help with homework. Sometimes you can help. I have looked at several apps and websites that are helpful to tutor your child. They are all free and can be a lifesaver. Some of them are so much fun, your child might want to visit them when they don’t need tutoring.
Children do well when they have a designated spot for doing homework. The area should convey that completing assignments is important. It has everything they have nearby. It is comfortable and quiet. If your child struggles with silence, music from a radio or MP3 player is helpful. I don’t recommend television as it can become a distraction.
There are going to be moments where you are somewhere, and the toddler is in a particularly horrible mood. You will think “I just want to hand them my phone so they will be quiet” and you know it will work. Then you are inundated with those “I am a bad parent” feelings and you don’t know what to do. While we all know that too much screen time can be bad for kids, we also know that sometimes it’s about your sanity. Fortunately, there are ways to combat those feelings by ensuring you provide an educational app so that Cranky Toddler is learning rather than being sucked into some mindlessness. Here are some top picks on free kids apps (without hidden in-app purchases) that are good for your kids.
In a previous post here, I wrote about how my 15-year-old son attends an online school through K12. My boyfriend’s daughter still attends a traditional public school for several reasons.
My son is 15, getting ready to finish his freshman year of high school. Up until the second semester of this school year, he has attended a conventional brick-and-mortar school. Now, he attends a virtual charter school through K12.
There is loads of economic data coming out every day that can have a tremendous effect on the markets. Non farm payrolls is a big data point, but so is data coming from the rest of the US government, like consumer confidence indexes and explanations of defense spending. The US is a massive governmental entity that can have a huge effect on the global economy, in many ways you might not expect.
First, take a look at what economics actually is. The freshman college course that you might have slept through for much of second semester actually had a lot to teach you. Economics deals with choice. It purports to deal with rational human behavior in a world where there is scarce resources. How do we get what we want when our choices always have to have a trade-off.
Economics takes into account the way that corporations invest throughout the world, how business pay their employees and how consumers spend their money. In a world that is governed more and more by capitalism, it makes sense to pay attention to the way that all this activity affects people. And the markets.
One of the largest info bombs that hits the global economy each month is the United States report on non farms payrolls. Sometimes the most effective piece of inof is the number of jobs added to the US economy added each month. That small bit of data can have an effect on the S&P 500, the confidence of consumers spending throughout the country and how foreign investors see the world. All of that can have a major effect on global markets.
Also released with non farm payrolls is the U.S. unemployment rate. That metric is very important in determining the psychological health of the US economy. And the US economy has an outsized effect on the rest of the world. Economic indicators in Europe and Asia have a large effect on the global markets as well, but the US is the most powerful government in the world and the largest economy in the world. So the machinations and changes within the economic fortunes of its citizens are vastly important to traders and global market watchers.
Sometimes analysts are bullish about non-farm payrolls and they tend to think that more jobs will be created. Many times, they are wrong and the market corrects itself. Sometimes the non farms payrolls will outperform expectations and the market will respond accordingly. Either way, there are opportunities for traders to make money on these moves.
Following economic data points is important for any investor because you can really get yourself an education about how the world works when you spend time looking at where the money goes. It can help you make decisions about where to put your money and where to get good at trading. Trading can also flourish off the release of economic data like non farm payrolls because savvy traders know which stocks or commodities will spike or fall based on the data that comes out.
That knowledge comes along with watching the market closely. When you pay attention to economic data then you can grasp a global picture of the market and how it might affect your world. That will give indicators and trends that you can follow as you trade stocks, bonds, commodities or futures. Really any kind of trading or investing can benefit from watching and understanding global economic data.
For more information on how to get started in online trading,, look to this resource for picking the right platform that will match your risk appetite and strategy.
Readers, we’ve created an information-packed ebook on how to teach your children about money. It’s a guidebook for parents of kids at all ages.
Please click on the link below to download the ebook. After you’ve read it, please let us know what you think of it in the comments section beneath this post.
When I was pregnant with my first child, every day held excitement about the future. But I couldn’t quite shake the weight I felt on my shoulders when I thought about returning to work six weeks after her birth. I wanted so desperately to stay home, but simply couldn’t imagine how to afford being a stay-at-home mom.
