Money Resolutions: 5 Best You Can Make as a Mom + FREE Printable Budget
I love the beginning of a new year. It’s the best time to create better habits and think about what changes you could make to improve your life, especially if you are thinking of money resolutions.
Some have giant ambitions like earning a million dollars. Others have simple goals like spending less on groceries.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum, if you set a money resolution this New Year, you are in good company. Over 1/3 of Americans are dedicating their resolution to the mighty dollar.
And for good reason. Making money resolutions are powerful. Did you know we are 10x more likely to follow through with our goals if we make a resolution?
There are many possible money resolutions, but today I’ve rounded up the top five you should consider if you are a mom.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
1. Emergency Fund
This is advice I know you’ve heard before and until last year I was pretty unmotivated to put a lot of money toward it. But there is a reason an emergency fund made the top of my money resolutions list.
In December 2015, our whole town lost power during a freak heavy rain. Our entire finished basement (1/2 of our total living space and where we spend a good deal of time) filled with water. Even after borrowing a portable generator, our basement was a total loss.
Thankfully we carry insurance, but our generic policy covered less than half of the estimated damage. (Even after a hefty deductible.) It has taken us 2 years to save enough to replace/repair what we have and a downstairs bedroom is still unfinished.
Moral of the story: Be smarter than me and save enough to cover more than you think you will need. There are families everyday who experience greater loss and have fewer resources. Save every bit you can even if only $1000 because you can’t predict the future.
2. Life Insurance
It’s a sad fact, but accidents and tragedies happen every day.
You do carry homeowner’s/renter’s insurance and health insurance, right?
What about life insurance? Don’t think you need any as a stay-at-home mom? It’s estimated that the yearly value of a mom totals between $65,000-$118,000!
[bctt tweet=”To be an optimist, have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. – Randy Pausch” username=”@mommyimagines”]
3. Create a Budget
If you have listened to the first million people who told you that a budget is important, you win! What do you win? You don’t have to read the next paragraph about why you need a budget. Yay!
If you feel like you are living paycheck to paycheck, money is stressing you out, or you aren’t making ends meet, a budget is your best friend. By tracking and limiting your spending on the unimportant things, you will save more and live a less-stressful life. Who doesn’t want that?
Because I know budgets can be a pain, I designed a cute printable version to make tracking your money a bit more enjoyable. Check it out at the end of this post.
4. Save for Retirement
If you are a working mom, your employer probably offers a 401(k) retirement account. Many businesses even match up to a certain amount. If possible, it makes the most sense to save as much or more than your employer will match. Many financial gurus I’ve followed recommend starting with a 5% investment.
Can’t afford to save the full amount? Don’t stress. Even a 1% contribution can add up to over 30% of your financial needs when you retire and won’t hit your pocketbook so hard.
The options are a bit more complicated, but not any less important for stay-at-home moms. The future is uncertain for standard retirement fallbacks like pension and social security. The only money you can count on for retirement is the money you save for yourself.
Personally, I rolled my 401(k) from my previous job into a Roth IRA to have better control of my retirement money and am setting up a solo 401(k). You check out more here.
If you don’t earn an income, this article by Suze Orman offers some great advice for stay-at-home moms.
5. Pay Off High-Interest Debt
Girl, interest rates are crazy and complicated and crazy-complicated. You do not want to spend more than you have to on things. Avoid interest and/or pay it off as soon as possible.
Why? As a new homeowner, the interest part of my mortgage makes up over 65% of my total payment. (And our interest rate is only 4.5%) The interest on credit cards today is over 16%. What does that mean in English?
Say you buy a $1000 on your credit card. If you only pay the minimums, you will owe over $1400 and it will take you 5 1/2 years to pay off. With TVs estimated to only live 5 years, you now have to get another loan and you haven’t even paid your last television off yet!
If you have already have high-interest debt, pay them off ASAP. You work hard for your money, don’t give it to creditors who don’t have your best interests in mind.
If you have made it this far, you are already handling your money better than most. But don’t stop now. I believe in you and you deserve to not worry about your finances. Reading about how to manage your money is great, but only you can decide if your money is working for you or against you.
Did these money resolutions help you?
It would make my day if you shared this with your friends.