Perhaps you’ve opted for the stay-at-home lifestyle. You can get by on one person working and you are prioritizing children and family. Very cool! However, are you putting yourself at risk financially? Stuff happens. What if you were suddenly single? Would you be just fine? Or would you have to dig yourself out of a hole? Here are some tips for making sure you don’t leave your money outside when you choose to stay at home.
The Five D’s… Death, Disaster, Divorce, Disability and Debt are the big life changers. Be willing to have the conversation with the other breadwinner about what to do should one of the Five D’s strike. Now, the key is…don’t get all wound up about it. Just have the conversation. Too much energy around disaster leads to disaster if you subscribe to the Law of Attraction. Just consider, what would each of you do if you were suddenly single? Here are a few tips for getting through it.
- Alert your mentor! Is there someone in life who has survived and thrived in a crisis? That would be a great person to alert should your financial situation drastically change. Plan your support team…emotional support, not financial support. No whiners welcome. You just want someone who will be a solid terminal for communication and advice.
- Add it up. Make a list of what you currently HAVE, OWE and OWN. This is called a Balance Sheet. Get clear on where you are now. This is a terrific exercise because it is always great to have a current Balance Sheet. You will need one if you go to the bank for a loan. It’s good to know you are currently carrying for debt. Not bad thing comes from assembling your Balance Sheet. So add it up.
Assets… What you have: Your house, vehicles, furniture, artwork, money in the bank, savings, investments, life insurance, benefits…make a list.
Liabilities… What you owe: Credit cards, mortgage, vehicle loans, “Mama lent you money” debts.
Equity… What you own: The difference between your Assets and your Liabilities. Don’t like what you discover? No worries! You can always improve a financial position. It’s essential that you confront your current position and move from there. Remember to breathe.
- Money IN and Money OUT. How much are you bringing in and how much do you need to live your life. Yep, this is Budgeting and it may make you crumple with fear and dread. Knock it off. Set the judgment and emotion aside. Again, the panic only adds to the potential for crisis. You could work out your Budget with your mentor, if he or she has a good relationship with money. Your mentor can help you stay grounded and work through the tasks you may be avoiding. Add up what it will cost to live…and live well. Then, your income has to be bigger than that. What would you need to bring in per month to make it work?
- Put on the Big Panties…Lawyer up. But only after you have a good idea of what you want to have happen. Create mutual trusts? You might need some help from an estate planner to keep things clean and clear. Remember, the one leaving may be YOU. The Five D’s can strike anyone.
- Make more MONEY! Get creative! You could have 2 or three streams of income. Would an extra $200 or $500 per month make a difference? Perhaps a little business of your own is in order. Check out the article in Forbes this week about turning a hobby into a money maker!
Adversity can be a big motivator. One of my mentors is Jim Rohn. I saw him speak in person – he was awesome! – and he told a story about the woman who asked her husband for $10. He responded, “What for?” Dang. That’s harsh. This was a pivotal moment in this woman’s life. She decided that she was never going to ask for money