Let’s be honest. Making the decision to become a stay at home mom (SAHM) was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. Actually… I had no choice. I had to stop working because of medical issues that developed after the birth of my second daughter… but I will save that story for another post. When my husband and I discussed my diagnosis and my physical limitations, we knew that we HAD to put my health first. Our daughters needed me to be strong and healthy. There was no time to prepare. There was no time to discuss how we would make ends meet especially because we were losing a significant income. We decided we would figure it out along the way and that’s what we have been doing for the past 4 years.
Now… it has been a very difficult journey but I do not regret, nor would I change the decision we made. The only thing I wish is that I would have had more time to prepare… especially financially. If I was more prepared, then the journey might not have been as difficult. But it is never too late to get your finances in order and that is one of my big goals for 2018. To get myself started, I reached out to Brie Sodano and asked her what are the top three things women need to think about before they decide to stop working their 9 to 5… and this is what she had to say:
1. Track Your Cash Flow
Working from home whether you are a mom or not is difficult and takes a lot of discipline. Before you decide to leave your 9 to 5 and become a SAHM or WAHM, the most important thing to do is track your cash flow. You want to look at where your money is going every month. This includes, but not limited too, looking at how much you spend on:
• Trips to target
• Kids activities
• Weekly consumables
• Amazon Orders
• Your daily cup of coffee
• Preschool / school tuitions
• Dinners out
2. Make Strategic Cuts In Your Expenses
Once you have tracked your cash flow, the next step is to make strategic cuts in your expenses. You may immediately think about cutting the costs of groceries and daily cups of coffee but you really need to start by looking at your biggest bill first and work your way down to your smallest. The reason for this is because you can only cut your groceries so much before you have no food to eat. So go ahead… take a look at your rent/mortgage… is there any way you can reduce the cost by living in a smaller space and still be happy? The same concept goes for your car… can you purchase a car with a smaller monthly payment?
By making these strategic cuts in your expenses, you must also acknowledge that your current lifestyle will not stay the same. Your lifestyle will change. It is your responsibility to ensure that your lifestyle change does not include putting everything on your credit card… which will obviously not help your financial situation.
3. Have a Game Plan
Whether you decide to temporarily or permanently leave your 9 to 5, it is important to have a game plan together for your re-entry to the work force should it occur. You want to make sure you stay sharp on your skills so its easier to get back in the game and you do not have to take work below your experience. Staying sharp on your skills will also help you make the most amount of money in the most efficient way, if and when you return to work.
Why From Sheep To Shark?
What attracted me to Brie is her mission and her authenticity. Brie is a Personal Finance Strategist turned Founder of her own financial planning firm, From Sheep to Shark. The mission of From Sheep to Shark is “to inspire and enable women to define their own success and live life on their own terms” which I think is amazing! I also love her way of thinking which goes against what you hear from other financial advisors. It personally aligns more with what I think and what I need to make changes in my life. It is also why I am so excited for her upcoming Cash Flow Day Workshop.
During the Cash Flow Day Workshop, you will learn to control your money in 30 minutes per month without a budget, or sacrificing your daily latte. You will learn to: Get clear on your monthly and irregular expenses; Pay off credit card debt in the most efficient manner; Manage money evenly without a feast and famine cycle; Set up a bill payment system that runs in 30 minutes per month; Save money for emergencies, retirement, and vacations; and Make better choices with your money. If you are interested in learning more about this workshop or signing up for it, click here.
Bonus Thoughts From Brie
Working from home (whether it is with a MLM company or opening an etsy shop) is only good if you do the work. If you treat it like a hobby and do not do the work, then it becomes an expense which affects your bottom line of being in a good financial situation. Additionally, don’t treat your time like its worthless because you are not getting paid to do things. If you maintain a mindset which helps you feel calm, abundance and generosity… you instantly start making better choices and having alignment between money and life direction.
As Brie states… “Financial freedom comes from being a master of money rather than a slave to it. Freedom comes from understanding leverage, spending wisely, controlling cash flow, saving, and investing.” So make sure to track your cash flow, make strategic cuts in your expenses and have a game plan before you decide to leave your 9 to 5.