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As Americans feel the financial strain of higher costs and stretched paychecks, moms are finding the ever-challenging role of having to afford essentials on tighter budgets than ever before.
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According to a recent survey by GOBankingRates, 27% of parents are overwhelmed with everyday expenses. However, these rising costs weigh more heavily on mothers, with 41% of mothers significantly more saying they feel overwhelmed by everyday expenses. Other spending is also worrying this group as they try to make ends meet as prices continue to climb.
Here’s a breakdown of all the expenses that weigh on moms, along with some expert tips to ease the financial stress.
Mothers feel overwhelmed by the everyday costs
Almost half of mothers are burdened with overwhelmingly high costs for essentials like groceries, with 41% of mothers in our survey feeling this way.
However, not all moms find the cost of groceries to be the most overwhelming expense. Others cite saving for college as the most worrying expense, with 16% agreeing. The rising cost of childcare and after-school care also weighs on mothers, with 10% of mothers finding this category the most overwhelming.
Millennials find that day-to-day expenses and childcare costs are the most overwhelming
Today’s Millennial mothers (ages 27-42) are likely parents of dependent children and are feeling the financial strain of caring for and caring for their children during times of extreme inflation.
These mothers are more stressed to afford daily expenses than any other age group. Our survey found that 49% of millennial moms aged 25-34 feel overwhelmed by the cost of everyday essentials. Additionally, on the threshold of Millennials and Gen X, mothers are the most anxious when it comes to financing everyday expenses, with 52% of 35-44 year olds struggling to make ends meet.
These millennial mothers also feel the high cost of child care more than any other age group, with 52% of mothers aged 35-44 feeling the strain of these costs.
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Gen Z moms are concerned about saving for college
Young Gen Z mothers are most concerned about saving for college, with 27% of 18-24 year olds finding this cost the most (compared to a much lower 13% of Millennials aged 25-34 and 9% of 55 to 64 year olds). the Gen X and Boomer peak).
If you’re struggling to make ends meet in this economic climate, you’re not alone. Here are some expert tips on why the costs are so high and how you can relieve yourself financially.
Why are the costs so overwhelming right now?
No matter how you slice it, raising kids is incredibly expensive. Whether you’re raising kids during an economic recession or expansion, it won’t be a financial walk in the park. However, during a recession, the majority of moms find their budgets thinner than ever.
“With inflation at its highest level since the 1980s, many mothers are feeling the pressure of day-to-day spending,” said Gerald Grant, financial planner at Equitable Advisors. “With spending growing faster than wages, this change can be a bit overwhelming. Instead of $100 a week, your grocery bill is now $125 a week for the same items, and those increases can add up over time, especially if you’re feeling it in many areas.”
Tips for saving everyday expenses
To relieve financial stress, experts recommend prioritizing awareness of your cash flow and paying more attention than ever to where you spend your money and how much you spend where.
Avoid using Apple Pay
“With credit cards, Apple Pay, and easy online payments, it takes the thought process away from spending,” Grant said. “It’s easy to tap, swipe, or click to pay without much effort. If you are aware of the costs of things, you can adapt.”
Stop buying brand names
While it may be just a few cents cheaper, buying generic drugs can add up to huge savings over time.
“Rather than buying the same branded product that you always buy, you can try the private label or brand that’s on sale for the week,” Grant said. “This can save you 20-30%, and if you do this across multiple items, it can have a big impact on the overbill.”
Plan meals around the sale
These days, you might be inundated with TikTokers giving you meal plan advice and coming up with creative recipes before you head to the markets so you have a shopping plan in advance. However, financial advisors recommend the opposite.
“Another way to save money is to plan your meals based on the proteins on offer,” Grant said. “When chicken is on sale, find a chicken recipe. If the fish you like is on sale, find a fish recipe.”
How to save for college
Since Gen Z moms are stressed about wanting to afford their child’s college education while they’re probably still paying off their own college loan debt, there are some great ways you can go ahead to prepare them for college to provide for their child.
Start a 529
Similar to how a Roth IRA or 401(k) account works, a 529 account is a government-sponsored savings account that parents can invest in and their children can use for educational expenses.
“When it comes to preparing for college, moms can benefit from investments like prepaid college savings and 529 plans,” Grant said. “This will allow them to create a systematic program of putting away funds.”
Create incentives for your children
Being financially transparent with your children can be a great way to help them play their part in bridging the gap between what you can afford to spend them on their education and where they take matters into their own hands can take to recognize.
“Get your kids involved,” Grant said. “Let them start researching the institutions they want to visit and familiarize themselves with the costs and criteria that need to be met. Once they have an idea of what is needed, you can encourage them to meet the minimum GPA requirements for admission and explain the importance of being able to qualify for scholarships and grants.”
This is how you save on childcare
Even in low-income areas, childcare can be a significant expense that can seriously strain budgets. To help you maintain some financial control and save on those costs, here are some tips that will go easy on your budget while ensuring your child has a safe place to go.
Recruit family to help
If you are able to do this, it can be of great benefit to ask family members for help.
“One of the best ways to save is to find someone in your family who has a background in childcare and can watch and develop your child,” Grant said. “Typically, these options are more affordable than your traditional school options, but can be just as effective from a development perspective.”
Employer Child Care Programs
Most companies have programs to help parents pay for childcare costs. Be sure to contact your employer to see if they offer programs to help you offset costs or find facilities.
“For example, federal government employees can apply for the Federal Child Care Subsidy Program, which is a pool of funds specifically earmarked to help their employees with child care costs,” Grant said.
State Tax Credit
“There are also federal tax credits, like the Child Tax Credit, which are designed to reimburse taxpayers for a portion of child care expenses incurred,” Grant said. “Understanding all of the options and benefits available is critical to ensuring your child receives the most appropriate and affordable childcare.”
Be sure to do your research beforehand and ask a tax expert for assistance if you need help evaluating which option will give you the best savings.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Inflation in 2023: Almost half of mothers are struggling to pay for everyday expenses like groceries
Originally published March 23, 2023 at 4:30 p.m