Children are expensive. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, families spend more than $200,000 to raise a child before the age of 17. Financial planning is essential for the modern family, which is why I had to interview Ashley Keimach to gather insight on how to create a successful financial plan to prepare for a growing family.
Ashley is a new mother who prioritized financial planning with her husband before her son was born. Although she has always desired to be a mother, becoming a Stay-at-Home mom was not in her plan book. Fortunately, she and her husband planned well and are able to maintain financial stability on one income. To learn more about her financial journey during motherhood, check out our interview below!
What general money tips do you have for Stay-at-Home Moms?
The most important tips I think all Stay-at-Home Moms should consider is to
(1) Save Save Save and
(2) Find a side hustle to generate extra income.
When my husband and I got serious about saving money, we found that our lives became way less stressful. Instead of freaking out about unexpected expenses or out of the blue emergencies, we knew we had a nest egg to keep us afloat. This type of security makes it easier to relax and be present with your family instead of stressing out about the uncertainty of the future.
On that note, having a side hustle also eases the pressure of having to be so strict with your budget. I find that when I am unsuccessful with sticking to my budget it’s usually because I didn’t allocate enough cash to our “fun fund” and I end up feeling restricted. A great remedy to this issue is increasing our income by way of adding a side hustle. Any money derived from side hustles gets funneled into our “fun fund” and it allows us to have spontaneous spending moments.
How do you save for retirement on one income?
Right now, we are relying primarily on my husband’s employee sponsored retirement account to fund our future. We also have a Roth IRA account we contribute money towards. Our goal in the immediate future is to increase how much we allocate towards our Roth IRA account.
How are you all financial planning for your children’s future?
We have not begun contributing funds towards our son’s future yet; however, we plan to contribute money towards a separate Roth IRA account that will be transferred to our son when he is of age. We are also setting up a savings account for him with the intention of matching 25 cents on the dollar for whatever he saves up until he graduates college. It’s an ambitious goal but it is a great challenge to keep us on our savings game and to encourage him to set money aside.
What side hustles, if any, have been most profitable for you as a Stay at Home Mom?
The most profitable side hustle I’ve had since becoming a stay at home mom is writing and editing. It’s a great way to keep my skills sharp while also adding additional income to our budget.
How do you allocate funds to make sure mom has spending money for personal care, entertainment and other “mommy time” necessities?
Our way of budgeting is to have my husband’s employer automatically deduct a set amount of money to our separate savings account along with his retirement savings. Once that is deducted, we have the rest of his income deposited into our checking account and then pay our bills (which includes groceries). Any money left over is our discretionary spending. The reason why we budget this way is because:
(1) We don’t like to leave savings up to our will because we almost always end up spending it. Having the money automatically deposited into a separate savings account (which I might add we have no access to apart from physically driving to a bank to withdraw the money) helps us stay on track without having to think about it and
(2) It gives us the freedom to view our money more positively in that whatever is in our checking account is usually discretionary since our most important line items (savings and bills) is already accounted for.
My husband is a pretty low maintenance guy, so the left over money is usually left to me for personal care and “mommy time” which is nice.
What are the financial benefits of being a Stay-at-Home Mom?
The biggest financial benefit of staying at home is that it forces you to be more intentional about your spending and saving habits. When I was working, it was easy to justify making frequent big purchases because we had two income streams. Now that we are down to one, it forces me to really think about what I am buying before I buy it. It also helped solidify the importance of saving since we are now reliant on one source of income. If anything happens to my husband’s job, we cannot just rely on my job anymore, we need to have savings more than ever. I should also mention that staying at home saves us thousands of dollars on childcare which is definitely well worth it!
What are the financial costs of being a Stay-at-Home Mom?
The biggest cost of being a stay-at-home mom is the fact that we are losing a significant amount of compound interest since we are not able to contribute as much towards our retirement accounts with one income compared to when we had two. We are also not able to pay down our student debt as fast as we did before I stopped working.
Ashley Keimach is a native to Los Angeles California and currently lives in Lansing Michigan with her husband Evan and their son Llewyn. Ashley is passionate about personal finance and believes with the right tools anyone can attain financial freedom. Ashley enjoys writing about her experiences as a new mom, financial independence, and the intersection of work and technology. After losing her job due to COVID-19, Ashley is now exploring what it means to be a stay at home. In this blog, Ashley shares some of her tips of how she maintains her financial goals while on one stream of income. You can find Ashley on Instagram at @ashleykeimach .