Transcript: Tips For Reducing Financial Stress For Young Families
This is a text transcript from The First Time Mum’s Chat podcast. The episode is called Tips For Reducing Financial Stress For Young Families and you can click on the link to view the full episode page, listen to the episode and view the show notes.
Helen Thompson: Mums face quite a challenge when trying to navigate their new life after giving birth. In this week’s episode of First Time Mum’s Chat, I’m exploring the challenge of financial stress, which is something many of the mums I speak with face. I’m talking with financial coach Candice Bakx Friesen, who is a mother of 4 active kids.
You’ll hear Candice talk about what steps you can take towards being even a little bit less stressed in your home as you commence your parenting journey. Whether this is your first time becoming a parent or the 6th, you’ll want to hear Candice’s pearls of wisdom.
Hi Candice, and welcome to First Time Mum’s Chat. I’m delighted to have you here and I’m looking forward to our chat today. So can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah, sure, thanks for having me. So yeah, my name’s Candice Bakx Friesen and I am a mom of 4, I live in Canada, and I have been self-employed pretty much throughout having kids. So, I was employed during my first maternity leave. I got one maternity leave and then after that I’ve been self-employed for over 16 years, so definitely have gone through lots of different challenges with work and having kids and what that all looks like, especially when you’re self-employed, it’s a bit of a juggle.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I can imagine that, and I know you are a financial coach, so you help moms a lot with that juggle.
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah, so I started as a real estate agent, and I’ve been doing that for about 16 years, and then more recently, about 5 or 6 years ago, I became a money coach, and it’s just been super rewarding to be able to help people wherever they’re at. It could be somebody who’s single, it could be a couple, it could be somebody who’s self-employed.
Yeah, all of those life changes throughout our lives there’s those financial stresses as we go. So could be a couple who’s planning to have kids and starting to think, okay, what’s this gonna look like or a mom who’s been employed but now doesn’t wanna go back to work. They’re at home and can’t picture leaving their young one and so again, there’s these holes throughout life I think, especially as moms who are kind of pulled in lots of different directions and definitely employment and self-employment can be a tough one.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, definitely. So what do you offer moms to relieve their financial stress?
Candice Bakx Friesen: Well, I think one of the first things that you really need to do is just kind of assess where you’re at, and I think people can be surprised both ways, like, oh, I’m doing better than I thought, or, oh, I didn’t realize I was spending as much money as I am. And so if you are watching the podcast thinking of starting to have a family, then I think one of the first places to start on the financial side of it is just to create that budget and then look at different scenarios.
In Canada, of course we have a very good maternity leave. Some parts of the world are not as fortunate, depending where you’re listening from but a lot of people will take the full year and more recently there’s a 18 month option for moms here or parents here in Canada, but it’s at a reduced income obviously. So there’s still that budget to kind of figure out, what our new numbers look like. And you know, life changes a lot I found when you have kids and maybe you’re used to going out a lot and now you don’t go out as much cuz you’re happy at home or you’re not spending as much on clothes and eating out cuz you aren’t working. So there’s definitely different changes that come and I think it’s normal to worry about the lack of income coming in but there’s also less expenses too. So it might not be as much of an adjustment as people think.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, it’s interesting you say you may not go out a lot and you may not do very much, but there’s the adjustment, but I suppose you’ve gotta think about things like diapers and that’s an expense and all your baby’s clothes and your baby’s cot, and your baby’s blankets and then when they get older, they shift from a cot to a bed and all these things can be stressful for a mom.
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah and you know, some people, they’re fortunate and they have hand-me-downs or, they have a relative or maybe a sister or brother who just had children a few years ago, and then they get all these hand-me-downs. So that could be something where again, you end up not having too much expense and there’s also really generous people out there, depending what your family’s like. I’ve had people say, man, I’m not gonna have to buy a diaper for 2 years cuz I got so many diapers, I wasn’t expecting this. So yeah, definitely every family, every situation is different. I think like many things in life we worry about how this is all gonna work and like many things, it tends to usually work out better than we expect.
Helen Thompson: If you are a mom who’s thinking about either going back to work after the maternity leave, depending on how long the maternity leave is, or if they’re deciding that they don’t want to go back to work, they either want to be a stay-at-home mom or a stay-at-home mom, self-employed. So how does all that work in what you do?
