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When I was a single young woman supporting myself post-university, paying for insurance was the bane of my existence. It seemed so unnecessary and so expensive. I didn’t understand the wisdom of paying for something that might happen. I wasn’t given much of a financial education as a child, so carrying insurance just because it was a good idea did little to convince me of its value.

Does that sound like you, mama?

As life progresses and you acquire all the things that come with adulthood—a spouse, children, a house, a vehicle—insurance begins to make a little more sense. You want to protect the ones you love and the things you’ve worked hard to acquire. Insurance is one of the best ways to do that. Still, the hundreds of dollars out of your budget can make you wince a little bit.

Having adequate coverage is a must for financial peace of mind. One unexpected illness, vehicle collision, or a sudden death of the primary breadwinner is all it would take to sink many households into serious debt.

There are so many types of coverage available. Trying to understand exactly which policies are best for your family’s needs is a conversation for you and your spouse to have with your insurance agent of choice. However, there are a few types of insurance that many insurance agencies agree are essential to giving your family a shield against potential disasters.

1) Health insurance

From the moment you discover you’re pregnant, the parade of doctor visits begins and it continues all the way until junior leaves the nest. Adequate coverage for your family’s medical needs is essential to ensure proper care and to keep out of pocket costs to a minimum.

Employer health care plans are federally regulated, so the benefits offered by these plans often include benefits essential to families such as maternal care. Individual plans are subject to the laws of your state, so benefits can vary widely. If your husband is offered the option of health care coverage through his job, it may be more sensible to choose one of these options especially since your premium is paid pre-tax.

When choosing a plan, select the one with the highest deductible you can reasonably afford in order to keep the premium cost low and to take advantage of a Health Savings Account. A Health Savings Account or HSA is a fund you can establish in order to save a limited amount of money pre-tax in order to cover out of pocket medical expenses.

If an employee insurance plan is not an option for your family, you can contact the insurance company of your choice to purchase a plan or you can contact your state’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

2) Auto Insurance

Over the course of a lifetime, the odds are you will crash your car three or four times. Motor vehicle collisions can result in damage to yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle not to mention the other vehicle, individuals, and property involved in the accident. All those costs add up fast.

Without car insurance, you are putting yourself at risk financially and you will potentially face penalties such as fines, a suspended license, and even jail time. In short, coverage for your vehicle is not something you can afford to skip.

When insuring your car, be sure to reference the minimum requirements for your state to make sure your policy provides adequate coverage. Some experts advise choosing a policy that is equal to the total value of all your assets.

Any costs beyond the limits of your coverage will come out of your pocket, so it is worth it to pay for more protection. Choose the highest deductible you can reasonably afford to keep your monthly payment low.

Your auto insurance rate may be even lower if you can bundle it with another policy such as renter’s insurance.

“You may rely upon your husband as the breadwinner of the family, but the work you do as a stay at home mom has a monetary value.”

From Bread Baker to Bread Maker

In this free course, I’ll show you how to jumpstart your transition from stay at home mom to work at home mom. You’ll receive valuable insights and resources right in your inbox. Get started now!

3) Life Insurance

Stay at home moms don’t need life insurance, right? WRONG.

You may rely upon your husband as the breadwinner of the family, but the work you do as a stay at home mom has a monetary value. If you were to pass away unexpectedly, your income would need to be replaced.

As unpleasant as it is to think of dying and leaving your children behind, it will be far more difficult for your loved ones if you pass away without a life insurance policy. Unless you have a substantial amount of money stashed away, you must have a life insurance policy in addition to the life insurance policy your husband may already have.

The type of life insurance and the amount that you need depend on what financial events your family needs to be protected from in the event of your death, how much debt you may be in (such as your mortgage or student loans), and how much income your survivors need to maintain their current cost of living.

Though there are many factors to consider when it comes to determining the right life insurance policy, a general rule is to get a policy that is 10x your salary. Work with your spouse to determine what figure represents your monthly “salary” and use it as a guideline as you shop around for coverage.