It just doesn’t come up much in school, does it? “Living On Half Your Income 101.” Yeah, not so much. Today’s culture often says things like “Put it on credit” or “You deserve more” or good ‘ole “YOLO.” But some dreams involve spending and earning a whole lot less.
And they sure are worth it.
See, my husband and I really needed a roadmap, some kind of guidelines to help us navigate these tumultuous waters.
If that’s you, then let me encourage you. Our “get-your-financial-act-together” journey started in 2011. In 2012, my husband and I paid off $22,000 to become debt-free right before our daughter’s birth. We stockpiled as much as we could into our emergency savings and learned to continually live within our means (MUCH harder than it sounds!).
This led to one of the happiest days of my life. It was in May of 2014. I was 30 weeks pregnant with our second child and kept having labor symptoms when I’d work on my feet all day at my job. Rather than risk a premature delivery, that became the catalyst for our leap of faith.
That was the day I quit my job and officially became a stay-at-home mom. I waddled to my car with astonishment stamped on my face. It really was happening.
You need to understand the primary reason for this astonishment. We would now be living on less than $2,000 a month. It seems impossible that we could have done this (especially if you knew how bad we were at budgeting when we were single!). The thing is, we hustled our hineys off and no longer had debt. We’d been budgeting like paupers and renting from family instead of rushing into a home we couldn’t afford.
Even on such a small income, we really were ready. Hence my amazement.
Every dream is different. And that’s OK.
Your dream may not be to stay home. That’s totally fine! If you love working outside the home, then embrace that and enjoy your work. Nor are you required to generate an income if you do decide to stay home full-time. Let’s just get that out there.
So many of the steps we took as a couple had very little to do with me making extra money from home. They set an important foundation that centered around three major components:
- Changing habits
- Financial freedom
Let’s pull back the curtain a little further and explore what I mean.
How to Afford Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
Here are some practical first steps you can take in your journey toward spending more time with your kids!
Step #1: Kick debt to the curb.
When my husband and I committed to paying off our outstanding debt in two years instead of seven, we forced ourselves to:
- Budget every month
- Snip our credit cards and always pay with debit or cash
- Live intentionally on less
- Communicate in healthier ways about money
For example, the biggest way my husband and I melted debt was to intentionally begin living on his income. It took months, but eventually, we were able to apply every dime from my paycheck toward debt.
After that, our small income became that much more powerful. Imagine what you could do with your money if you didn’t have any payments. That one thought spurred us on.
Step #2: Save for the unexpected.
Saving for emergencies is the most powerful way you can create financial stability in your home. Smaller emergencies like an oil leak can be covered in the “auto repair” portion of your budget. But what if your income-generating spouse loses his job? That buffer is the difference between you remaining a stay-at-home mom through that transition or scrambling for work alongside your partner.
A great place to start with a savings buffer is $1,000. More can be accumulated once you’re out of debt, but that first $1k is your Kevlar vest against calamity.
Step #3: Act.
We covered the basics. Whether you’re a mother or would like to be one someday, you can begin this journey today. It’s time to choose your next step and ACT.
A great place to start is a conversation with your significant other. This plan requires openness and commitment from both of you. It’s also going to take time. Best to start the conversation now.
For example, when I messed up the budget, I knew I could approach my husband about it instead of burying my head in the sand like I’d done in the past. We worked through many problems that way. Extend grace. Talk about your dreams. Re-commit.
Another great next step is to further your education. Try joining a Facebook group that centers around whipping your family finances into shape. The added support is tremendous. Here are two great groups you can join:
Build on the foundation.
If you’ve read this far, it means you’re dead serious about your dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom. That’s awesome.
I believe you can do it, but this is just the framework. It’s not going to keep the rain or wind out of your house. To add siding, insulation, a roof, and even some shiplap if that’s your fancy, then I strongly encourage you to check out my eBook called “The Stay-at-Home Mom Blueprint.” In it, I expand my story on climbing out of debt and achieving my dream of staying home. I also walk you through 150 practical strategies that my husband and I used (and still use today) to communicate better, chop debt, and save money.