Candice Bakx Friesen: Well, again, I think it’s creating that budget and creating those scenarios and you have some time while you’re expecting, you’ve got the 9 months to really think about that a little bit too. So, depending how long you have maternity leave after that as well. But if you’re thinking that’s kind of the way that you wanna go, you could already get a head start on that.
So you could be looking at, okay, well maybe I don’t wanna go back to my career, but maybe I’ll work part-time. I have maybe a relative or somebody who can help me with part-time hours. Or I’m gonna work in the evenings when my spouse is home and they’re gonna look after the baby while I’m working.
So there’s different ways to do it, and I think that the more flexible you are to different options, the more that you can figure out something that’s gonna work for you. The other thing I say is that until that baby’s born you really don’t know. Some people intend to go back and then they just can’t because they just can’t again, see themselves ever leaving and the next person’s like, yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m staying at home and then it’s like, oh man, no, I need to talk to adults, I can’t do this full-time.
Both are right, you gotta do what’s right for you. Neither one is the wrong way. I really feel as a mom, you gotta be happy. Whether that’s staying at home with your child and that what is what makes you happy, or if you’re gonna be a working mom, that makes you happy, go for it.
So yeah, sometimes what we plan, while the baby’s still germinating, we don’t know until the baby’s born how it’s gonna be. So I think it’s good to think through a few different options and depending where things go and how you feel about everything, then you’ve thought through some of the different options available to you.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, you’ve also gotta think of the options if you’re gonna have your family to take care of them, if you’re gonna get a nanny, whether they’re gonna go into childcare. Even if you’re not going back full-time and you just wanna stay at home And be a mom at home, you’ve still gotta think about all the scenarios of, oh, what if I want time myself, if I need to have a break. It’s hard going because you are there 24×7 and as a mom, you need to decide whether financially that’s what you want to do or if your hubby’s got enough income coming in. It’s a tough decision and I think a lot of the time moms get stressed and it’s hard to navigate that new life and having the financial burden on top of it is hard as well.
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah and I think the other thing is that we as moms, or again, even when I help people buy homes, you think of this as the forever home, or you think of this as the forever career. But even if you go back after maternity leave and after 6 months you decide, no, you know, I can’t do this, that’s okay. So I think just being as open and flexible to different options the better.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I agree and that’s very important advice for a mom because as you say, when the baby’s born, It may be a completely different scenario to what you initially thought. You may think, I don’t want to go back to work. I actually want to be here for my child, so that therefore that’s something else you need to think about and every mom chooses what they need for them, because I think one mom may want to go back to work as you said and one mom may say, no, I wanna stay at home with my kids. But I think that’s a key to the finance. You’ve gotta think about how that’s gonna work because some moms may be under pressure to go back to work because of the finance, and that can be quite stressful as well.
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah and life throws you curve balls. My oldest daughter, my first born, she was born with a disability and we had no idea until she was born. So, I was not expecting 23 days of intensive care and once she came home, I wasn’t thinking, oh, I’m gonna be going to appointments every week, just trying to keep her alive. So life throws these curve balls to us too. So, again, no matter how much you plan, it’s good to plan because you wanna have different options in your mind of things to do, but you still are never totally prepared in life. There’s always something that comes about that’s unexpected.
So I’m on the other end of that now. My oldest is 18 and now we’re looking at care, right and where she’s going to live. So did I worry about those things 18 years ago? No, I tried not to because again, everything’s changing all the time and what was available 18 years ago is not available now and so again, we can plan the best that we can, but that’s all you can do as well and I think it’s important for any mom or any parent to be thinking about your saving for your children, whether that’s their education or in my case it was looking at, okay, now what’s available for her because she has a disability, and what different programs are out there.
So in Canada we have a disability plan for retirement. So you put in a certain amount of money and the government will contribute and so it helps families plan for the future of their family member with a disability and we’re not gonna be around forever and obviously we hope she outlives us and so then, what’s that gonna look like for whoever’s managing her resources and and money and stuff and making sure that, again, she’s got a great life after we pass on. So, yeah, so there’s all kinds of different things financially that come up and again, plan as best you can, but also be open to the fact that, you know, don’t be too hard on yourself when things change or different things come up and even with self-employment, you might be at home and then suddenly somebody says to you, hey, I’ve got this great business idea and you’re like, oh, that sounds good. You weren’t necessarily intending to be self-employed, but sometimes opportunities arise and they’re great opportunities to take advantage of. So, then there’s this shift of like, okay, I wanna explore this, but what am I gonna do with with my baby who’s at home? So, it’s interesting, interesting journey.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I actually saw this lovely video the other day, I think it was on Instagram. It was this mom who was working from home and she had her baby lying on its back and she’d attached balloons to the baby, to his legs and he was having a ball while she was working and I thought that was such an interesting thing to do because that’s supporting your baby at home while you are working and your baby’s quite happy, sort of lying next to you doing what he does, whether he is having fun or whether he is falling asleep or whatever.
