At present, thanks to social media, people are now more informed that being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is also exhausting and challenging. SAHMs are working all the never-ending tasks at home and the most difficult one perhaps is budgeting the money that their husband makes, which for many, are not enough. As much as they want to help in putting food on the table, having to work is not the best option. Beth, a SAHM and a mother of two, is exactly in this situation. She gave up her full-time job just because paying for a house helper/baby sitter took a large portion of her salary, not to mention the higher food expenses due to additional head count in her home.
Beth’s husband is a seafarer, this means that there are months when her husband makes no income every time he’s not on board. A shortage of financial resources happened last year when her husband had an extended vacation for 6 months. They were OK at first due to savings but they had to use most of it for her husband’s training. Any seafarer’s wife can relate to this, that a husband’s vacation also means time for more training that not only robs them family time but also huge amount of money. These trainings are for expired licenses to be renewed or to level up their skills and position for possible income increase in their next boarding.
While they lack income temporarily, there were still bills and expenses that needed to be paid. Apart from food and utility bills, she had to pay for her eldest child’s tuition in a private school. A huge part of their monthly expenses is for their mortgage, they just moved into their new house in a subdivision. Beth was also pregnant that time carrying her 2nd child. It was a planned pregnancy, they were happy about the news but she had subchorionic hemorrhage which required her that time to take medication and it was quite expensive. The baby needed to be checked always so a monthly TVS ultrasound was also necessary for her, thus, an additional expense. To pay for all these, they resorted to borrowing money from relatives and friends. Beth and husband were lucky to have such good people around them, they were able to survive those months because people lent them their needed amount. But still, she had to pay them on time and her husband still didn’t get his boarding schedule. As their last option, they then borrowed from a lending company with higher interest.
By the time her husband was finally on board, huge amount of the salary was for paying their loans. It took them 7 months to pay that huge amount but right now, her husband is on vacation again and according to her, she’s expecting to experience again what they have gone through last year. And this is now her family’s continuous cycle, at least for the time being that she can’t find a good source of additional income while staying at home.
If you’re a seafarer’s wife, a stay-at-home mom who always struggle with budgeting your husband’s income and in dealing with loans, then remember that you’re not alone. Beth is just like you, but she will not let the cycle they’re currently in to last forever. She’s planning to venture in a business by the time her baby will get older. Hopefully, she will be successful and be able to save more, enough to cover their family’s expenses whenever her husband is on land.