How to save if you’re a self-employed mum
With power and grocery bills on the rise, and the general cost of living impacting even two income families, it can be a challenge for stay-at-home or self-employed mums (and dads) to balance the budget each week.
With a young family of her own, Natasha Janssens from Women With Cents knows what it’s like to juggle life as a new mum with the transition to a single income household – in short, not easy! Having experienced this balancing act first-hand and witnessing other women facing the same challenges, Natasha realised her calling: to shift the way women think about money.
As Natasha explains, even making small changes can make a big difference when you’re trying to get ahead.
Step 1: Get on the same page
The first step is to get on the same page as your partner when it comes to money – regardless of whether you keep it in separate or joint bank accounts. How much you both earn and how much debt you each have too often goes unsaid. It’s important to be open with each other and talk more about money because managing it is a lot easier when you’re working together – not against – each other!
Step 2: Set your baseline
Take a look at the last 12 months of income for both you and your partner and write down the total monthly income for each of you. What we’re looking for is the minimum amount that is coming in consistently each month. If, some months you have no income, and other months you get some income, then stick with zero as your baseline. Then take this figure, and use this for your budget. When your income increases more consistently, you can go back and revise the budget.
Step 3: Strip back your expenses
Next, review your expenses and strip them back to the absolute essentials. Unfortunately Netflix, gym memberships, birthday parties, gifts, holidays, clothing and take-out all needs to go. Just keep the bare minimum living expenses – for now anyway.
Now it’s time to work out whether the consistent income covers the bare expenses. If it does, set up all your bills to be paid by monthly direct debit. That will make it easier to manage your cash flow. If your regular income does not cover your expenses, then you will need to look at ways to cut back further or generate extra, more consistent, income.
Step 4: Allocate your savings, then your splurge
Any income that comes in above and beyond can be split between your savings (starting with an emergency fund) and your splurge fund (this is where Netflix and gym memberships can make a come back!) – in line with your goals.
The information provided by Women with Cents is general in nature and does not take into account your family’s financial situation or lifestyle goals. HomeHub recommends you seek professional financial, tax and credit advice specific to your situation before making any investments or financial decisions.