Problem: "I don't have an income, so I feel guilty spending money on myself."
Many at-home moms feel your pain, and our society—which places a premium on paid work and devalues caregiving-is to blame, says Olivia Mellan, author of Money Shy to Money Sure: A Woman's Road Map to Financial Well-Being. Yet it's important for you (and your spouse) to recognize that raising kids and running the household are just as important as being the breadwinner. Staying home saves money that might otherwise be spent on child care. And at-home moms make other contributions to the family finances that are often overlooked. "I clip coupons, clean the house, and do home repairs, which really makes a difference," says Amy Grosz, a mom of two in Gilbert, Arizona. In recognition of their value, Mellan advises at-home moms to set aside some money every week to spend on themselves. You don't have to splurge: A simple manicure or new CD can make you feel pampered-and empowered.