stay at home parent http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10304/all en-US How to Go From Two Incomes to One http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_using_tablets_000081377523.jpg" alt="Couple learning how to go from two incomes to one" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you planning on taking some time off from work to raise a family &mdash; or has your spouse recently lost their job? Living on one income can be challenging, but it doesn't have to spell financial disaster. Consider the following ways to reduce the stress of a household income transition.</p> <h2>1. Plan a Trial Run</h2> <p>If possible, try giving a one-income lifestyle a trial run for at least a couple of months before making any sudden changes to your household. Act like the second income doesn't exist. This will help you determine if a one-income lifestyle is attainable, prepare you for any challenges ahead, and help you build up your savings in the meantime before transitioning to one income.</p> <h2>2. Make a Budget</h2> <p>If you aren't sure of how much you'll need to meet your monthly expenses on one income, then use a <a href="http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/considering-baby/financing-family/calculator/">stay-at-home calculator</a> for an accurate estimate. Once you understand your monthly needs, work on creating a budget and sticking to it.</p> <p>Your budget should factor for fixed expenses like rent, car payments, utilities, health and life insurance, credit cards and loan payments, cable and cell phone bills, taxes, and necessities like groceries. But you should also account for variable expenses, like eating out and entertainment, subscriptions, and other expenses that you can more easily limit.</p> <p>You may need to get aggressive in cutting some of these expenses, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-easy-ways-to-save-on-your-gym-membership">canceling your gym membership</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-great-hair-without-the-salon">visiting the salon less often</a>. And make sure you aren't living beyond your means when it comes to your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">rent or mortgage</a> and car payments.</p> <h2>3. Build Up a Savings Cushion</h2> <p>Building a savings cushion becomes doubly important now that your household will be subsisting on a single income. The average family should save a minimum of three to six months' worth of expenses &mdash; and ideally up to a year's worth, if possible. While you're at it, create a contingency plan to help manage any further changes in income, unexpected expenses, or other financial emergencies.</p> <h2>4. Pay Off Debt</h2> <p>One-income households are less able to handle debt, so try to reduce what you owe as much as possible <em>before</em> transitioning to once earnings stream. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt">Eliminate credit card debt</a> and pay down as much as possible early on, and by all means, try not to add any further debt to your plate so that you don't increase your monthly expenses.</p> <h2>5. Strive to Save More Every Month</h2> <p>A lower household income means it's even more important to do all you can to save money wherever possible. Some easy tips for cutting monthly expenses include:</p> <ul> <li>Shop sales and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">use coupons</a>, whenever and wherever possible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Limit dining out. When you do dine out, look for deals from sites like Ebates and Restaurant.com, so you can save money at all your favorite restaurants.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of free activities with your family. Plan free date nights and family outings together.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Host swaps with your friends and family. You can swap food, clothes, books, or toys. You can clear clutter out of your home and receive items that feel like new from your friends and family.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">personal finance apps</a> to stay on track and receive alerts when you risk going over budget.</li> </ul> <h2>Living on One Income &mdash; Even When You Don't Need To</h2> <p>The steps outlined above are wonderful for households downsizing their income, but they work just as well in a two-earner household. In fact, living on a single income and saving the other is an excellent way to strengthen your finances quickly. And if you do find yourself needing to live on one income, you'll be better prepared &mdash; financially and psychologically.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for going down to one income? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-keeping-you-from-a-life-of-financial-independence">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-living-on-one-income-a-status-symbol">Is living on one income a status symbol?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle budgeting household job loss one income stay at home parent Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:00:02 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1634309 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Stay-at-Home Parent http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-to-consider-before-becoming-a-stay-at-home-parent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-to-consider-before-becoming-a-stay-at-home-parent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom_and_kids.jpg" alt="Mom and kids" title="Mom and kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A couple friends have recently cast off the shackles of the working world to embrace the role of stay-at-home parent.</p> <p>Walking away from any full-time salary in this economy is a tough decision. Scores of parents haven't had the luxury of choice because of layoffs, downsizing, and the overall fiscal turmoil.</p> <p>So far, the decision is proving a rewarding one for our friends, but they certainly debated the merits and quality-of-life considerations long before taking the plunge. Here's a look at some of the major fiscal, social, and familial factors they took into account. (See also: <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/why-stay-at-home-dads-are-good-for-families">Why&nbsp;Stay-at-Home Dads Are Good for Families</a> via Parenting Squad)</p> <h2>1. The Single Salary Budget</h2> <p>It's the obvious starting (and possibly ending) point. The most important question surrounding becoming a stay-at-home parent is whether your family can truly afford living on one salary. Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, make sure to adequately plan for the reduction in income. Make sure that your family is able to maintain the same quality of life they are used to while also having adequate income to save for retirement. Honest budgeting and realistic expectations regarding necessities and wants are key.