New Orleans Mom writers Seleigh Taylor and Joey Yearous join couples counselor Dr. Matt Morris and financial advisor Erik Garcia, CFP® to discuss how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted moms.  Listen in here: 

Or watch their conversation here:

Moms are the foundations and cornerstones of our families.  They are the epitome of what it means to “invest in your relationships” as they sacrifice so much for their families.  And they are UNDERPAID!

 Mom Are Underpaid

According to Salary.com the median annual salary for stay-at-home moms this past year is $184,820 – rising $6,619 above the pre-pandemic median. “And if you factor in pay premiums that companies offer like bonuses, overtime, and hazard pay due to the increased intensity of the work this past year, a stay-at-home mom could earn more than $200,000 annually! I think we can all agree, they are worth every penny.”

Staying home this year meant a lot more laundry, a lot more clutter and dishes. More activities in the home means a larger mess, and it was mostly moms that added the additional responsibilities to their list. For some moms, juggling childcare and school meant staying up later in the evenings to catch up on their work, from employment to other household responsibilities. Other moms enjoyed the new pace, and had opportunities to be with their young children and witness their first milestones, from crawling to walking, that may not have happened had they been in a traditional workplace setting.

mom vacuum

This year threw people out of balance and gave opportunities to find new balance. Some of those new balances include adding self care that was previously not there. Some self care looks like taking time for a walk in the early mornings or evenings. For others, it involved taking care of personal appearance through shopping or beauty routines. Some moms found that outsourcing work, whether it be meal prepping, laundry, or cleaning is worth its value. 

But How?  This all costs money.  We were asked “With money being so tight, it feels almost “wrong” to outsource something like house cleaning, but even when I was working, I never felt like we could afford something like that. How do you budget for outside help?”

Affording Self-Care

Budgeting is a very personal venture.  How you spend your money is unique to you.  Put simply, every family’s needs and values are different.  Budgeting MUST start with what is important to you.  What are those things your family deems important?  If emotional health of mom is a priority, then that needs to be an item that takes precedence over something else.  What is that something else?  

I find that most families have “leakage” with their money.  There is money they are spending that they could really save and redirect elsewhere.  You should start with reviewing your expenses over the past few months to get a handle on where your money is going.  You may discover in this simple (yet sometimes painful) exercise areas you can cut back.  Direct that money to what you value.  If it’s hiring out a cleaning service, a night away from the family to rest, or if it’s ordering precooked meals, then do it if it is important to you.  We live life in seasons.  We should budget in seasons.  It is ok if you are on the verge of breaking to maybe pause your retirement contributions for a season. 

meal prep

Here are 2 cost cutting tips to consider.  I get that these take some planning when you, mom, are already exhausted, but maybe it’ll help.  

  • Meal Prep in advance.  Cooking multiple meals at once, especially protein can save lots of money and time.
  • Make homemade gifts.  I reviewed someone’s budget once and was blown away by how much they spent on birthday gifts for their kid’s friends.  I know when I receive a gift that someone took the time to make, it means a lot more to me than a gift card probably purchased while waiting in the checkout line.  Be creative.  Get your kids involved.  Homemade gifts in many cases are valued more than store bought gifts.  

In the end, you only have so much money to spend.  You want to avoid debt because that is going to add to your stress. You may need to get creative and you may need to be patient as you save for that extra help or that oh so desired self-care, BUT set an objective that you can set your eyes on. That hope often can carry you through.

Remember personal finance is personal.  Don’t get caught up in what others are doing. I can tell you that many put on happy faces and yet are struggling financially and possibly relationally.   

Consider sitting down with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™  to help you sort through your finances.  To learn more about Erik’s financial planning services visit him at:  https://www.plan-wisely.com/startplanning/

Win A Staycation

In the responses we received, we heard from many of you.  A break is to go on a vacation on your own.  By yourself.  No kids.  

Here is your chance to win a staycation. 

Higgins Hotel :: one night stay in a Studio Suite Plus AND a $25 dollar voucher for Rosie’s on the Roof {Restrictions – based on availability of rooms when reservation is requested; most weekends are high demand and may not have available dates. Certificate is valid for 6 months through the end of October 2021. Total Prize Value of $600}

Southern Hotel :: $300 gift certificate / property credit {2 blackout dates: August 21 and December 31. The rest will be subject to hotel availability. Winner may use the gift card however they’d like; $300 will cover 1 night on a weekend with a little bit left for a drink at the bar OR the winner could opt to use it during the week and maybe get 2 nights OR winner can spend it all in the bar!}

Simply go to New Orleans Mom and follow the steps to complete your entry. Good luck Moms!

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