There are a few things we’d like to know in order to share with all of our beautiful readers about “Momming” on a budget. But when you think about it, mothers not only give life, nurture or spearhead child rearing for their families but women are also responsible for many decisions that happen within a household. Think about medical/healthcare decisions, shopping and household influences, or oversee the financial planning and literacy aspect for their families.
This is also why girls- who grow up to become women- rule the world. Insert [baddass] here! 85% of moms in the US control household purchases (m2moms.com)72% of all moms actually work (m2moms.com)Moms in the US have a spending power of $2.4 trillion dollars Mothers’ are about that life: being a superHERo, counting their coins (and checks), while giving their tribe with the best pieces of them. So let’s level up your finances and maximize those budgets to accomplish the goals and things you desire and rightfully deserve! Being the founder of her financial literacy initiative- Kids Who Bank- and being a hands on mother of a four year old filled with vigor, Jatali Bellanton is serious about effective budgeting techniques. Be ready to take notes.
Txture Magazine: What are some misconceptions others may perceive when it comes to budgeting or saving money?
Jatali Bellanton: “Even with me I’m a budgeter and I go hard with it. To elaborate why I go hard with it: I spent thirteen and a half years in finance and I’ve seen like millionaires have struggles with budgeting.That definitely has an anchor. The second thing for me was, especially the last client that I worked for, he had clients like Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Oscar De La Renta. One Thing I noticed is that there are a lot of free giveaways [where luxury items were given out for free]. It really just changed my mindset about what I’d be willing to spend full price on. If Anything starting to budget as a mom is very important.
You know [like] meal prepping is very important for a mom like myself; I’m always on the go. But If you can't make an hour out of the week-- an hour to prepare your food; find a quick meal that you can prepare-- so that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you just pull them out. I think that there is a problem there. I think is very important as moms we take and hour to meal prep and an hour to clean up. So maybe two hours out of your week you would do both and that will help you very much.
I remember I had a client who was a single-mother and I was helping her budget. She came from making $80,000 a year and when she started making $150,000 she’s like ‘Jay I have nothing saved up.’ And I’m like how it that impossible.
JB: She was spending almost $3,500 to $4,000 a month on food.
TM: On food alone?
JB: Yes on food. And what made it worse is that she was a vegetarian. When she’d go out to eat with her friends their ordering steaks, expensive fish, full bottles of wine, and then they’d split the bill. I’m like but you had a salad that was like $20 and you don't even drink wine. She Was putting $100 dollars towards a meal but you only ate about $20 of that food.
JB: I had to sit her down to tell her. You have to let your friends know that ‘Hey, I’m budgeting and I can no longer split these bills with you guys they won't take offense. If you don’t feel comfortable telling your friend that then that’s not a friend. That’s why meal prepping, budgeting,and watching what you eat during the week is so important because before you know it you can spend $100 dollars eating [out] in one day.I also like the envelope method are you familiar with it?
TM: Yes I am!
JB: Perfect! The envelope method for anyone who doesn't know is where you put your money in[categorized] envelops: one goes towards gas, one goes to food for the week, one for clothing,or miscellaneous items. Let’s say you spend all of your money in the envelope for gas. You don't dip into the other envelops. So you budget yourself accordingly with those envelopes. Now a lot of us don’t carry cash with us. But if you do use a card I suggest the GoodBudget app.
This app allows you to do the same method using the cash directly from your bank account. It puts [the money] into like a digital envelope and then when you go to budget, it will warn you when you get low on a certain envelope/category. It’s very important once you put yourself a budget you stick to the budget.
TM: Oh yeah you have to be disciplined and just do it.What about shopping for personal items that women may want to make them look and feel their best- like shoes or beauty items- but may not always be necessary. How can she reward herself with cake and eat it too?
JB: I’d say is coupons; I’m very big on coupons. Now let’s say your Bounty paper towels are $24. If you get a coupon to help you save money and you only pay $19 for it. I say that out of the money you saved, even if it's all of the money saved or at least $3 from the five bucks saved, you would take that and put it into your personal savings for something that you want to do. Whether it's a vacation plan or spa day fun I think it's important to do that since it's money that you gotta spend anyway. So not that money you were going to spend you can take it and save it. Before you know it, it adds up.
I probably could go on talking about financial literacy and especially me because I live my life this way. But my favorite tip I have to share before we go. If your a mom who likes to vacation don’t think that your life has ended. I travel all the time with my son. Since he was two months he was traveling on a plane and babies fly free on your lap for free until 2 years old.Take use of it.
TM: That is actually a great to look at it.
JB: There are little things that can be done to make your vacation smooth like bringing your own snacks and toys, preparing sandwiches; the more you bring of your own stuff the better and cheaper.
TM: It’s always been said it’s best to lead by example. What are different ways women can teach their children the value of money and the power of budgeting while at home?
JB: I give you an example. Once [my son] started to make requests for a toy, he loves these hot wheel cars that are a dollar, it was time to teach him how to budget and earn the money to do that. So one of the things his Dad and I do as a tag team is that every night he has to put away his toys. Everytime he puts away his toys we started the “star”system until about 2 ½. Then [my son] said stars aren't real money so we started giving him actual quarters to actually save.
Each day he puts away his toys he gets one quarter. After the 6th day [of saving] he has enough money to go to the supermarket and buy his toy. There will be days that he didn’t want to clean up his toys and I explain how he doesn’t earn a quarter. When we go to the supermarket to buy groceries and he asks to buy a hot wheels car I let him know he only has a dollar because he didn’t clean up his toys every night. Then it dawned on him he didn’t earn his money to buy his hot wheel. His dad and I really followed through where we wouldn’t buy him the toy.Parents it’s so important to follow through. It's not enough to tell them there will be a consequence because if you don’t follow through and get you get them the toy anyway, they won’t learn the lesson or take you serious.
It only happened twice where he didn't make enough money for the whole week to buy his toys. What ended up happening is that cleaning up his toys became his job. Now he’s 4 years old and always cleans up his toys before going to be and he has about 100 cars. And people are like ‘oh he’s so spoiled he has all these hot wheel cars and I have the pleasure of saying no [my son] has earned them. He actually worked and put in the time to earn the money for his toys. I think once youth understand the value it makes a difference.
TM: How do you believe more women can achieve the life they want while being amazing mothers to their children?
JB: I think there needs to be self love, balance, selfishness and selflessness. You need to have a balance of the two. As moms sometimes we become so selfless we forget to be equally selfish sometimes. You can do anything with your child on your hip.
For more information on Jatali Bellanton, visit http://www.kidswhobank.com/