What is your biggest worry as a parent?
For me, it’s definitely our AC running out.
I live in the American South where the hottest summer days can get above 100 degrees F and humidity can be over 70%, resulting in a heat index of like 120 degrees F.
Days like that kill people.
They say money can’t make you happy, but I know for sure that not worrying about my AC breaking during July or August would make being happier easier.
That’s why the most important account you can have as a mom is an emergency savings account.
What is an emergency Account?
An emergency savings account is different from a traditional savings account.
A traditional saving account is for long term goals like retirement, buying a home, or starting a business.
An emergency account is exactly what it sounds like: a savings account reserved strictly for emergencies, like if your car breaks down or a someone needs sudden dental work.
The easiest way to save is to set up direct deposit from each check. Set it and forget it. It will grow with no effort!
Wondering where you are going to get money for this account? Click here to find out!
Does saving money for an emergency seem beyond your ability? Click here to join my Facebook Group for support!
How much should you put away?
This is a question that can only be answered by you!
Dave Ramsey suggests putting away 6 months worth of expenses in case of things like job loss, but I think for people who are struggling or just starting on this journey, that figure is deflating.
I think a goal of $1,000 is a good place for most moms to start. It’s enough to relieve the stress associated with smaller emergencies.
Once you reach that goal, then you pick your next goal and keep going.
Where to keep the money?
Never keep large quantities in cash. First, because if you lose it or are robbed, it’s gone. Second, it will not appreciate.
Savings accounts earn tiny amounts of interest.
Your hope is to hold this account for a long time. Its balance may go up and down, but use it as a way to pull in some passive income, no matter how slight.
You can open a savings account at a bank. A lot of people choose this option.
You can link it to your checking account as overdraft protection.
Most banks are insured by the FDIC, which protects your money against theft. Ask a representative to make sure your account is covered.
However, the interest rate is really low, like less than 1% of your balance per year.
They will probably have monthly fees, a minimum balance or transaction fees.
The easy accessibility can make it more tempting to pull out money when you shouldn’t.
Online Savings Account (These are the SECRET to DOUBLING your return!)
Online Accounts are available at many brick and mortar institutions and many strictly online companies.
This means that at some you can visit a local branch, but the online banks may not have a branch you can visit.
Many companies will issue you a debit card to access funds.
If you don’t have access to a debit card, transactions can take up to a few days to process.
Online savings account interest rates are much higher than traditional banks. They can be as high as 2.15%. 2.15% is more than double the return on a banked based savings account.
Some will have no fees, while others will have only minimal fees.
A credit union is like a bank, but it runs as a not for profit. Banks are for-profit institutions.
Credit Unions aren’t open to everyone, you have to qualify. In my area, there is a credit union open to any one who lives in my state. Marine Federal Credit Union is an institution that caters to the members of the armed forces.
This means they usually have fewer fees and special programs to help you save for different things.
They may also do credit counseling or home loan education programs.
Want to hear more about credit unions? You should! Leave me a comment below.
PS: Join my Facebook group and meet other moms taking control of their money!
So since today is the last day we are talking about side hustles, I figured you’d need some inspiration!
Side Hustle Ideas
Below are some awesome links to pages filled with side hustle ideas.
35 Side Hustle Ideas from I Like to Babble
Side Hustle Ideas from Frugal Mom Guide
7 Epic Side Hustles from Hear Me Folks
40 Side Hustles for SAHM Moms from Mom Blog Life
Guys, this is only a tiny sampling of the information that’s out there. I don’t want to overwhelm while you are still considering what is best for your family.
Side Hustle Inspiration
I want to include just a few stories people who have met amazing goals because of their side hustles!
Side Hustle Success Stories from Business Insider
101 Stories of People with Day Jobs and Side Hustles from Chris Guillebeau
Have fun exploring!
So, when I choose my side hustle (and the attempts I made before finding a successful one), I knew that I didn’t want to include my kids.
I needed that time away from them because I am with them every single moment of the day. It is part of my self-care routine. I need the time to work on something serious and have time to prove to myself that I can do grown-up things. It is how I prove to myself that I am good at things other than just caring for my kids.
But many moms don’t have the privilege that I do. Between school, work, and the demands of life, they need ways to find more time with their kids.
