Making Many Ends Meet: Financial Tips for the Sandwich Generation

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Adults who find themselves simultaneously caring for their children and parents are known as the ‘sandwich generation’. With today’s modern life having many stressors as it is, having to look after children and elderly parents can be very overwhelming especially in terms of finances.

With over 70% of Americans being financially stressed, adding the extra cost of caring for parents can result in disastrous consequences if finances aren’t properly managed. So, if you’re now part of today’s sandwich generation and find yourself struggling, here are some top tips to take back control over your finances.

Plan ahead

When you start having kids, it’s likely you put all your financial efforts into caring for them which is completely natural. But due to this, many of us neglect to anticipate the potential upcoming expense of caring for our parents. So, when the time comes, you may find yourself desperately struggling to scrape together the money to give your parents the best care possible.

Even if your parents seem fit and healthy now, there’s a strong chance they won’t stay this way forever so it’s important not to get complacent. Putting money aside early to cover eldercare expenses is a great way to reduce financial pressure when the time inevitably comes.

Stick to a rigid budget

In order to follow the above step of planning ahead, it’s essential you establish a budget and stick to it. Ensure to live within your means and avoid mindless spending – this way, you’ll still be living comfortably without wasting money on unnecessary purchases that should be used to care for your children and parents.

And, if you’re currently experiencing debt, it’s vital to eliminate this as quickly and efficiently as possible. Continuing to ignore your debts will just gain interest and continue to eat away at your money, leaving you less financially secure to care for your loved ones in the long-run. Take advice to consolidate prior debts which will help to get you on the right track.

Get your siblings involved

If you’re an only child, this won’t be the tip for you. But, if you have siblings it’s a great idea to coordinate paying for the care of your parents together which will reduce financial pressure for everyone involved.

Chipping in for expenses such as long-term care insurance and in-home carers if necessary will give both you and your parents peace of mind that they’ll be appropriately looked after when the time comes. And, if you can persuade your siblings to plan ahead and save along with you, you’ll have saved a considerable chunk of money that will be even more beneficial than if you were just saving alone.

Being part of today’s sandwich generation can be tough, especially if you aren’t prepared and are in debt. But as long as you’re proactive and organized with regard to your finances, taking care of your parents as well as your children won’t seem like such a challenging task after all!

Olivia Bailey writes about financial matters in her informative and thought-provoking articles.