Sunday, March 27, 2011

What Can You Do About the Vicious Debt Cycle As a Stay at Home Mom?

Getting into debt can cause your family's finances to go into a vicious downward cycle, especially if you're a single income family. It's difficult for a stay at home mom to contribute directly to the finances of the family, but it can become necessary.

The first thing you should look at is why your family fell into debt in the first place. Could you have done anything to avoid it? How can you prepare for such a situation in the future?

Sometimes it was indeed completely out of your control. There's only so much a family can do to plan for medical emergencies, for example, and insurance isn't always enough.

Other times you could have planned better. Do you have a savings account to prepare for the car's next big breakdown? Is it time to save up for the next one?

If it's regular living expenses that are causing you to get further and further into debt, you have a real problem and you need to increase your income or cut way back to get out of it.

There are things many families can cut, such as cable television, eating out and other such things that are fun or nice to have, but not really necessities. It's worth taking a second look at such things to see if they will help you get back out of debt.

If the situation is more severe, then it can be time for you, as a stay at home mom, to find a way to bring in an income. That might mean finding a part time or even a full time job, depending on what you family needs to bring income up to meet your needs, combined with how childcare will be managed.

You may be able to bring in an income from home, but it is challenging. There are tons of work at home scams out there. There are legitimate work at home jobs available, but you should be careful and do your research before applying to any of them. Just be prepared for a long job hunt, as few get a work at home job quickly.

A home business is also an option, but it's risky. You shouldn't spend any money on a home business that you can't afford to risk. You have no idea when it will be profitable or even if it will be profitable. Plan carefully if you choose a home business of any sort and be prepared to work hard.

Whatever you do, don't let the debt cycle keep you spiraling downward. Do something about it. You can't just throw up your hands and say it's out of your control or that there's no solution. The solution may not be comfortable, but you need to find it. Your family will benefit in the long run.

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