As the world spins, so do the circumstances for society, and modern mothers have had to deal with unprecedented caveats in 2021. Now, an understanding of constantly advancing technologies, prevailing social justice and political issues, and capacities to navigate a global pandemic are required maternal knowledge—making for some unique financial challenges for families in the Millenial and Gen Z generation. This article will explore how education has exacerbated finances for modern parents, how to use technology to navigate those nuances, and finally, budget solutions for families in 2021.
How Education Impounds Finances
From 2008 to 2014, tuition and fees at both four-year and two-year institutions across the US rose 28%. With the crippling debt from a college degree, many Millenial and Gen Z parents are dealing with the long-term and expensive payoff from loans and tuition. This monthly portion that goes out can significantly impact other financial needs, especially those needed for a family.
Education is an extreme investment for those who are even able to afford it—but at the same time, a degree is most times a baseline requirement for any consistent and well-paying job on the market. This puts young parents in a catch 22 of how to generate a stable income without a huge portion of the monthly income being taken out. With educational debt being a huge deterrent, a collective percentage of 75% of Millennial and Gen Z adults believe college isn’t the only path to a good education. With job preparation being the main goal, many young adults of this generation base their decision for education on what’s available in the job market.
Thankfully, it is much easier to make supplemental income online nowadays, and there is a myriad of platforms and apps to do it. One example is Etsy, where artists, craftsmen, and skilled hobbyists alike can make a side dollar by listing and selling their product for a small commission cut. Another way to make an extra buck is if you have quality clothes, makeup or personal products, room decor, or even appliances that you no longer use—these can be easily sold on consignment apps such as Poshmark or Mercari.
There is also more flexible work out there. Depending on your skill set, you can find work via Fivver—which is an app marketplace for individuals to sell their talent for freelance opportunities. There are even some job platforms designed specifically for moms by focusing on remote work like Hire My Mom. Depending on your skills, experience, and current needs in the market, there is a spectrum of available work from one-project jobs all the way to full-time contract work. Those are just a few of the available options for bolstering your finances or possibly helping to pay off educational debt, but there are many more.
Stretch Your Dollars
Making adjustments to the budget is inevitable for parents, regardless of their age. The obvious costs at the top of the list will always be basic needs such as food, shelter, transportation, and utilities. Today the price of these basic needs has only been on a steady upward trend, however. What is more, is that with a new family member, priorities shift as mandatory items needed for a baby make their way to the forefront as well.
Budgeting as a parent in 2021 starts with putting down all of your expenses in black and white. That way you can see where there is room to cut completely or where decisions can be made to reduce costs and spending. You'll want to keep track of all of your spending for at least one month, even cash purchases, so you have an accurate overview of where your money is going and where savings can be found. You can do this in three easy steps:
- List your income
- List your expenses
- Subtract your income from your expenses
This is what is called the “zero-based budget”, which is where this equation totals to zero. This doesn’t mean you have zero income—it just means that every part of your income is employed in your budget. It is important to make sure every dollar you make is working hard towards your financial goals, so make sure there is a category for remaining funds like savings or paying off debt.
Mitigating unnecessary items to cut your outgoing costs is key—such as selling one car, getting rid of cable tv, and all other nonessential bills. For even more strategic tips on family budgeting, follow this link. Additionally, here is a list of the 7 best budget apps for 2021—as they say, every dollar saved is a dollar earned.
Balancing family and work for Millennial and Gen Z parents looks different in 2021, but there are also plenty of alternative financial opportunities and insider tips to be had. With these tools and a dash of determination, young modern mothers can forge their own path on the matriarchal map when it comes to financial decisions—moving forward with confidence through the remainder of 2021.
About the Author
As both an entrepreneur and a mom of 4, I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs and small businesses take their business to the next level by hiring dependable, talented virtual professionals while also helping Mom Professionals find legitimate, flexible work from home jobs. Unlike the mega career sites, HireMyMom.com focuses strictly on home-based jobs and projects that work perfectly for savvy entrepreneurs and today’s modern mom. Since launching HireMyMom.com in 2007, we've helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses find the right freelancers or remote employees for their company.