Can you include kids in your side hustle?
Yes, you absolutely can. How they are involved depends on the side hustle and their age and capabilities.
When I was small, my family mind quartz crystals on the weekends and my mother sold them throughout the week from our front yard.
Even though I was too small to actually do any of the heavy work, I went along each weekend. I would play while my father and older siblings dug. Then I would help wash and arrange the crystals for sale. And I never failed to enjoy a bulldozer ride.
How can kids help?
Like I said before, you will have to be creative when thinking about how to include your kids in the side hustle.
Older kids can help with pretty much anything from baking and packaging in a cottage foods business, to taking calls and making appointments in a cleaning business (even with the cleaning!).
Younger kids can certainly help with prep work, packaging, putting away supplies, or even just be there while your work (if the situation allows).
Should your kids help?
This is really only a question you can answer.
The work may not be within their skill level or their schedule.
Some parents don’t believe in giving their kids too much responsibility.
However, I believe there can be many benefits of including your kids in your side hustle.
First, they will learn a strong work ethic and benefit from your example. It can be a character building exercise.
Second, they can learn valuable people skills and practical skills like cleaning. Some skills are very marketable like furniture restoring or party planning.
Third, they can see how a business is run first hand. The first-hand experience will help them know whether they want to continue doing that business as an adult.
The key is balance. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
The beauty of a side hustle is that it can be both a way to take much needed me time or a way to steal some extra moments with your kids. It can be the thing that lifts you out of stress and brings you together.
So tell me, what you think? Should kids included in your side hustle?
So this week, I have given you reasons to consider a side hustle to help you pay off debt or make ends meet.
If you are looking to really create true financial peace, a side hustle is the way to go! It will give you the ability to save money for better things, like spending time with your family or as seed money to grow more wealth.
But how do you know which is right for you?
This is something I talk about in my Facebook group so join it today!
Consider Your Needs
Before you decide on a side hustle, you need to take inventory of your current demands.
How much extra time do you have?
How much energy do you have?
How much money are looking to make in a given time frame?
Do you have any money for start-up costs?
What skills do you have?
You need to be honest with yourself.
If you don’t have time to wash and fold laundry, don’t take on a laundry side hustle.
If you want to include your kids in the work, don’t start up something that doesn’t match their skill sets or abilities.
What do you want to do with the money?
Earning enough to loosen your grocery budget is going to demand a different level of energy than paying off debt or saving up your emergency budget!
Considerations about Running Your Side Hustle
Taking in the answers to the above questions, you need to think about the day to day running of your side hustle.
This is the part when you think about things like running costs and the future of your side hustle.
I mean things like will there be costs to replenish supplies like when cleaning homes?
Will you need to register with the local government or adhere to regulations like with a cottage foods side hustle?
What is the future you are considering for your side hustle?
Some turn side hustles into businesses that support their entire family.
Other’s only do seasonal side hustles like selling homegrown fruit and veggies during the summer at their local farmer’s market.
When choosing your side hustle, there is a lot to think about!
Join my Facebook group to get a FREE side hustle planning printable so you can choose the right one.
The Ugly Truth About Side Hustles
So side hustles sound like a mandatory, easy, perfect way to make money.
But there are some downsides to them, for sure.
First, there is no guarantee you will make money in the time frame you want, too.
I put up my breadmaker (that I don’t use anymore) and a large stuffed animal my kids ignore for sale on my local yard sale facebook group. I have had a few bites, but it’s been weeks with no sale.
Before I started this business, I tried a cleaning business, and never had a client. I had one bite on an ad, but it sounded straight up like a scam.
So you may have to experiment and take some humiliating blows before you find what you are looking for.
Second, there is always the possibility of a scam. If you choose to sell things second hand, there may be people who try to con you. I have had people show up with less money than agreed upon. Others who don’t show up at all.
And depending on what you choose, you may need to take more precautions about your safety. When I tried to start a cleaning business, I was not going to go to stranger’s homes by myself. I had a buddy who was going to help me work and split our earnings.
When I meet someone off of Facebook Marketplace to sell an item, I never let them come to my home. I always meet them at a well lit, busy parking lot or even in the parking lot of the police station.
