Introduction to Sun Moms | SCFCU

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Welcome to Sun Moms, a special section created by Moms just like you, who come up with questions, search around for solutions and are willing to share their experiences. Stay tuned as we develop this section with different themes and resources for any type of mom… the working mom, stay at home mom, step mom, or even those dads who take on the mom role. If you would like to be get more involved, feel free to join our Facebook group, Mom Squad of the Valley.

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Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is essential for everyone, but it can be a harder thing to accomplish for moms since we have to incur additional expenses for our kids. No matter your income, the expenses of diapers, food, clothing and other essentials can add up. Not to mention wanting to give our children fun experiences that can be an additional expense. But there are ways that we can organize around our expenses to avoid financial hardship.

Nearly 4 in 10 single mothers worldwide are at high risk of financial hardship, which can have an impact on psychological wellbeing. In some cases, families go without food and struggle to pay bills. Isolation, anxiety, depression, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts are results of financial instability.

We would like to share with you some financial tips to help you take control of your finances:

1. Create a budget and embrace it!

At times we might feel pressured to go out and spend more than we can afford on eating out, purchasing toys or trips, or buying expensive clothes. As moms, we should be honest with ourselves and consider if these are expenses we really need or if there are more affordable options.

There are many good budgeting sites to work with, such as www.youneedabudget.com, www.mint.com and www.quicken.com. Before deciding which site to use to create a budget and keep in mind that they all rely on you doing your homework. Be honest about what you spend and begin tracking real living costs.

Review your spending every month and make adjustments as needed. For example, if you overspend on one category, such as eating out, cut back on another, such as clothing, until you are back on track.

2. Rely on a support system.

It could be family, close friends or a support group you belong to… like Sun Moms. Communicate your goals with your support system and allow them to help you stay on track with your finances. Sometimes it’s easier to make a decision when someone else knows what your goals are and you can turn to them for advice.

Your support team might even be available to help reduce your expenses by offering to babysit at no charge or donate clothes, toys or even furniture from older.

3. Educate your children about financial literacy—model good spending AND savings habits. Consider investing.

It’s important to be honest with your children about your financial circumstance and to set a good example when making budgeting decisions. Explaining to your family what is affordable and talk about the importance of saving. This will allow the family to make better decisions and you will raise children with good financial skills that will lead into adulthood.

Opening up a kid’s savings account where they can deposit an allowance or extra money is a great way to teach them to save for a big purchase they would like to make down the road.

4. Pay down debt, set up an emergency fund.

You may find yourself unavoidably in debt due to medical expenses, a loss of job or other completely understandable circumstances. As quickly as you can, focus on paying off unwelcome debt and building emergency reserves to help avoid the need for debt going forward.

Remember, not all debt is bad debt. A loan to buy an affordable car to get to work is not bad debt, assuming you have the income to handle that overhead. Also, an appropriate mortgage can be an example of good debt.

And while using your credit card, points and rebates can be helpful. Only charge what you can afford to pay IN FULL every month when those bills are due. Don’t be enticed to charge more than is in your spending plan just to get extra points and rewards.

5. Protect your children with life and disability insurance coverages.

Try to obtain the best medical, dental and vision plans you can afford. These can be made available through work or by using outside resources such as specialized insurance agents. You can also look into purchasing an appropriate amount of life and disability insurance to protect your children.

6. Evaluate your income and consider other opportunities.

If you are stuck in a low paying job that doesn’t allow you to afford your family expenses, maybe it’s time to look for different options. Look up local career counselors in your community and think about different career options. Search online for job opportunities and apply if there is one you feel qualified for. You never know when you might get an opportunity to make a career change.

Look up community career fairs, talk to friends who have career paths that interest you and ask them to keep an eye out for any job openings at their workplace.

7. Build a plan to protect your children.

Whether you are single or have a partner, it’s important to have a plan in place in case one of you passes away. Make it a priority to put a plan in writing and follow through by updating account titles, especially beneficiaries, on life insurance policies and all your retirement plans. When your children are old enough, talk to them about what would happen in the event one or both of you are not present in the future or give instructions to a close family member or friend.

For additional resources on financial education for parents and kids visit:
https://financialliteracy.rocks/financial-literacy-for-parents/

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