I just thought it was such a nice thing to see, the baby sort of kicking their balloons while she was working. Just lying there peacefully and he was having fun looking up at all the different colors and it was great.
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah and there’s so many ways to be creative and again, so much to really think about when you’re gonna start working from home. Some people who are listening again, have experienced that transition from working in an office to home, but in a different way due to Covid. So then people are like, oh, whoa, okay, now I need a dedicated area, I need maybe an office, whereas I’ve never needed one before, but I’ve got kids who are loud in the background or animals to deal with now suddenly, who are barking and I’m on calls. And so there’s always these things to think about, but I think that that’s maybe opened up more people’s eyes to what entrepreneurs working from home really have to deal with. So I think one of the things, like you mentioned, when the child’s a baby, it’s a little bit easier, but once they become a rangy toddler.
Helen Thompson: Yes, it’s not so easy, is it?
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah. So one of the things that I would recommend people consider is actually still having childcare and I know that the whole point of working from home is that you don’t have to have that help but even if you have, again, a family member, a friend who’s willing to take your child for a couple hours a week. When you have that dedicated time, you get so much more done. So I think that’s another thing to really consider when you’re doing work from home, is not only like how long everything’s taking when you’re, manufacturing or making sales calls or whatever that is, but if you have somebody with you who really needs you all the time, like a toddler, maybe you’re making one call every hour versus if you got help for 2 hours and you could just quickly make a whole bunch of calls. So it’s something to think about with efficiency as well.
And if you have somebody in your life who’s kind of in the same boat, two mom entrepreneurs, if you could help each other out, then again, there’s not the cost, but you both are able to work on your businesses more efficiently. So just a few ideas to help moms who are looking at self-employment.
Helen Thompson: I like that cuz I think working with another mom because that’s what you can also do with nannying as well. You have two moms, two families working together so that the nanny actually looks after both families’ children, so therefore it halfs the cost. The nanny still gets whatever it is an hour, so that It’s more financially viable for both families to work from home because the nanny can either work from one person’s home one day or the other person’s home the next day and take the kids out and do stuff.
I think these days, a lot of parents. I don’t know if it’s the same in Canada, but here in Australia, I think a lot of parents are relying on grandparents to take care of their kids and yes, grandparents are great and I think grandparents are wonderful for being around their kids, but it’s not their role as far as I’m concerned, to look after their kids while the moms go to work. It’s their role to have fun with the kids and enjoy being with the kids as a family, but not necessarily being child minders.
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah and I never had that in my family. So if your mom wants that role and she’s been waiting to be a full-time grandma then great. But yeah I think as parents we can’t be dependent on that or we shouldn’t be demanding that,cuz I think what you said is very important. Even if they’re retired, if your parents are quite young, maybe they’re still working, but even if they’re retired, they probably have a life that they have different interests or they volunteer or they’re just into different things.
So to, kind of assume that they’re gonna be a full-time grandparent while you’re at work is probably not a good assumption to make. So if they take on that role, all the power to them but yeah, I think that there’s lots of different ways to do it and for me, my parents and my in-laws, they were always kind of a backup plan. Like, okay, daycare’s not open, could you please fill in or, oh, I gotta go show a house tonight and my husband isn’t around, so could you please help? So I think they really enjoyed having the kids around, but not where it became, oh, they’re here again today.
Helen Thompson: Yeah and I think that’s the key. You say family members and I think family members are all very well and I know there’s a lot of family members that love doing that role, but that’s something you’ve gotta take into consideration when you are financially planning for your kid, if you wanna work from home. You’ve gotta think, well, who’s gonna take care of them, is it okay if the grandparents do it, do they want to do it or do I need to put them into childcare or do I want to get a nanny?
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah.