4) Long-Term Disability Insurance

You may already know how devastating it could be financially should your husband find himself unable to work due to a disability, but have you considered how life altering it would be for your family should you become disabled?

As a stay at home mom, you also use both physical and mental abilities to keep your household humming. If you were to sustain a serious injury, the financial impact upon your family could be just as significant.

Your husband may not have the flexibility with his job to stay home until you get onto your feet. How would you keep yourself afloat if he were to lose all or some of his income on top of the newly acquired medical debt?

Finding a company that offers long-term disability insurance to stay at home parents takes a bit of research, but they do exist. Some companies offer it to the spouses of their employees as a supplementary policy, so investigate with the HR department.

5) Homeowner’s/Renter’s insurance

If you own a home, it is likely the most valuable asset you have. For this reason alone, it is necessary to protect your investment from the threats of theft and natural disasters. Unless you’ve paid for your home entirely in cash (you lucky lady!), it is likely your lender will require you to carry this type of insurance anyway. Consider it a part of owning a piece of property.

Love throwing dinner parties? Is your home the spot for all your kids’ friends to come over and hang after school? Do your girls show up for a night in at your place on a regular basis? If your home is a hub for social activity, you can rest easy knowing that your homeowner’s insurance policy will provide coverage in case someone is ever injured in your home and decides to sue.

Should you bother with an insurance policy for your home if you’re only renting it? Of course, not only to protect your goods in case of damage, but to cover the cost of the space in the event you are found liable due to negligence.

Homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance can often be bundled with auto insurance, as an example, which makes it insanely affordable. You can give yourself peace of mind with a policy that provides six figure coverage for the price of a lunch on the town. You’ll almost wish you had a reason to file a claim! (kidding, kidding!)

6) Long-Term Care insurance

Unless there is a major breakthrough in technology sometime soon, you and I are going to age. Whether you age faster or slower than others depends on how well you are investing in your health right now, but there will eventually come a time when you need help caring for yourself.

Ideally, you would be able to turn to your grown children for that help, but that may not be the reality due to finances, strained relationships, or lifestyle choices. Even if your children are able to care for you, it will still be a major investment of time, energy, and funds.

Enter long-term care insurance.

With a long-term care policy, expenses such as home health aides, adult day care, nursing home care, and assisted living care are covered. As a woman, you are statistically more likely to outlive your husband, so it is essential that you have a means to finance the care you will need and the quality of service you will expect.

The future existence of medicaid and social security is not promised to you and me, so the best thing we can do to take control of our destinies is to start planning for our care now while we’ve got time to save.

From Bread Baker to Bread Maker

In this free course, I’ll show you how to jumpstart your transition from stay at home mom to work at home mom. You’ll receive valuable insights and resources right in your inbox. Get started now!

7) Umbrella insurance

Perhaps you’ve got an estate that is a bit heftier than the average mama. Do you also have insurance coverage to match?

Even after choosing the best insurance policies for your family that you can afford, you may find that the coverage falls short when it comes to protecting your entire estate. Or maybe you need coverage for a threat that isn’t included in a standard policy such as slander, lawsuits, mental anguish or false arrest.

An umbrella policy provides you with extra liability insurance to better protect your family and the things you’ve worked hard to build. To determine whether your family could benefit from this extra layer of coverage, consult with your financial planner and your insurance agent.

Protection for Life’s Rainy Days

You can’t predict when you’ll need insurance, but when the time comes, you’ll be glad you have it. Remember, when gearing up to insure your family, do your homework and shop around to find a company that offers policies at rates that fit comfortably within your budget.

Buyer Beware

There is such a thing as too much insurance, so beware agents who try to upsell you with policies that cover life events that are likely to never happen to you. A good agent will be able to advise you on what coverage will work best for your unique situation. If you need help finding reputable providers, contact your state’s consumer protection office.

We covered a lot today! Are there any changes that you need to your insurance coverage in order to better protect your family? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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