We have been blessed with some amazing babysitters for our children in every place we’ve lived, and I love the chance to get to know high school girls whose ambition is to be full-time moms. This week, I’m going to share some advice I’ve given recently to young women who aspire to be a homemakers and moms. Today and tomorrow, I’ll talk about homemaking, and then I’ll talk more specifically about preparation for being a stay-at-home mom. I’m writing with my teenage babysitter in mind, but these things can be applicable to college girls and beyond, as well.
- Understand the value of money. It may sound counterintuitive that one way for preparing to work without pay in the home is to work for pay out of the home, but I am so grateful that my parents taught me about money by having me work for it. By all means, we at E2S affirm the value of working in the home without any monetary gain. But the reality is that for most families, staying at home and living on one income is a financial sacrifice. You can prepare for that by learning to make wise financial decisions now. One good way to understand the value of a dollar is to have to work for it yourself. If you have a taste for Banana Republic t-shirts, consider how many hours you have to babysit or wait tables or hand food through a drive-through window to pay for one of those t-shirts. If you have an expensive hobby, consider how many hours it takes you to earn one hour’s worth of your hobby.
- If your parents have the means and inclination to cover your essentials and give you spending money, you can still keep a budget of what you earn and what you spend. You may be able to start a savings account that you can use for college or bring into adulthood or marriage. If your parents are not in a position to help you, that take it as an opportunity to learn budgeting skills now. Be careful to record all of your income and all your expenses. If you want something you can’t afford, figure out how you can find another job or if a less expensive item would be an acceptable substitute. Learn how to wait to buy something or go without until you have the money for it. I desperately want a new mixer in my kitchen, but I’m needing to make do without it while I save up. This is the reality of responsible adult life! Even if you’re not having to budget for food, rent, or utilities, you’re developing a habit of money management that will be useful when you are truly on your own, with or without a husband. It is so much easier to start forming good habits now, with just your own wants and needs in the picture!
Were you well prepared for financial responsibility before entering the adult world?