In case you haven't heard Beyoncé is pregnant with twins. What you might not know is that in Jay Z's and Beyoncé’s prenup it states that she gets a cool 5 million for every baby she bears that’s his. Do the math babes. That means Queen B is carrying around 10 million dollars in her uterus. Which is, unfortunately, more $$$ than most of us will see in a lifetime.
Also another unfortunate fact: CNN recently revealed that raising a child to age 18 will costs $233,610-- pre-college. So what is a working mom to do? We checked in with three of our favorite working moms to get their life tips and tricks on saving money, even with baby at home.
Angela Sutherland, investment executive and co-founder of the new organic children's food delivery service Yumi, has two kids and three great tips for saving money-- especially as it relates to your TAXES. If you already filed your taxes this year, take her advice and make this a priority in 2018.
First, she says, "Depending on which state you're in you can actually buy pre-paid tuition, locking in the current rate of tuition, which is actual an amazing deal given the rate of inflation. The only downside is you have to decide early (very early!) which college your kid will go to, however, if you have a very strong state school it could be a great way to save." For those legacy families, look into this.
Second, she shares, "Be a lifetime learner! Few people know that you can claim up to $2k in tax credit every year for the classes you take. That's not $2k off of your taxable income like other deductions, that's actually a straight credit off your calculated taxes owed." And finally, says the mom and business owner, "There's a tax credit that's called the Dependent Care Credit- of which few people take advantage. But you can get up to $3k per child of tax deductions when you use a nanny or someone who cares for your children if you work."
Mom-to-be and writer Jane Helpern shared this practical advice: "Drive a Prius. Bring your lunch to work. And swap your Equinox membership for the YMCA which offers free childcare. Don't have a pool because they cost a lot to heat and don't be afraid to send your kids to daycare."
Postpartum doula Stephanie Matthias takes a slightly more holistic approach to the numbers game. "If you count your rent and gas, everything that costs money," the single mom of two explains, "summer camp, classes, buying birthday presents for kids in the class, or the fact that they want to go a vending machine at school because their friends do, it adds up." But she has some positive ideas on how to flip the script.
For one, "Enlisting family to help with childcare is huge, if it's possible," she shares. "I've chosen to have the kind of career where I work freelance, where I make my own hours. I'm not only doing what I want to be doing, but it's also really conducive to motherhood. I've made very strategic career decisions in order to accommodate being a mother."
She also shares, "I've never been a good budgeter. I'm not a frugal person. Even when I was working four jobs living in a $1000 dollar one-room apartment on the East Side (of Los Angeles), I would still go to Whole Foods and buy water. I used to think of money in terms of scarcity, in terms of what I could and couldn't afford. Now I think about money in terms of what kind of life I want to have. Do I want a life of experiences? What kind of life do I want for my kids? And what do I want to teach them about money? This approach has helped me spend less. It's almost like eliminating sugar. How I want to feel longterm is analogous to what I want my life to look like longterm. This reworking has completely changed the way I think about money. The money that I make during the time that I'm working, that's time that I'm spending away from of my kids. That makes the money more valuable to me and makes me more mindful of what I'm spending on. That money better be going toward stuff that makes our lives great. I'm not gonna work all these hours and spend money on shoes." Half of the time she says she doesn't get home until after her youngest in already in bed and there's an element of mom guilt that kicks in. The voice that says, "I didn't spend the day with you, I'm gonna get you something."
Matthias continues, "It's easy for working moms to feel like, 'I'm gone and I'm making x amount of money, so I can afford these really cute toys and it will make them happy.'" Not true she insists. "All your kids want is quality time with you. The more hours I work, the more money I make, the more that voice kicks in. That's when we do things to placate our kids. That's a massive waste of money. Every fifteen dollar tiara and thirty dollar ballet skirt, that all adds up. That's money you could put into their college fund."
She adds, "From a super practical standpoint, I am super strategic about where I do my food shopping. I want everything to be super high quality, but it's not always practical to only shop at Erewhon. I joined Thrive online. It's an online grocery store that doesn't sell produce. But instead has all of the snacks that go in lunches, etc. Everything is super discounted."
Extra credit pro tip: Babies grow and they grow fast. You're replacing their clothes every couple of months and many of them are barley worn. If you plan on having more than one, buy gender-neutral items so the next child can wear the hand-me-downs. And for new moms who are nesting (that innate desire to get ready for baby) don't be fooled by the marketing world. Babies don't need their own everrrrything-- from body wash to detergent to hair brushes. Don't nest yourself out of a nest egg.
Have more money saving tips? Share below!
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