ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE IN ASSOCIATION WITH VAUXHALL
INSPIRED IDEAS: Fiona Harrold, LIFE COACH
Planning for the future
Sunday 18 December 2005
My wife and I have been married for three years now and we've both decided that we're ready (mentally not financially) to start a family. My wife will not return to work after having children as she's always wanted to be a full-time mum and I fully support her decision. Our main concern is that we will lose her salary and we have no substantial savings to fall back on. We've become quite accustomed to living on a fairly decent joint salary and while we know we can't maintain the lifestyle we've been used to, I'm concerned that in the future, I alone will have to feed more than two mouths. Can you suggest any lifestyle changes, or clever budgeting ideas that may help? Matt, 38
Hi Matt, congratulations on your forward thinking. It's really quite unusual to see someone planning for such a life-changing event as having a baby. So, you're way ahead from the start. It's worth bearing in mind that, plan as you might, there's no guarantee that your wife will want to be a stay-athome mum just because it feels right now. But it's great to plan to have that choice rather than feel forced back to work. I think it's far more exciting to think about ways of making money rather than ways to make do with less. It brings out our creative side. Let's think about that first off:
1. Assess your worth. Your most valuable asset, in terms of cash flow, is your “earning ability.” You could lose everything you own – your house, your car – but as long as you still had your earning ability, you could make it all back and more. Take stock of your unique talents and abilities. Your job is to identify your special areas of uniqueness and then to commit yourself to becoming an expert in those areas.
2. Money-making opportunities are everywhere. Now is the time to get thinking about turning some of you and your wife's combined wisdom and “earning ability” into a money-making idea, in addition to your salaried jobs. This can be a joint project that you research and begin now in your spare time that can be managed and monitored without too much hands-on involvement, that gives you both the flexibility to do as little or as much as you want, and that generates extra income. This could be anything from a cleaning company, dog-walking agency, book-keeping service... whatever you can set up easily, imaginatively and can be run from home and in the evenings.
3. Plan for two pay rises! Now that you're aware of your stock and its value, figure out how you can offer additional benefits to your company in order to get not one, but two promotions and pay rises in as short a time as possible. Think about adding to their bottom line so that your increase is entirely justified. This is the time to get ambitious and move up that ladder two rungs at a time.
4. Where does your money go? Calculate EXACTLY what your monthly expenditure is. List EVERYTHING. Overestimate if you are not sure. Knowing what you spend and how you spend per month is one of the most useful pieces of information you can have. Decide where you can cut costs painlessly, leaving less of a shortfall for you to make up without your wife's salary.
5. Curb your consumerism. The culture of earning more to spend more just doesn't add up. And buying more stuff to store, tidy and take care of adds to the chores. A simpler, pared-down life is much more refined and desirable. Think before you buy. Do you really need it or really want it or are you being persuaded that you do? Watch your motivation. Buy less and buy better. A connoisseur doesn't surround himself with masses of cheap tat from thirdworld sweatshops, but carefully chosen objects that he cherishes and passes on to the next generation.
Life & Style blogs
Revenge porn: What is it – and how big is the problem?
Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
The Fappening: After the third wave of leaked celebrity photos, why can't we stop it?
Windows 10 release: Microsoft bypasses 'Windows 9' with new operating system
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...