Important Financial Tips for Single Mothers

Important Financial Tips for Single Mothers

However it comes about, y’all, single motherhood puts you in superhero territory immediately. Your children’s worlds rest on your shoulders. They believe in you, so you better believe in yourself. One of the scariest things about solo parenting is managing money. Even if you have support from your ex, keeping track of your dollars and dimes, doing your taxes, and finding the money for sports uniforms can make your hair stand on end. I’ve gathered a few important financial tips for single mothers that I hope will help.

Budget and Plan

Budgeting comes down to managing your income versus your expenses—simple stuff, unless the latter exceeds the former. Record how much money comes in per month and how much out goes out for necessities such as rent or mortgage payments, food, and transportation. List your children’s needs among the necessities; school fees, expenses for field trips, and support for extracurricular activities should all be part of the plan.

This can be especially tough for divorced moms. Breaking up a marriage has an effect on the children’s financial future, too. Make sure your divorce attorney includes arrangements for mutual support for your kids’ future in any divorce settlement.

Spend Less

Y’all know I love to save a nickel. I can be the Queen of Couponing, the Diva of Discounts, and the Connoisseur of Complementary Crap. But inexpensive or free stuff doesn’t have to be cruddy. Shop sales and weekly specials, and keep an eye out for free stuff. Mark local museums’ free days on your calendar, use your local library, and go on a “park safari” with your kids to find fun, free ways to play.

Make More

Stiffen your spine and ask for a raise. Start that side hustle you’ve been meaning to work on. Maximize your income any way you can. Earn that graduate degree at night. Sell stuff you don’t need anymore to raise some money. It’s just you now, so you need to respect your skills and abilities and make sure you’re getting what you’re worth.

Protect and Save

The rule of thumb is to always have six months of expenses saved up. If your emergency fund consists of a teapot full of loose change, it’s time to get serious, even if you can only afford to set aside five bucks a month for emergencies or retirement. It’s a start.

Make a plan for what happens when you’re not around anymore, too. Estate planning is an area in which paying for professional help makes sense. There are laws to follow and tax consequences to your decisions. Ask an estate planning lawyer for help making a will, choosing sensible life and disability insurance, and identifying guardians for your kids in the event of your demise. It’s tough to think about, but important financial tips for single mothers include planning for a future without you.

You’re a superhero. You can do it. Believe in yourself, and girlfriend, please know that I believe in you, too!

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