For a stay-at-home parent, spending money on yourself can lead to feelings of guilt and resentment. It doesn’t have to be that way. The average stay-at-home mom works 94 hours per week. Duties include (but are not limited to) cleaning house, cooking, teaching, behavior management, and laundry. For this, in theory, she should earn close to $113,000 per year, according to researchers at Salary.com. The same can be said for the growing number of stay-at-home dads. In reality, though, full-time stay-at-home parents don’t receive a paycheck. And as a result, many struggle with feeling financially powerless or emotionally torn when it comes to spending money on themselves. A personal purchase like a new item of clothing or lunch out with a friend feels like it’s “taking away” from the family budget. Creating a budget just for the stay-at-home-parent can lead to resentment and feeling like a second-class citizen. The solution: allow both partners equal access to the household money by creating equal spend/save funds for each person in the relationship. That sends a message that while only one person is bringing home a salary, both partners work hard and have equally important responsibilities. Both spouses should factor in anticipated personal needs such as haircuts, clothes, incidentals, etc. and, together, decide on an equal percentage of the working partner’s income (say, 5 percent or 10 percent) that will go into your personal funds. | Read More

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