There are many difficulties that come with being a single mother. The hardest-hit area for single moms is typically finances. As a former single mother, I am aware of how challenging it can be to balance living on one income while also taking care of yourself, spending time with your children, and investing in your career and future. However, I don’t think that monetarily, single mothers are doomed. Simply manage your finances differently than homes with two earners. Here are a few of my top financial advice for single mothers.
LIST YOUR CORE EXPENDITURES
You must establish your priorities clearly before creating a budget if you are a single mother. No one, not even a single parent, can afford everything. Therefore, pay for your essential living costs—such as rent, food, transportation, and insurance—first. Always give your home and debts top priority, regardless of your financial situation. My mother used to say, “People may feed you, give you clothes, or give you a ride, but few will help with your housing,” and it has lasted with me all these years.
AUTOMATED PAYMENT OF BILLS
Both working mothers and single mothers desire to divide their limited free time between generating income and spending quality time with their children. Spending all of your free time and energy fretting about money and which bills need to be paid is not something you should do. As much as you can, try to automate your finances and bill-paying.
Likewise, automate saving. In this approach, you’re automatically creating a cash reserve. Set up automatic monthly payments for the minimum payment if you have credit cards.
VALIDATE YOUR INSURANCE RATES
Although insurance is crucial, you don’t have to pay the highest costs. Every six months, compare renter’s and homeowner’s insurance prices as well as auto insurance rates. You may compare interest rates using the Zebra to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Most consumers don’t really care with which insurance provider they are insured at the end of the day. Instead, people prefer to have coverage that is affordable and enough for them.
If you are unable to locate health insurance with cheap premiums for your family, you might want to think about a health sharing ministry like Liberty Health Share. Be sure to thoroughly assess whether this choice is best for you because healthshare ministries have advantages and disadvantages.
BUYING INGREDIENTS AS COMPARED TO READY-MADE MEALS
Single mothers who are busy want for ease. Convenience, however, occasionally has a price. We frequently observe this when eating out and purchasing quick prepared meals. They are more expensive, and since costs are already going up, this will really pile up and leave you short on money.
Instead, take a seat and plan your meals. Then, rather than buying expensive (and frequently unhealthy) prepared foods, go shopping for the ingredients to make that meal. Have little time to prepare meals? Make it easy. In order to have leftovers, I frequently make 20-minute meals for my family as well as Crock Pot meals in batches.
START AN EMERGENCY FUND RATHER THAN RELYING ON CREDIT CARDS
Using a lot of credit cards is not a good idea if money is tight in your household. Credit cards can be a dangerous stepping stone that takes you down a path of debt and excessive spending. You can’t pool your money with others as a single mother or put in extra hours to pay off high credit card bills.
Nevertheless, many claim to genuinely utilize credit cards for emergencies. This isn’t the best option because the majority of credit cards have hefty interest rates. Instead, set up an emergency fund that you can use when you suddenly need extra money. Once you start getting paid, start saving money.
Limiting subscriptions unless you truly need and utilise them is another of my favourite money advice for single mothers. Although they can be useful, subscriptions come with an additional monthly charge that must be paid. To cut costs in this area, keep your subscriptions to a minimum each month.
Don’t be hesitant to cancel memberships, streaming services, and other subscriptions that you don’t actually need or from which you don’t get much value. In some circumstances, paying for the things you need only when you need them rather than being obligated to a monthly subscription will result in spending less money.
BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT
You can still have fun each month without breaking the bank, no matter what your budget looks like. Look for inexpensive and free events nearby. To find out if there is an interesting event you may go with your children, check with the neighbourhood park district or even the library. To find out when your favourite museums and zoos are offering free admission, you could also sign up for alerts from those institutions. There can be attractions that are always free depending on where you reside.
USE TAX BREAKS TO YOUR BENEFIT
Single mothers might benefit from a number of federal and state tax incentives. You can be eligible for the child tax credit depending on your income and filing status. A tax credit for earned income is also available. You may be eligible for these tax credits if you file as the head of the household, but you should consult a tax expert to find out if this is the case.
Getting tax advantages and credits puts extra money in your pocket so you can budget effectively.
LOOK FOR WAYS TO RISE YOUR INCOME
Whatever your situation, it’s critical to find strategies to boost and diversify your income. Being a single mother made me feel somewhat constrained, but I knew I didn’t have the time or energy to take on another job. Instead, I concentrated on flexible side hustles like freelancing writing that I could do in my spare time to supplement my income.
I was still able to be present with my son when I needed to be by working from home while he slept or was in daycare. Consider your interests and areas of competence, then discover a flexible supplemental income stream that suits you. A small increase of $100 each week could have a significant impact.
The list doesn’t end with these 9 budgeting advice for single mothers. When it comes to your potential and the financial objectives you pursue as a single mother, the sky is the limit. Anyone should always begin with a strong budget as their fundamental building block. From there, you can modify your spending practices and workflows as necessary. You may achieve financial stability, pay off debt, and follow your aspirations even as a single mother.