01 May 2012

Parenting and Money: The Inevitable Link

Balancing The Account By Hand

When I was still pregnant, a lot of family members, friends, even strangers shared their parenting tips to me.  They shared stories about their parenting challenges and life-changing experiences.  They gave advice on how to deal with the difficulties and adjustments of being a first time mom.  Some of them warned us about the additional expenses that are born with the child.  

After waiting for 7 years, Don and I thought we are well-prepared for raising Julia.  We had a birth plan, we read a lot of references on parenting, child development and raising a family.  Little did we know that one of the greatest challenges we will face as parents is managing our finances properly. 

Don and I work as full-time employees so we thought money will not be an issue.  So, we continued with our no-child-yet lifestyle.  After 15 months of being parents, we realized that one aspect of parenting that we neglected to prepare was a financial plan for our family.  Yes, good parenting includes effective management of finances.  So with a depleting savings account and an increasing credit card bill, Don and I sat down and talked about our income, expenses and how we can save ourselves from falling into the trap of mismanaging our resources.

We decided to have a major lifestyle change (read as:  no shopping for me), a travel ban for 15 months and an expense budget to follow.  However, managing expenses is only one aspect of financial security and stability.  Saving and investing are equally important especially when raising a child.  The money we save and set aside now will affect two things:
  1. The future of our children - As parents, it is our responsibility to provide food, clothing and shelter to our children.  More importantly, it is our responsibility to provide them opportunities to learn and be educated.  Sending them to a good school is not cheap.

  2. Our future without our children - Our children will eventually leave us to live their own lives or start their own family.  One of the things I learned from my dad is saving for retirement.  His story of would haves and could haves is an inspiration to set aside money for old age.
So, last month I met with our ninong, Mr. Hector De Leon, Executive Vice President of First MetroAsset Management, Inc.   Aside from discussing a possible wealth management program for the employees of the company I work for, I took the opportunity to ask him about my role as a mom in saving and investing for the family.  I mean, moms like us are expected to manage household expenses.  But, we can also contribute to saving and investing not only for our child's future but for our retirement as well.

I am excited to let you know that every week, for the month of May and June, I will be sharing with you the things I learned from Mr. De Leon about saving and investing:

  • Lesson 1:  Basic principles of Saving and Investing 

  • Lesson 2:  Three Important Requirements of Saving and Investing

  • Lesson 3:  Short Term Goal - Manage Daily Household Expenses

  • Lesson 4:  Medium Term Goal - Saving for Education

  • Lesson 5:  Long Term Goal - Saving for Retirement
     
It is never too late to start saving AND investing.  Yes, a clich√©, I know.  But, it’s true.  

Did you experience any difficulty in managing your finances?  What did you do to overcome it?


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Photo from Flickr.
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