You've made the decision to quit work for a while and stay home with your kids. But if you've even thought that giving up a paycheck means opting out of all money decisions, you need a reality check. Experts say it's especially important for at-home moms to stay closely involved in household finances -- and not to expect (or allow) their husband to take care of it all.
"Every woman needs to have a solid financial plan whether she's working or not," says Candace Bahr, a financial advisor in Carlsbad, California, and cofounder of the Women's Institute for Financial Education. "And a man is not a financial plan."
It's no fun to think about, but sometimes bad stuff happens: Your husband may surprise you by making some dumb investments or over-the-top purchases that put you both in financial straits. (Yup, you're responsible for any debt that he's racked up since you've been married.) You could end up divorced someday or, heaven forbid, as a widow with young kids. Someone could get sick. Or lose a job. The list goes on. Stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) need to be financially prepared for all those possibilities, says Bahr.
To make sure your financial house is built on solid ground, read up on the six things all SAHMs should know about money.