As a single mom, there is no doubt you are faced with a ton of different financial responsibilities. Sometimes it may become difficult when faced with your financial obligations and when perhaps you are only living on a single paycheck or even unemployed. In this article, therefore, I will give you great insights that will help you know how to survive financially as a single mom.
According to CNBC, single moms usually face a lot of financial insecurity and other issues, such as food insecurity. This has made it a hassle for single moms, especially those who rely on one income or are unemployed to fend for their families.
Statistics also show that over 15 million families in the United States are single-mother households. This is a significant percentage that cannot be ignored since most of these households go through a number of financial constraints that come with single parenting.
10 Tips to Help You Survive Financially As A Single Mother
1. Always Have A Budget
You should be creating a new budget monthly that you can add to or alter depending on different things you expect to happen. This helps account for things like birthdays, car maintenance, etc. Your budget will help you plan what you need, and to avoid unnecessary spending. When you have a budget, you will be able to track your expenses and take control of them. This when it becomes a habit, it will help you achieve financial stability.
As a single mom, a budget will also help you to pay your bills appropriately and on time. In addition to that, it will save a lot on impulse buying that would otherwise leave you with no money left for savings or emergencies or could potentially put you into debt.
2. Create A Savings Habit
It is important to have savings as a single mom. This will help you meet unexpected financial needs. Of course, it can be really hard to save money when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. But even if you’re only able to save a small amount each check, it will pay off! Frugal living is key to making your money work for you.
Here are a few ways to help you save a little money out of your income:
- Cut on unnecessary costs – some expenses that perhaps you incur on a daily basis could be avoided.
- Avoid the things you can do without – some of the items that you buy could be luxurious or not essential for your everyday living. These are some of the things that can add to your savings if you avoid them.
- Compare prices for the things you do want – there is almost always a cheaper way to get the things you want, whether that’s buying used, doing some trade work, or finding other resources to help you get it. Some shops sell at higher prices than others. It is important to make comparisons.
3. Set A Goal
As a single mother with so many financial responsibilities, you will benefit from having a plan and a clear goal on what you want to achieve financially. Regardless of your current paycheck or income, setting goals will help you stay motivated to achieve your financial dreams.
Maybe your goal is to buy a house, own your own business, work from home, buy a new car, or something entirely different. No matter what your personal goals are, set some short-term and long-term goals to help you stay motivated as a mother.
4. Try to Find Affordable Housing
There are numerous ways to circumvent your financial constraints as a single mother and one of them is to find affordable or even free housing. There are particular programs that are government-led and targets single mothers. Some of the programs to explore for subsidized or affordable housing as a single mother include:
- Housing Choice Voucher Program by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Government Housing Grants
- Charities such as the Salvation Army provide housing assistance to single mothers.
The rising cost of owning a home or renting an apartment has become a serious concern for low-income families and single mothers. To survive, you need to explore all the options to find a house that you can afford with your income so as to give your children a secure environment for their growth and also survive financially.
Be on the lookout for opportunities to decrease your housing costs. Maybe you can rent somewhere that the owner allows you to pay less in exchange for fixing things in the house. Or, maybe you can live in someone’s basement in exchange for helping with their children at certain times. There are tons of ways to save on living expenses.
5. Find Ways to Increase Your Income
Apart from cutting on your expenses and savings, you also need to explore ways to increase your income. If you are living on a paycheck, then you need to explore some passive income streams to supplement your income.
Investing your money in profitable ventures, markets, or businesses is also a great way to build your wealth. You need to identify avenues that you think would be profitable to yield a reasonable profit, then invest there and have that financial security you need.
Of course, there are different avenues to generate more income other than what you currently earn. Some of the ways include:
- Investing in the stock market or high-yield savings account
- Freelance writing
- Selling stock photos and images or art online
- Selling online courses
- Participating in affiliate marketing programs
- Creating video content on YouTube
- Flipping items or unwanted stuff online
These are just some of the few ways to generate a few bucks just to supplement your income if you are depending on a single stream.
6. Manage Your Debt
It is important to take control of your debt as a single mom to avoid being overwhelmed. To achieve this, you need to ensure to pay your monthly bills on time. If you have a high-interest loan, you need to consolidate by finding ways to refinance. In this case, you can take a personal loan from credit unions that have low interest, then use it to pay the high-interest loan.
Most importantly, try to avoid increasing your debt! Don’t use credit cards unless you’re able to pay them off every month.
7. Set An Emergency Fund
Apart from the normal savings or savings for investment, you also need to set aside some savings for emergencies. This will help cushion you in case you lose your job or in the event of other emergencies that may arise, such as a large car repair or medical expense. The rule of thumb should be to have an emergency fund that can cushion your living expenses for up to six months in case of losing your income.
8. Find Child Care Programs
Taking care of a child or children may not be a walk in the park when you are a single mom. It becomes even more difficult when you don’t earn much income to cater for all their needs. The good thing is that you can find awesome programs like Head Start that would come in handy in that situation.
You could also find other families with opposite schedules to trade childcare with. This way you can still work and get free childcare.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Government Help
As mentioned, there are numerous government programs and subsidies that target people with low income, single moms included. Explore those government options and programs to help you in regard to housing, food, cash assistance, social security, or welfare.
Some specific ones include:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
This program helps families that are in difficult financial situations. It’s a government program under the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). In addition to that, if you are a single mom and unemployed, this program can also help you find a job to help you manage your family.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP is another program that you need to explore if you need some help with costs related to cooling and heating. In addition to that, the program also helps when you have a fault in your systems by paying the repair costs.
Any help that you get from the government will help you save the amount that you would otherwise have spent for the same.
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Final Thoughts On How to Survive Financially As A Single Mom
Surviving financially as a single mom can be tricky. Life becomes more and more expensive as time goes on. All you can do is work on keeping expenses low and finding ways to boost your income as much as possible. Use the tips above to maximize your savings, and you will get through this mama!
Kayla is the content creator over at motviationformom.com. She is a wife and mother who loves to share all of the tips, tricks, and life lessons that she has learned over the years with all of her readers. Her primary focus is on children’s education, motherhood, and healthy family relationships!