By Emsie Martin
Even though moms should be celebrated every single day, 12 May is their official, special day for a well-deserved tribute. Although South Africans have lately been bombarded with economic, political and especially voting-day happenings, Mother’s Day is still an important part of the May calendar.
Moms are confronted with expensive living costs on a daily basis and have to make sure their budgets balance. It is, therefore, evident that South African moms, especially single moms, can surely find value in advice to help tackle their financial struggles.
According to Carla Oberholzer, public relations officer and debt advisor at DebtSafe, there are quite a few challenges that can complicate mothers’ financial situations. The following examples can help create a better understanding of some possible obstacles:
- Grocery price hikes, fuel price increases and higher school fees contribute to ever-increasing living costs.
- Work is also scarce and it can happen that a mother’s income does not necessarily cover all her expenses.
- Household situations can also get in the way of moms’ finances. According to experts, the so-called “failure-to-launch” syndrome suggests that young adults continue to live with their parents these days or moms can find themselves being part of a sandwich generation – where they regularly need to support a loved one (such as a brother, sister or parent).
So, what can mothers do in their current financial situation? Moms have diligence and endurance, and must therefore constantly make sure that they make their money or finances work for them.
Here are some tips to help them accomplish just that:
- External factors (the election, foreign affairs, oil prices, interest rates or rand values) that affect the economy are beyond moms’ control – mothers must accept it and not be too hard on themselves.
- Moms must maintain their own “mini-economy” and see where they can generate some extra income for themselves or the household. They can rent out that spare bedroom in the house, offer additional classes, start baking or doing something that comes naturally (and that would not cost them an arm and a leg).
- It is important for moms to stick to the monthly budget and also to draw up one immediately if there isn’t one yet.
Remember: start with a basic, practical budget – income minus expenses. Examine your bank statements and get rid of all the unnecessary spending leaks or luxuries such as regular takeaway meals or the type of TV package that is way too expensive.
It’s time to properly honour mothers for everything they sometimes do with the little they have.
To all the mothers, may you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!
What is a Mother?
A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
To love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience,
And wonderful gentleness, too.
How often a mother means swift reassurance
In soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
And treasure them all through the years.
The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness
For any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family
Whose needs she has placed above all.
A mother can utter a word of compassion
And make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter
And make life delightful and gay.
A mother possesses incredible wisdom
And wonderful insight and skill-
In each human heart is that one special corner
Which only a mother can fill!
Author: Katherine Nelson Davis