How do you become financially independent if you don’t work outside the home? These tips are for stay at home moms who know the importance of financial independence, but aren’t sure how to achieve it.
Here’s what Jennifer says: “Hi Laurie, thank you for posting this! Women and finances can be a real struggle, I know I struggle with money. How can a woman who is financially dependent on her husband get her own money?” I answered her question on Trusting God and Saving Money – Tips for Christian Women.
It’s funny she should ask this, because I’m currently reading The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-first Century. It’s not exactly a positive portrayal of marriage and wives, but it does make you realize that money is a huge issue – and not just in terms of what to buy! Money is power, and women get the short end of the stick. Especially if they don’t have an outside job and rely on their husbands for money…and/or if they’re stay at home moms.
If you’re financially dependent on your husband because he works and you don’t, you need to find ways to break free. I don’t mean get a divorce or emotionally disconnect yourself from him – I mean set up your own bank account, find a way to earn at least a trickle of income, and start taking steps toward financial independence.
No matter how strong and happy your marriage is, you need to be financially independent. You won’t be a stay at home mom forever, and you need to be prepared for anything life brings your way!
Get credit cards in your name
You don’t need to use your credit cards – in fact, if you don’t have an income because you’re not working outside the home and your husband is, then it’s probably best not to rack up your credit cards. But, having credit cards can help your credit rating, which you may need in the future. A good option may be to open a credit card in your name, use it for groceries and household spending, and use your husband’s money to pay it off every month.
If you struggle with credit card spending, read 4 Tips for Using Credit Cards Without Going Into Debt.
Open a bank account
Even if you only have $10 to your name, you need a bank account. Maybe you’ll inherit a few hundred or thousand bucks. Maybe you’ll get a job, or find a way to earn a passive source of income. Keep your banking options open, because one day you’ll need your own checking or savings account.
Learn what your husband’s income and bills are
From The Meaning of Wife, I learned that not all wives know how much money their husbands earn, how that money is invested, or what the bills are. One of my husband’s brothers does this – his wife has no idea what property he owns. He’s not even a millionaire, with so many properties he can’t keep track…he’s just an oppressive husband who acts like it’s the 1950s.This keeps wives financially dependent, especially if they don’t work or have an income of their own!
Take a second look at your hobbies
Is there anything you love to do that can double as a source of income? If you love to write, for instance, maybe you could start a blog and earn passive income (I know all about that – if you want more info, let me know in the comments section!).
Read How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Career – it has several stories from female entrepreneurs who became financially independent through their hobbies.
Don’t let your skills wither away
If you worked as a lawyer before you had kids and stopped working outside the home, then volunteer with a legal aid society. If you worked as a waitress, take an extra shift a week. If you were an office assistant, find ways to work from home. Or, volunteer your office skills to someone who is starting a small business. Maybe you and another wife who doesn’t work outside the home can partner up and start a business together – because you aren’t the only woman who needs to be financially independent!
Talk to a financial planner
The first visit to a financial planner is free. Talk to him or her about becoming financially independent when you don’t work outside the home – and if you can’t or don’t get the information you need, then call a women’s resource center.
It’s so important to become financially independent before a crisis happens! Women write me every day, saying their husbands are leaving and they (the wives) have no money, no options, and nowhere to go. Even if your marriage is as solid as rock, you need financial independence to feel strong, capable, and ready to handle anything that may arise.
If financial independence seems out of reach, read Why Are Women Bad With Money? 7 Money Mistakes Women Make.
What do you think – can stay at home moms be financially independent?