Transitioning into a single-earner household requires patience and an open mind, as would any situation where family dynamics are suddenly switched. It also means taking a hard look at your finances to decide what sacrifices need to be made in order to sustain the transition. Christine DiGangi, who has a piece over at ABC News offering advice to new stay-at-home parents, suggests budgeting be the first priority:
“If you’re not already tracking your spending and progress toward financial goals, you need to get in the habit of doing so before making a drastic change to your income status.”
While much focus is placed on the disappearing income of the transitioning parent, it’s also important to remember the disappearing expenses related to commuting, child care, and professional development. DiGangi also suggests not skimping on things such as insurance and retirement planning, as hamstringing the future for the present only sets you up for trouble down the road.
Beyond finances, internal family dynamics have to be audited and assessed with open minds. It’s important to remember that the stay-at-home parent is not becoming a freeloader. Financial clout should not determine the family hierarchy — each parent takes on a worthy burden.
If you’re considering a switch, give the stay-at-home a trial period to decide if it’s right for your household.
Read more at ABC News
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