Helen Thompson: And that’s where you come in to give them financial advice on how to do that.
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah, again, really looking at the different costs and the options and again, that can all change too because your parents could suddenly say, nah, I’m not interested anymore. So everything’s really a moving target in life. No different than if you don’t have kids, it’s the same thing, right? You can only plan for the best that you can plan for, but you don’t know if you’re gonna suddenly lose your job or you don’t know if you’re suddenly gonna have to buy a new vehicle and you weren’t planning on it this year. And so there’s all these variables in life, but the more that you can plan and really think through what could happen, I think the better prepared you are and then just thinking about what’s the actual possibility, the probability of it happening. So I can plan for, my husband and I both losing our jobs and having major financial issues and the house being struck by lightning, but the probability of all of that happening at once is not very likely. So we could just plan for best case scenarios, but still have an idea of, well, if this would happen, what would we do?
Helen Thompson: Yeah, so if a mom came to you for financial coaching, what would that look like?
Candice Bakx Friesen: So I think if the woman is in a relationship, it’s best to meet with the couple because you really should be planning your finances together. Even, in a couple relationship, usually one person kind of rises to the top and says, okay, I’m gonna be the one that takes care of the money because if both people are doing it, then it becomes too many cooks in the kitchen where you’re overmanaging things. So it tends to be that one person kind of ends up taking care of the finances, but that doesn’t mean that the other person can’t be involved. So it’s really, really important as a couple, even if you have the other person saying, I hate talking about this stuff, just deal with it. That they’re still involved in, in planning and dreaming about what the future looks like and things like that. So if possible, then both people involved is better and then again, yeah, we look at different scenarios and help create that budget of what are things looking like, where are some places that we can maybe cut back a bit, where are some places where we can bring in more money? Sometimes people, if they’re self-employed, maybe they haven’t raised their prices in a while. So I have one entrepreneur I’m working with. They added a fuel mileage surcharge to their business and they raised their rates and hadn’t done that in several years. And it’s things that we think about, but it takes a coach to really kind of push you to take action. Yeah. So that’s the benefit to a coach.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, cuz I think sometimes you may not think about those things you’ve mentioned. You may think, oh, well people might not pay more money for my services, but a coach will probably say to you, well, look, just give it a try.
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah, or you can offer like a special or an incentive or, if people want buy one product and you sell two things, then maybe if they buy both, then they get a bit of a deal, right? So there’s lots of ways to incentivize sales, but like you said, you wanna be able to be charging enough for your product or your services that you’re definitely making a profit and sometimes again, not to pick on women, but sometimes we can not be as strong in that area, charging enough for our services and really valuing our worth in the marketplace.
Helen Thompson: I think that’s true. If anybody wanted to get in touch with you, how would they go about doing that?
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah, I’ve got a 20 minute call. So feel free to reach out and talk about any type of financial question or struggle that you have. So my website is InvestorSmarts.ca.
Helen Thompson: And can you work with people all over the world or is it just in Canada?
Candice Bakx Friesen: Yeah, so every country has a little bit of different financial stuff, so I’m not well versed on every single program of every single country, of course. But yeah, basic budgeting and sales is kind of the same throughout. So yeah, so depending if it’s again, an entrepreneur or a couple, we look at that sort of stuff and a lot of money issues kind of comes back to emotional decision making and money, mindset and some of that stuff. So we end up working on a lot of psychology and sort of figure out where did you get your thoughts and beliefs around money and sometimes that has to change and sometimes as a couple you come up with different money beliefs based on when you were a child and what you were taught. So helping couples work better together around money as well.
Helen Thompson: Thank you Candice. I’ve learnt a lot from you in that, and thank you for being on the podcast. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you here.
Candice Bakx Friesen: You’re welcome. Thank you so much for having me too.
Helen Thompson: Wow, Candice shared some great tips during our chat, and I learnt a lot from her. I highly recommend checking out her website and her 20 minute call that she mentioned during our chat. I’ve included links to Candice’s website in the show notes, which can be found at MyBabyMassage.net/podcast/119.
Next week I’m chatting with pediatric sleep specialist, Hilliary Giglio. Hilliary helps exhausted and frustrated parents teach their children to sleep through the night. Be sure to listen to this episode when it comes out next week, and please subscribe to First Time Mum’s Chat via your favorite platform so that you get quick and easy access to all our episodes when they are live.