Third, and most importantly, you need to know that the side hustles that take less time and effort, will usually yield less money on a more irregular basis. If you are looking to make more money in a shorter amount of time, you make need to choose one that takes more time and effort.
Don’t forget to check out the free learning modules I have in my Wealth Reboot Challenge Facebook Group! And take advantage of the support there from other mom’s just like you!
This post comes from Stephanie Mantilla at Plantsonify!
Determining Whether You Should Become A Pet Sitter
Pet sitting seems like an easy side hustle. You go walk and play with dogs or visit cats. In fact, you may be downright giddy thinking about all the puppy kisses you’d like to receive.
After working in the animal field for 12 years and being pet sitter side hustler for 2 years, I’m listing all the nitty gritty, less glamorous aspects so you can decide for yourself if pet sitting is right for you.
1)Are you a germaphobe?
Taking care of dogs is a dirty process. Even ones that are freshly bathed seem to run towards the closest dirt patch to remedy the situation. They love rolling in stinky smells they come across.
Their feet track mud which always seems to be the perfect time for them to jump up on you. If you’re able to roll with the mess and prepare by wearing “dog walking clothes,” you’ll have a much more relaxed experience.
2) Are you willing to work in all weather?
If you live up in a northern state, the snow will be a big factor. You’ll drive in snow to get to the pet’s house and possibly shovel snow to get to the front door.
Down south, the summers are scorching. Lunch time dog walks are extremely hot even in the shade of trees. Just this week, I was walking dogs in high 90 degree weather with 60% humidity. Even rainy days, the dogs still need to use the bathroom, be fed, and receive attention.
You will be soaked, hot, or freezing since dog walking is an outside activity. Cat Sitting is a little different since you stay indoors with them but you still need to travel to their house.
3) You most likely will be bit or scratched (or both)
This just comes with the territory. Animals are unpredictable. If you work with them long enough you’re most likely going to deal with a frightened cat or a dog that reacted to something.
The important thing is being confident in how to handle these types of situations so that they don’t escalate. Better yet is to have a firm understanding of reading dog and cat body language to prevent situations from ever escalating.
4) Do you become attached easily?
The great thing about pet sitting is meeting tons of wonderful dogs and cats. The worst part is when you’re no longer their sitter anymore.
If you become easily attached to particular animals, it may be too heart breaking when it’s time to say goodbye. People move, animals get older, or maybe you just weren’t a good personality fit. Whatever the reason, it is certain that one day you will have to bid them farewell.
Pet Sitting Is The Best Side Hustle
If you can navigate the points above and want to become a pet sitter, it really is a great side hustle. There’s very little startup if you use an app like Rover or Wag. The key to getting clients on those platforms is to set up your pet sitter profile for success.
With pet sitting, you’re setting your own availability. If you only want to watch cats, you can. If you’d prefer to only do mid-day dog walks, that’s fine too. You can even say you’re available to take small dogs (up to 20 lbs only) for boarding at your house on weekends. Obviously the more restrictive your settings, the harder it will be to get clients. It also will take longer to find clients if you’re in a rural setting since the population isn’t as dense.
Pet sitting has allowed me to stay at home with my son but allows me to still contribute income to our family. The flexibility makes it easy to work my pet sits around my husband’s work schedule or on the weekends. If you love working with animals, then dipping your toe into a pet sitting side hustle could be perfect.
Today's post comes from Julie at Fab Working Mom Life! She is a hard working mom ready to help you find the fabulous in working mom life!
A side hustle is an additional business that someone does part-time in addition to their regular daily job duties. This could mean a working parent puts in time on their side hustle during evenings and weekends, or a stay at home parent works on their side hustle during naptime.
Side hustles are becoming a desirable option as busy parents need more flexibility and a better work-life balance. Between a mortgage or rent, feeding a family, and any other debt we may have accumulated (student loans for example), balancing our budgets becomes vital to a medium or large family’s financial well-being.
The ability to make some extra money from home is amazing and can be such a help for many families.
Reasons busy moms should consider a side-hustle
Today we are sharing some tips and reasons why a busy mom may like to consider adding a side hustle to her admittedly already busy lifestyle.
Side hustles give you a creative outlet. Whether turning a hobby into a business or starting something new based on an interest you have, a side hustle gives busy moms the opportunity to do something creative and different. It gives you the freedom to pursue interests and ideas completely separate from your day job or gives you the ability to cash in on your expertise on a subject you are not focusing on at work.
I know many stay at home moms who yearn for adult interaction and activities that are mentally stimulating, and a side hustle gives you the ability to have both. I also know many working moms who have ambitions but their current jobs have them going in a different direction. So they can use a side hustle to fill their cups.
Side hustles are a great learning experienceWhen you start your own business, you learn a lot. There are so many ins and outs of running a shop or a service that we may not understand or get to experience in our daily corporate lives.
These new skills and lessons learned with a side hustle can also be applied later to helping grow in our careers or future businesses.
Side hustles create extra room in your budget. Most importantly, a side hustle earns income, which gives you more room in your budget for what matters most. When you have specific financial goals or have extra unexpected expenses come up, being able to bring in extra money is so helpful. It can help you save up for a special vacation, pay off student loans or medical debt.
Ideas for Side Hustles
There are so many side hustle businesses you can start or join. Below are some suggestions for side hustles. You can read more detail and some mom boss interviews on this post: 21+ Side hustle ideas to earn money from home and pay off debt.
This post is from Breanna Park! Read to see how she changed her financial life using the jar system!
Budgeting using the jar system
Do you like budgeting, or do you find it hard? Are you living paycheque to paycheque and feel like you can’t get ahead? My husband and I absolutely had this problem.
When we first got married, he had student loan debt and racked up a line of credit when he was laid off from his job, and I had a maxed out credit card.
This created a huge barrier to saving money for us. Why? We had 3 credit cards at 19% interest and the line of credit which was almost as high!
We also were barely bringing in more than minimum wage, so we could only pay our minimums, which was mostly just going towards paying off the interest every month.
A second barrier we had was our spending habits. When you only pay with plastic, it’s hard to know where all of your money is going.
One night we sat down with our bank statements and a calculator and we were absolutely shell shocked! We spent almost 900 dollars just on groceries for one month! For two people! How did we spend so much?
We would go for one or two things and grab other things that caught our eye at the same time. Because of this, instead of spending 5 or 10 dollars, we came out spending 50.
We knew we needed a change. We needed a huge change at that. We needed to implement a good budget system that would allow us to track our spending and allow us to save more.
My husband thankfully had heard of something called the jar system which worked as a HUGE success for us.
How to budget using the jar system
I will warn you up front, the jar system involves quite a few steps, but we found it much better because the money was in our hands.
We went to the nearest dollar store and bought a bunch of jars. We had one jar for every bill and decorated them all up with the names of each bill on them.
We had a rent jar, a internet jar, grocery jar, loan/credit card jar, car payment jar, car insurance jar, and a savings jar.
The next step is figuring out when we had money coming in. For me, it was every second Thursday, and for my husband, it was the 1st and 15th of every month.
We also wrote down when every bill came out. They were scattered all through the month.
The next step involved some math. We realized that when we got paid we had zero money left over because every ounce of our cheques were going to our bills!
For example, when my husband got paid on the first, our rent, car payment, and loan payment and student loans came out all on the same day. So BAM. It was in our account and out within a few minutes.
So since we got paid 4 times within one month, we divided all our bills by 4.
Our rent was 900 dollars a month, so divided by 4 pay cheque’s was 225 dollars. So every time we got paid, we withdrew 225 dollars and put it in the rent jar. Our internet was 80 dollars.
So every paycheque we took out 20 for the internet jar.
We did the same with our minimum payments on our debts, our insurance, car payments, etc.
We also took out a doable amount for groceries. This meant we physically had so much cash for groceries and we couldn’t go over, so we stopped spending so much on non-essentials, like chips and pop.
Finally, with the money that was left over, that was ours!
We took out 20 dollars each for the week until the next paycheque that we could spend on snacks and coffees and whatever, and the rest went right into our savings jar.
Boy, were we surprised how much that added up!
Of course, with withdrawing all your money, make sure to put it back in time for your payments! This meant putting our rent money in for the 1st of the month for us, and the rest according to their bill dates.
This budget system was a game changer for us.
For one, by splitting up the money evenly across each cheque, we weren’t spending all our money on certain bills with no money left over until the next payday.
Two, by physically having cash in our hands, we were so much careful with how much money we were spending.
This caused us to be more frugal and making it last, instead of just tapping our debit cards. We went from being in overdraft every month to actually having money left over!
If you find your money is disappearing every month, try this system. It’s a little work, but you’ll be SO happy you did!
What system do you use to budget? Comment below!
This post is a guest post from Courtney Kramer! Today, she is going to teach you how to budget on one income!
Do you live on one income? Or even paycheck to paycheck. According to a recent survey from Career Builder, almost 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
Either scenario is tough and makes life extra stressful. In our family, we currently live on my husband's income. I choose to stay at home with our toddler. Even though I have a Bachelor’s degree we have decided that I will stay home to raise our daughter.
Perhaps you can relate to the strain of living on one income? Today I want to show you how I budget on one income. This method is very simple and I provide step by step tips.
Before we start please note:
To find your expenses look at your bank and credit card statements from the past few months.
Next, write down all bills that are automatically drafted or that you pay each month. Also record the due date of each bill.
Then I divide expenses into two categories. First is fixed which is costs that must be paid and the amount doesn't change much. Next is variable which is expenses like grocery and gas which fluctuate each month.
When I'm budgeting I make sure our income can cover our fixed expenses first. That way we can live each month. Then I use the leftover amount to cover our variable expenses.
For variable expenses, I can make our money stretch a bit further. For groceries, I like to price match and schedule pickup. That way I'm not impulse buying and I'm getting all the best deals.
I also try to meal plan and shelf cook to avoid buying unnecessary food.
Making your budget into a visual you can refer to is so helpful for staying on track.
I also like to share this document with my hubby so we both can check the budget throughout the month.
In the first column list:
Next, I write down:
I use the formula =SUM(C2:C3) to add up the bills
In the next column, I add up the rest of the bills using the formula =SUM(C4:C10) to be paid using the next paycheck.
I calculate the leftover amount by using the formula =SUM(F2-F3). Then I hover my mouse on the bottom right corner of the cell until a + appears and drag that formula into the cell on the right.
By doing that I am subtracting our fixed expenses from our income. This ensures we have enough to cover our bills. Plus I know how much money is coming out of our account.
3. Only use debit for groceries, gas and other minor expensesWith the leftover money, we use our debit to pay for gas, eating out, clothing or any other expenses. This part of our budget is not very organized. But we know that if our chequing is above a certain amount it's okay to spend.
4. Buy Groceries Once a Week to Avoid Impulse BuyingI only get groceries or any household items once a week when I do the pickup. That way I'm not impulse buying during the week. I know exactly how much groceries cost before checking out.
Groceries are paid by credit card because I use Walmart grocery pickup. I then transfer the amount from our chequing onto the credit card.
5. Schedule Bills on Google CalendarNext, I schedule each bill on Google Calendar and make it a recurring event. I also add the days we get paid. Then I print off each month and put it on the fridge to provide a visual reminder of what bills are coming out.
Me and my husband also have a shared calendar on our phones with this information.
Since I know exactly what bills are coming out and when each month I can budget ahead a couple of months.
6. Communicate About SpendingOther than paying our bills we try not to spend. Living on one income is tight. If we do want to buy something we discuss it first as a couple.
For example, if our daughter needs clothes I'll tell my hubby I'm going to be buying her a few things. If he needs something for the house he'll tell me before ordering from Amazon. This doesn't always happen perfectly but for the most part, we try to keep each other in the loop.
I hope this information was helpful to learn how to budget on one income. Remember to write down your expenses and when they are due. Then reserve part of your paycheck to cover those expenses.
I know budgeting is not a fun topic but it is so important to get into the habit of managing your money. Instead of your money managing you.
Courtney is a Professional Home Economist (PHEc), wife and mom. She helps the 20 something woman to live well by sharing honest and practical advice on relationships, motherhood + living well. In her free time, she also enjoys cooking, reading and listening to podcasts. Get fabulous date night ideas here: 10 Cheap + Fun Date Night Ideas Sign up
Financial Fortitude is a term that both satisfies and endlessly frustrates me.
When I have financial fortitude, I feel great about myself. I know I am strong and that I am securing a great future for my family.
When I don’t have financial fortitude, I am frustrated with myself.
What is Financial Fortitude?
Financial fortitude is sticking to your financial plan or budget when you are tempted to overspend.
I know that I personally have 2 big triggers when it comes to financial fortitude.
First is on bad days, when I am tired and hungry, and just want to get my kids in bed with the least amount of resistance.
I almost always get dinner out on those nights.
Second is when something exciting has happened, I am feeling elated and want to celebrate.
I almost get some kind of fun toy for my kids on those days.
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not trying to say either action is wrong.
How to have Financial Fortitude
Eating out can be a part of your budget, and so can fun surprises.
It is when those actions, and any other actions, are not PLANNED FOR and stress your budget that the problem arises.
And you may have different triggers and reactions to them.
The key to developing financial fortitude is to figure out what your triggers are, to avoid them, and when you can’t avoid them, do your best to resist them.
When you recognize that you feel a strong pull to spend money because of an outside factor that’s out of your control, you can more easily resist it.
Last, financial fortitude is a muscle. You must flex it and work it out. It will not be easy or overnight. Just start working it out!
In my earlier post about budgets, I told you to think about budgets as a fence that keeps you safe and protected while you can still have the freedom to explore.
Financial fortitude is what keeps you inside the fence when the grass looks greener on the other side.
Budgets are kinda a four letter word to a lot of people, aren’t they?
Some feel like they are useless because life throws to much unpredictability at us.
Others feel like they don’t have the character to stick to one, even though they dutifully make one each month.
Where do you fall? Somewhere in between these two extremes? Let me know in the comments below!
I always felt like a budget was something for people who had money to use.
They didn’t really apply to me because the money was usually gone before I even got the check.
Now, I realize that is a very childish attitude to have. And that budgets aren’t these things that you prepare once a month to make you realize that this is going to be yet another hard month.
A budget is more than a plan and a backup plan, even.
It's actually a living document that’s constantly challenging.
Seriously, I update my budget every day.
What a Budget Is
Don’t think of your budget as a list of categories to put your money in.
Instead, think of it as a fence.
It is a way to keep you in a secure area, one where you are protected but still allowed the freedom to play and move. A way to keep the dangers of the world out while letting you explore.
What does this mean in practical terms?
Most simply, it means that you create your fence and then stay within its limits.
Sounds easy, but it's not, I know!
How to Create a Budget That Works!
The problem with budgets is that a bad one will not work.
You will not stick to it.
Good ones don’t just jump onto your page.
And schools or college don’t usually teach people how to create a solid budget.
A strong budget begins the month before.
You must TRACK your spending to know what are realistic amounts you spend on each expense in your life.
Do you need help creating a budget? Click here to join the Wealth Reboot Challenge!
Track my spending? Write down every penny that I spend?
It sounds so tedious. But really, it’s not.
I mainly use my bank account because they do it for me! You just need to use a highlighter to go through and make totals in each of your budget categories like groceries, home supplies, fast food, etc.
If you withdraw a lot of cash, keep your receipts and go through them at the end of the month.
Avoiding Budget Failures
So I talked about thinking about a budget as a fence that allows freedom but still keeps you safe and protected.
To avoid failure, you must be able to wiggle in your budget.
But some budgets don’t have wiggle room. Ours rarely does.
So you may need to get creative.
Sometimes, you may need to juggle bills to free up cash to pay for medicine or whatever minor emergency may arise.
One thing we do is pay half our mortgage payment early in the month and the other in the middle of month.
This frees up a bit of cash to help us get through the next check, and we are lucky that our terms do not charge a late fee until around the 15th! It also allows to pay a bit extra on the
mortgage in that second payment, reducing our principal balance and paying off the mortgage faster!
I suggest making a creative plan B every time you tweak your budget so you have a plan and don’t get hit with that inital stress of “What am I going to do?” if something big happens.
Hi! I am Ali, a homeschool mom who is passionate about science, managing my money and time well. Unfortunately, with an army of tiny faces, I am always still kind of a mess.
Are you a mom trying who feels lost when it comes to managing your money?
Click the image above to join my Facebook group.
In the group, you will get FREE access to short learning modules to give you a thorough understanding of realistic personal finance for moms.
Enjoy the support of other mom's looking to change their lives just like you!
Click here to learn more!