More women are becoming sole breadwinners as the male-dominated manufacturing sector is hit by outsourcing and the recent recession. With women making half of the working population according to recent U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, more women are also finding themselves the lone income earner in the family.
It is a difficult situation, but there are ways to cushion the impact and perhaps improve your family’s financial lot. The objective is to lower the risk to your income stream by keeping in mind some basic personal finance and practical tips.
Being a woman breadwinner puts pressure on the family with you having to contend with two common emotional issues: you can feel resentment for being “left” alone; or shame that your man cannot earn enough for her and the children.
An open communication line will not solve your partner’s work issues; but it will help you, over time, to validate or dispel the resentment so you can make the right decision.
You are the best person to determine if you really have been left to earn alone or if the situation is temporary. Talk to your partner. Open up, but be prepared for the walls he’ll be putting up to protect his ego. Make sure that you are not blaming him, but trying to find a solution for both of you and the kids.
Getting a promotion is always a good thing. But rather than wait for a higher pay, it is better to find ways to expand your income source. The husband may be temporarily put out of the loop, but there are other ways that you, he or even the kids can pitch in to bulk up the family treasury.
Explore potential home business opportunities. The Internet provides a slew of part-time jobs from various skill sets, such as coding, accounting, graphic design, and social media marketing. Many of these are high-paying jobs than do not require formal education but simply a fast learning curve.
You can also ask the family members to start a home-based business from preschool tutorials and child care to lawn mowing and house cleaning. There are many easy ways to start a home business.
If you haven’t yet. More than anyone else, perhaps, a life insurance is a must for sole breadwinners. The tragedy of leaving your family so soon can send shiver down the spine. A life insurance provides the calm and peace to fight off this shiver. Take life insurance as food; it should be on top of your priorities.
The word “play” maybe a little off here but investing in stocks is akin to playing with outcomes and you should keep that in mind. Only invest disposable money to invest in stocks while you are struggling to get your man back to his feet. The stock market is always a good channel to add to your income stream, but play it with as minimal risk to your finances.
The time you save from finishing work is an extra time for another job or, more importantly, for you children. In many instances work can be reduced to basic steps that you can accomplish in half of your productive hours. The other half is often spent on preparing for work, breaks, small talk with co-workers, or idling time away.
Identify the core tasks to do in a day so you can compartmentalize each of them and move on to the next. Working at home—many companies allow their employees a once-a-week schedule to work at home—will also save you from traveling, time that you can re-allocate for your family.
You are just one person and you can only take too many tasks. It is better to focus on some work with high returns and where you can provide quality outputs than accept a lot of work that compromise your performance. This is true if you’re providing part-time services or starting your home-based business, as well as managing your household tasks.
Now that you’re the sole breadwinner, mundane household tasks like the laundry and cooking can be assigned to any of the family member. You only have twenty-four hours each day. So make sure to use each hour on the tasks that will give you a longer term of return, like spending more time with your kid.
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