How To Manage Your Finances When You Are a Single Mom

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Being a single mom is not easy. You are often tasked with all the responsibilities your household has every day. It is your duty to prepare meals, go grocery shopping, ensure your children get to school on time, go to work, be the tutor, chauffeur, and as if it’s not enough, handle the finances. Even though single parenting is challenging, you can overcome most of these hurdles by making certain adjustments. And because of the love you have for your kids, making these changes is crucial to ensuring their wellbeing.

One of the biggest challenges single mothers face is managing their finances. Quite often, single moms find it hard to balance work and family and this leads to financial struggle. Even though we are all different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to financial advice for single moms, the tips below can help you take control of your finances and put a stop to financial struggles.

1. Budget and spend intentionally

The term impulse buying shouldn’t exist in your dictionary if you happen to be raising kids by yourself. As a single mother, you work so hard to put food on the table and provide other basic needs for your kids. So, should you waste all that effort in buying something that you don’t need?

Budgeting is important for everyone. Even smart millionaires stick to a certain budget that helps stabilize their wealth. Without a budget, it is very easy for things to get out of control and find yourself in debt. Though often not given the attention it deserves, a budget can help keep your finances on track.

Knowing what to or not to spend on ensures you don’t live a life that you can’t afford. Fortunately, there are plenty of free family budgeting tools that you can use on your phone or personal computer to manage your daily, weekly, and monthly expenditures.

Even though budgeting entails living below your means, that doesn’t mean you should avoid spending money at all. Think things through before making any purchase, and you will definitely begin to see more money in your purse or bank account.

2. Save at least 30% of your monthly income

Worried where the money to save will come from? As mentioned earlier, when you start budgeting and cut down unnecessary expenditures, you will begin to see more money in your purse. Do not waste that money, save it for future use.

Saving is an excellent financial strategy especially for single mothers as it gives you a sense of confidence. With some money saved in your bank account, you won’t go crazy when you encounter an unexpected expense. Your savings act as just-in-case money and this will make you feel less stressed about finances.

If possible, save at least 30% of your income every month. Saving is a good habit that can take you and your family very far. Include savings in your budget and you will note a huge difference.

3. Set clear financial goals

Financial goals are different from life goals such as buying a car or a house. Because we are talking about managing finances, single moms should set clear and realistic financial goals. An example of such a goal should be paying off debt if you have one.

At times, one can be burdened by many expenses and you may consider to get loan fast. If you are not making any progress with paying off your loan, this is a goal you can set and work towards it. And it’s not just paying off debt, you can set a goal of saving a certain amount of money per year. These savings can be used to pay off tuition or taking your family on vacation.

With a clear and realistic goal in mind, you have to work towards attaining it. Back to the budget, you will have to make more cuts and limit spending. You should also consider working overtime or getting a part-time job. Make sure you make childcare arrangements with a babysitter when working overtime. With motivation and focus, you can easily attain these financial goals.

4. Let go of past money mistakes

It’s not just single moms who have made money mistakes in the past, everyone has. And the best way of overcoming such a mistake is leaving it where it belongs – in the past. If you drove yourself into debt a couple of months ago, or if you have had the habit of impulse buying, do not beat yourself up.

Experience has always been the best teacher and it’s okay to screw up and learn a lesson from it. If you keep on making a particular mistake with your money, it could be in your best interest to educate yourself on that problem. 

5. Find a better job and don’t settle for low income

Just because you are a single mom, you don’t have to live from paycheck to paycheck. Lots of women have succeeded financially and the fact that they are single parents hasn’t affected their progress.

As a single mom, you are obviously in need of money, a lot of it! If the job you are currently doing doesn’t have room for financial growth you better find a new one. But before you quit, try and ask for a raise or promotion by working harder than everyone else. Alternatively, you can go back to school and further your knowledge. This can unlock better-paying career opportunities.

It is impossible to succeed financially if you are getting a low income. Should there be minimal room for financial growth in your company or business, explore other sources of income. A lot of people nowadays have side hustles and so should you. Find something that you can do part-time to generate more income. For instance, online, there are so many opportunities such as affiliate marketing, selling digital or physical products, writing blogs, and offering other services.

As we wrap up our tips on how to manage your finances when you are a single mom, if you are in urgent need of financial assistance, it may require more than the above to achieve financial freedom. Seeking the services of a financial advisor can help with debt management, budgeting and you can also learn how to invest wisely and save more money. Don’t also let financial burdens come in between your social life with the kids. Have dinner together, go on picnics and engage in other family events that help you bond and live happily.

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