Who do you get financial advice from? You could say a trusted financial advisor, a friend, your colleague, perhaps a business magazine. Sound financial advice no doubt empowers you to do the right thing. But have you ever learnt something simple but made phenomenal financial sense and that too from an unconventional source?
With all the interest around Mother’s Day, we thought we should explore the learning of a first-time mom. Are there any money management lessons hidden in the trials of parenthood? New inclusions in the budget aside, an addition to the family requires one to expand the emotional bandwidth, impacting several decisions. We came away amazed to note that in the routine chaos of a first-time mom’s day lays nuggets of financial wisdom:
- Think ahead, plan ahead – First-time moms are often compelled to think they have no idea about what they are doing. The period of new and transition can bring complexity. But the edification of a new mom is based on discipline and a practiced eye – figuring out patterns and behaviours of the child, based on which days are planned. Simple but empowering – you acclimatize to a set pattern and plan ahead. Not too different from money management – you know how much you make a month, therefore budget ahead!
- System and schedule is important – Everyone who has ever visited a bookstore understands the need for system and order. New moms no less! If it is in order, you spend lesser time, thereby being more efficient. Every first-time mom who has discovered, created and maintained the baby’s schedules realises the importance of it. A little deviation can mean a major challenge to face later. How different is that in terms of personal financial management? If you keep your bills in order and pay them off in time you have lesser to be worried about. A little negligence can cause piling of debt.
- Plan for contingencies – First-time moms swear by Murphy’s Law – If you step out without an umbrella, it will rain! Planning, packing and double-checking extra baby food, clothes, toys, supplies and other necessities for a day out saves one the trouble that comes with unforeseen events. Likewise, a good contingency plan will prevent your finances from taking a tailspin in the face of provocation. Most financial advisors recommend an emergency fund that will take care of your living expenses for six months.
- Avoid overbuying and overspending – With a new addition to the family, a new list of costs is created – clothes, diapers, the nursery, strollers, car seats and more. First-time parents, in the spirit of enthusiasm, may end up buying many things, much like a first-time stock market investor. New moms who have reined in that feeling understand that prudence is imperative. Whether it’s buying gear that grows with the child or mindfully planning purchases, deliberation might save more than your money.
As they say, mom knows best. Use these nuggets of financial advice from new moms and manage your finances better.
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