Being a stay at home mum can be challenging at times. You love to be home with your children and be present for your family. But sometimes you want to be more mentally stimulated, think about grownup topics and make some money, even though you are not working right now. Can you relate to those feelings?
Investing might be the outlet that you need. It can be mentally stimulating, exciting and fun. It can also give you a sense of control. If you are just starting to think about it, maybe you don’t know how to start. Here I share with you some ideas to help you get started as an investor stay at home mum.
Start with what you can
Quite often people say that they can’t be investors because in order to do that you first need money to invest. While this is true, it leaves out the fact that you don’t need much to start. You can start investing with very little. There are no minimum amounts to invest in Exchange Traded Funds through Vanguard for example. You can also start with very little by using platforms such as Robin Hood. Some of the platforms available also charge very small fees that make sense for the small investor.
Budget and make the most of what you have available
Being a SAHM you have more control of your expenses. You don’t need to spend money commuting, or on work lunches and outfits. You might have less money, but you can generally save more by cooking at home and driving less, while still enjoying some spending money. Use this flexibility in your favour to become more resourceful and need less money each day. Research recipes with what you have in the pantry. Invite friends over instead of going to a cafe. Go for walks and enjoy free activities. Even if all you can save is $30 a month, start with that.
Learning is part of the journey
As a SAHM you have time and flexibility. Use them not only to become more resourceful with your budget, but also to research investments that interest you.
When I was younger, I remember that most people described investments as complicated and said that “you need to read a lot”. Sure, it’s complex and you should read about it. But these comments made me scared of starting. Start small and build it up. You don’t need to pick stocks, but there is nothing wrong if you want to do so. You may choose to have a go with a percentage of your portfolio that you are comfortable to take higher risks. Learn as you go, but don’t let the learning paralyse you.
Define your asset allocation
Define you asset allocation and start there. Which assets are you interested in? What is your risk profile? Have fun defining percentages and creating your ideal portfolio.
You won’t get to the ideal percentages straight away, especially if you are starting with little money. But that is okay. Work your way there. This month you buy an asset type, next month you buy another.
Treat the investments platforms that you use like a mall. Instead of window shopping for shoes, you are window shopping for investments. Spend time looking at the assets that you want to acquire and learn about them.
Did you know that in 2020 there were 2,204 ETFs in the US? Look them up, find something that makes sense for you to invest in. What companies do you use? Have you looked at buying some of their stocks?
Remember that investing in a long-term game. We are not talking about day-trading or other forms of investing for a quick win. We are talking about building a solid portfolio that will generate returns for many years to come.
The fun of researching and owning these different assets happens now, but the fun in seeing their performance will take time. Be okay with that. Meanwhile you can create come up with your systems and fancy graphs to track how you are doing.
Are you an investor SAHM? What other tips do you have?