</p> <h2>2. Having a Safety Net</h2> <p>If the employed spouse becomes injured, terminated, or laid off, will your family be able to support itself until your spouse finds work again? Unless your family is able to support itself for six months without a salary, becoming a stay-at-home parent may not be a good option. A sudden job loss could leave your family in a tough financial spot.</p> <h2>3. Adequate Communication</h2> <p>While one parent is working and the other is staying at home, it is very easy for resentment to build between spouses. One or both may feel taken advantage of, and it is often common for the stay-at-home spouse to feel neglected. Before you decide to stay-at-home, it's a good idea to thoroughly discuss how you will manage the change and how you plan on keeping the lines of communication open. Also plan to make several changes to accommodate the different schedules and remain flexible.</p> <h2>4. Actual Savings</h2> <p>While you may be saving money on child care and gas by choosing to stay at home with the kids, you may spend more money on utilities, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-food-changes-you-can-make-today">food</a>, and activities. Trying to entertain children at home may also prove to be more expensive as you may have to purchase new toys or plan for daily outside activities. Actually sit down and calculate the current expenses you have at the office and those you can expect to have while staying at home.</p> <h2>5. Social Outlets</h2> <p>Staying at home instead of going to the office can bring about strong feelings of isolation and lacking social connections. Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, make plans for maintaining an adequate social life. Also keep in mind that having to create a social life outside of the office can be more expensive. Instead of being able to have lunches in the meeting room with coworkers to fulfill social needs, you may now have to enroll in enrichment activities or plan to eat out more.</p> <h2>6. Career Prospects</h2> <p>While most parents choose to become stay-at-home parents during their childen's younger years, many desire to return to the working world once their children are older. Being out of the workforce for numerous years can decrease the likelihood of securing a job in the future, and parents who choose to stay home need to consider whether they would be comfortable about being in a lower position or not obtaining one at all in the future.</p> <h2>7. The Effects on Children</h2> <p>While many parents believe that staying at home with their children can be more beneficial for their children, it can actually be detrimental. Day care provides children with a great way to learn to be social and how to function well in group settings. When children are kept at home, they can be deprived of socialization unless a parent sets up frequent social experiences such as play dates or trips to the park.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-to-consider-before-becoming-a-stay-at-home-parent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-ways-to-celebrate-mothers-day">Free Ways to Celebrate Mother&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-things-that-money-just-cant-buy">The things that money just can&#039;t buy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle childcare stay at home parent Thu, 08 Sep 2011 09:48:23 +0000 Chris Birk 698101 at http://www.wisebread.com Retirement for Stay-at-Home Parents http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-for-stay-at-home-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/retirement-for-stay-at-home-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom and kids.jpg" alt="Mom and Kids" title="Mom and Kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many families make a sacrifice by having one parent stay at home to raise their children.&nbsp; If the stay-at-home parent remains at home and unemployed for the majority of his or her working years, what happens when the stay-at-home parent reaches retirement age?</p> <p>Without employment, a stay-at-home parent isn't going to have an employer-sponsored retirement plan to help him or her out during the golden years.&nbsp; To qualify to open an IRA, the IRS requires you earn an income, so that's out, too!&nbsp; Even if you're not generating an income, you need to establish retirement savings, but with the limitations on IRAs, what are your options?</p> <p>If you're married, you can open a spousal Individual Retirement Account (IRA).&nbsp; The spousal IRA is designed for nonworking spouses to save for retirement with funds from their spouses' income.&nbsp; The 2008 maximum contribution is $5,000 a year in a spousal IRA (or $6,000 per year if you're 50 or older).&nbsp; You can open a spousal IRA as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-choose-a-roth-401k-or-a-regular-401k">Roth or Traditional IRA</a>.&nbsp; With a spousal Roth IRA, you could invest $4,000 a year for 20 years and with an average return of 8% per year &ndash; end up with almost $200,000 that you won't owe taxes on.&nbsp; Uncle Sam already got his share from the money you invested &ndash; which is the primary advantage of Roth IRAs over most other types of retirement accounts which do not tax the original investment but tax your withdrawals.&nbsp; The other benefit of a spousal Roth IRA is that you could withdraw your investment any time, without penalty.&nbsp; The earnings of your contributions must remain in the account for a minimum of five years and until you're at least 59 or else you'll pay big in taxes and penalties, but the amount you contribute can be withdrawn and it won't cost you anything.&nbsp; Ideally, you would leave your money in the IRA for as long as possible, but it's always nice to know you have access to your money in case of an emergency.</p> <p>If you're not married, or otherwise don't meet the requirements for a spousal IRA, you could always look at other interest-earning deposit accounts for establishing a retirement fund.&nbsp; There are many high interest <a href="http://www.depositaccounts.com/savings/">savings accounts</a>, checking accounts, fixed rate IRAs, certificates of deposit and money market accounts which can be opened for as little as $1 &ndash; and are virtually risk free, meaning you aren't gambling with the money you set aside.&nbsp; The earlier you start and the more consistent you are with saving money, the better off you'll be when you reach your retirement years.&nbsp; <br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-for-stay-at-home-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money">6 Ways to Get Paid for Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-choose-a-roth-401k-or-a-regular-401k">Should You Choose a Roth 401k or a Regular 401k?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-such-a-thing-as-risk-free-investing">Is There Such a Thing as Risk-Free Investing?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-an-ira-to-build-wealth">How to Set Up an IRA to Build Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Investment IRA retirement accounts savings accounts stay at home parent Tue, 13 Jan 2009 15:23:04 +0000 Debbie Dragon 2733 at http://www.wisebread.com