Managing your finances as an in-home carer

The findings detailed in the No Place Like Home report are clear – the vast majority of older people do not want to enter residential care. They want to stay in their own home.

There are pros and cons to this. Loneliness and isolation are not uncommon in the elderly and with the home often much larger than what they need, it can feel too big a burden to maintain. There’s also their own safety and security to consider too. 

But all of these issues can be resolved by a live-in home carer, a move that many people make. It affords companionship as well as peace of mind for the person you are looking after and their family too. As a live in carer, you’ll be helping someone to maximise their quality of life, an important point made in the Better at Home report

For an in-home carer, looking after their finances is important. What hints and tips stretch your money further?

Set a budget and stick to it

Working with the care industry including as a live-in carer can mean that your level of income changes frequently. Understanding the income you have from week to week or from month to month is important, as is having a realistic budget for everything from hair appointments to clothing to running your car if you have one.

Save on payday

Having a pot of cash on standby for unexpected expenses will ease financial worries. It’s easier to save when you put the money away when you receive payment but when you also put away the amount that you can afford. Again, this comes down to budgeting and your understanding of what disposable income you have. This is the amount of money you have leftover when you have paid your expenses and bills.

Understanding how to spread your income

The 50/30/20 rule helps to spread your income across all important areas of life and can help to balance your budget – this works just as well for in home carers as it does for most of the population. Half of what you earn should go on needs – so keep bills and expenses as less than half of what you warn. 30% can be allocated to wants to meals out, hair appointments and so on. The smaller portion of 20% is savings, perfect for building a nest egg for when there are unexpected expenses and bills.

Is being a live-in carer a financially viable move?

For many people, yes it is. They are paid for delivering a service to their companion whilst also enjoying living with them in their own home. Managing your money, however, is still important because you too will need to plan for your future. 

There is much more to being a live-in carer and companion than money. It can be a lot of fun, forming a friendship with someone that is valued by them and their family. It can be an extremely rewarding career choice in terms of feeling like you are doing something good for someone else.