This is the roadmap I wish I’d had when we first dreamed of transitioning into a single-income family.
Also, if you do want to earn money from home, “The Stay-at-Home Mom Blueprint” includes dozens of ideas to sell your stuff, earn gift cards or cash from home, or build an online business. My business didn’t happen until nearly two years after I became a SAHM. Since then, I’ve made nearly $20,000 just working part-time as a freelance writer. I know without a doubt that this business wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t safely transitioned into a stay-at-home mom first.
Ready to take your journey toward staying home to the next level?
Your Turn: What advice would you give someone on how to afford being a stay-at-home mom? Share with us below!
This post may contain affiliate links.
Image Credit: AI Photography
Hungry for more financial tips for stay-at-home moms? Look no further!
One of the most wonderful gifts you can give your children is a healthy understanding of money. Not a craving for it or an assumption that it will lead to happiness. Instead, you have the privilege – the responsibility – to teach children about hard work, the power of saving, the dangers of debt, and the gift of giving. To help your children learn, we’ll also set you up with a free savings chart for kids.
How to Teach Your Child About Saving Money
Many people are in crisis mode, financially. It’s impossible to know what they learned or didn’t learn about money at home, but would America look different if more parents taught their children the principles I listed above? If more parents led by example by communicating together about a budget, saying no more often to frivolous spending, and showed their children how to save up and pay cash instead of using credit cards?
It’s purely my speculation, but I’d go so far as to say we’d have less stress, less divorce, fewer addictions, more giving, and greater job satisfaction. Do you agree?
With the right steps, we can teach our children to live differently.
You’re probably thinking, “What about student loans? I was just trying to further my education and now I’m overwhelmed by debt as a result.” Totally valid point. I remember approaching high school graduation and hearing everyone discuss their reasons for choosing one school over another. NOT ONCE did my friends and I stew over the debt load we’d receive from student loans. None of us saw what was coming.
In fact, according to StudentLoanHero.com, outstanding student loan debt reached more than $1.4 trillion in 2017.
How can we teach our children to save money in the face of such a burden of debt?
Start the Conversations
A great way to educate your young tribe about the dos and don’ts of spending is to create an open line of communication. Encourage them to ask questions. Show them the process of paying for your groceries or a meal at a restaurant. Take them to the bank and show them how you make a savings deposit.
Also, a conversation is a great way to tackle topics like:
- Work ethic
- Getting a job
- Planning for the future
- Saving for a major purchase
- Saving for college (tell them about the ways you are saving for their college while they’re young)
You don’t have to run down this list every night at the dinner table, but the more conversations you do have about these topics, the more seeds your planting in your child’s mind. You’re teaching her how to think about money, not what to think.
Put them to work.
We’ve covered the important step of talking about money. Next, it’s time to apply what your child has learned. If he’s old enough to hold a broom or to straighten up his room, your child is old enough to get paid for chores.
It’s important that he knows the money isn’t just for spending. Saving is a difficult concept for young minds, at first, unless they have something for which they’re saving. For example, if your daughter sees a Belle doll in the toy aisle and begs for you to buy it, you have some choices. You can purchase the doll, you can discuss the cost and why it’s not in the budget, or you can write down the dollar amount on a paper, head home, and help her calculate how many chores it’d take to save for the doll.
To aid in that endeavor, here are some free tools you can use with your child.
Free Savings Chart for Kids – and Other Great Savings Tools
Printable “My Savings Goal” Visual Poster – via Educator101.com
Downloadable “Share, Save, Spend” Chart for Kids – via iMom.com
Combine these tools with some great conversations and hard work around the house and your child has a recipe for a bright and well-balanced financial future.
Got some tips for teaching children to save money? Share one below!
Are you a stay-at-home mom? Check out these bonus resources we created just for you:
- 10 Steps to a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom Budget
- How to Afford Your Dream of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
- 14 Online Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms (That Are Worth Your Time)
- 13 Ways for Stay-at-Home Moms to Save Money
- Loans for Stay-at-Home Moms – What Are YOUR Options?
- The SAHM Budget Test: How to Afford to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom