Imagine a world where you only had to worry about one thing at a time and you could give it plenty of energy with some to spare … yeah, that’s never going to happen!
If you are a parent with a career, one fact remains the same: you have plenty on your mind all the time. Even just the day-to-day activities of balancing your home life and your career gives you a lot to manage on the daily. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, especially once you begin thinking about the future. How do you save for both your children’s education AND your retirement fund? How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance? How do you balance planning for the future while enjoying time with your kids now?
While these can be complicated questions to answer, more and more women are answering them successfully. According to the Department of Labor, mothers are the primary or sole earners for 40% of households with children under 18 today. We become master planners and doers, we get things done, but do we understand the long-term effects of chronically putting out short-term fires? Giving ourselves the space to think broadly about the kind of lives we are building for our kids and their futures is paramount to enjoying the ride.
So, how do you do both? Many people think that you can only be great at one thing: your career or your family. Some have experienced feelings of extreme guilt – whether it’s time away from family or time away from work. Your career is probably your strong suit, so keep reading to discover ways to support your family through your finances.
Planning Your Financial Life
Having a family comes with unique financial challenges, and working with a financial advisor can provide much needed support. It will allow you to first see the big picture now and then paint the best picture for you and your family for the future. Having an advisor to help you define and reach your goals can take stress off of you and provide you with a detailed financial plan. In the meantime, here are some tips to help get your finances in order:
- Have a Budget & Stick to it. No, REALLY! People often cringe at the idea of being restricted to a budget, but YOU get to design it. Just knowing how you currently spend money is extremely powerful to understanding whether you are currently living the life you want. Some parents find it helpful to get super specific, this can include everything from babysitter fees to haircut expenses. Or you can plan in more general categories like “child care” or “beauty.” Regardless of your style, budgeting allows you to get real on what you really want.
- Strive for Work-Life Harmony. Work-life balance can help you ensure both important parts of your life are getting the right amount of focus. Work-life balance can also help you know you are maximizing your time, effort, and energy! This means creating boundaries around time that is precious to you. If you don’t have boundaries, get some! Your life will improve exponentially. One of the dividends of being intentional about how you spend your time is that you will have the requisite amount of energy to be great at whatever part of your life you’re focusing on at the moment.
- Pay Yourself First. Paying yourself first is a common theme in financial planning. This means you should strive to pay off debt and save for your future, before spending your income on other recreational items.
- Plan Your Family’s Financial Future. Think and reflect on your current financial situation, what your concerns are, and what your major goals are. You can even take it a step further by updating your beneficiaries and your estate plan. The more focus you have on building the life you want, the more likely it is that the day-to-day will not seem overwhelming. You can see this as an “eye on the prize” habit. You can get your kids involved too. Help them understand how thinking and doing today reaps rewards later.
Financial advisors provide support and free up time for you to focus on what matters most: your family. If you want to focus more on your family and are interested in exploring how an advisor can support you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.