It’s time to kick your money worries and make them work for you!

Are you serious about increasing your income, finding opportunities for your kids (without breaking the budget), and being ready for health emergencies? It’s time for us moms to reclaim our peace of mind and happiness, as we move up towards having Money For Life. But we must be ready to think outside the box and even rid of our expensive pride.

Here are 3 simple money management tips for our top financial concerns:

1. Money concern: Cost of living.When you start running a household, there's an overwhelming amount of bills. You realize that every move costs money. Even when 'doing nothing', expenses like association dues and real estate tax are silently accumulating. Even the simplest joy of cooking and eating our favorite food start to become a mathematical exercise. It was very different when we were young, single, and focused on feeding only ourselves.

Financial tip: Make your house earn for you. Yes, you can! Aside from living below your means, why not make your house a money-making machine. Do you have a spare bedroom you can rent out to a bed spacer? I did and it covers my power, water, and Internet bills. How about your kitchen – is there an opportunity to sell prepared meals to nearby schools or offices? At the very least, can you sell ice to your neighbors to offset the cost of your freezer? Remember, there is no harm in trying!

2. Money concern: Kids education & development.Education is probably one of the biggest anxieties of Filipino mothers, even before their babies are born. The demise of pre-need education plans and rising tuition fees make things even more difficult and stressful. Add to this the cost of holistic development for kids such as socialization, sports, and financial quotient or FQ.

Financial tip: Seek and you shall find. It pays to be involved and connected to the programs and offerings of our schools and local community. For instance, personally asking the school for payment schemes and discounts as early as December (yes you read that right) gives us time to prepare. This year, I saved Php 7,000 on my son’s tuition just by paying early, in full, and in cash. Social media sites like Facebook helped me find budget-friendly local sports activities. I found soccer training that only costs Php 1,500 for the entire summer. They also informed me of varsity and scholarship schemes we can avail in the future. Of course, I did not pass the chance to offer and sell snacks during soccer practice!

3. Money Concern: Health and well-being. The saddest story we hear from relatives and friends is that of someone getting sick. Worse is being sick and not having money to get proper hospitalization and healthcare. If only all of us can afford health insurance, which increase annually at a rate of 10%. Truth be told, my family can no longer afford our own health card this year.

Financial tip: Get your own health and critical illness insurance. Instead of wallowing, we agreed to keep our budget for health insurance. Of course it pays to have, at the very least, a PhilHealth membership that is paid on time. Another option is to get critical illness insurance (most companies now include dengue in the list). This is cheaper than a full-on health coverage but will be a huge help in times of serious illness. Another solution follows the adage that health is wealth. Moms can allot time and energy to ensure their kids are eating well and getting enough exercise. From my experience, focusing on good nutrition and wellness have improved my son’s defense against illness and even his social skills. He is less grumpy, more focused, and has the energy to be involved in developmental activities such as sports.

Be confident that you can try these solutions and maybe even think of better ones. These tips do not only help us with our finances but also enrich us with experiences of being involved while practicing values of humility and pakikipag-kapwa tao – values that are fast disappearing and one that our kids must learn and acquire beyond any form of wealth and success. You have the power to have Money For Life, Mommy!

Lace Llanora

Lace Llanora is the grand winner in the 2015 SINAG Awards and second runner up in the 2016 SINAG Awards. She shares ways on how to achieve financial goals and independence on her blog,