Deciding to be a stay-at-home Dad isn’t always an easy transition. While you’ll be there for your children every day and able to take care of household chores, your family will most likely need to survive on one income. In order to make it work financially, it’s vital to create a budget and communicate with your partner about finances. Here are some tips:
Cut Down on Your Expenses
When the family dynamic changes, it will take some time to adjust financially. First and foremost, you’ll need to create a tight budget and stick to it. Your family may have to cut out extras like eating at restaurants, doing expensive activities and taking costly vacations. Consider cost-saving measures, such as cutting out luxuries like cable and buying used goods over new items, to keep your expenses low. Remember that there are many free and low-cost activities you can enjoy with your family this summer. For ideas, check out our new feature: Summer Fun That Won’t Break Your Budget.
Communicate with Your Partner
It’s a good idea to make time every month to go through the budget, talk about any concerns and discuss both short and long-term financial goals with your significant other. In any marriage or partnership, keeping an open line of communication about your family finances is essential. This is especially true if there is only one breadwinner.
Consider a Side Hustle
Do you have old possessions you could sell? Can your professional skills be used at home? If you answered yes to either of these questions you may be able to earn some extra cash for your family by taking on a side hustle. There are many options to make money online, such as selling on eBay, Craigslist, Etsy or electronic consignment stores. If your former job skills might be transferrable to a home office, do a little research on freelancing or consulting work, and how you might be able to offer your services remotely.
Make Room for Personal Expenses
As a stay-at-home father you need to be able to spend some money on yourself. Personal expenses like lunches with friends or going to a concert should be included in your financial planning. Even though you aren’t making a paycheck, the work you do at home is significant and important. Some stay-at-home Dads may feel guilty about spending money they didn’t technically earn. It’s important that you create a budget with your partner that allows you both to feel valued for your contributions.
Remember to Save for Retirement
Leaving the workforce will have a big impact on how much you and your spouse can save for retirement. But, it’s important to not lose sight of your financial future, despite the drop in income. Retirement savings should be part of the overall budget, even if you can’t save as much as you’d like. If you need help to make savings part of your financial plan, consider talking to a financial professional who can give you options and help you work out strategies to secure your future.