10 money tips for Single Moms
In my early 20’s I found myself single and caring for my then, 2 year old. I had just decided to move out of my parents home and fend for myself in the “real” world. I had a pretty good job (at least I thought I did) and was going to school full-time. When it came to money, all I really knew was that I need to pay my bills on time and make sure that rent was paid. As far as the other money stuff.. What other stuff? 🙂
Soon enough, I had found myself in several situations where I was looking for help because I didn’t know how to manage my money. I remember one occasion where I had decided to open up a credit card at Walmart because I needed to buy groceries. Then my car transmission dies, my student loan payment was due, electricity bill was higher than normal due to the warm weather…. If you’ve ever been in a situation where it seems like everything bad is happening and nothing is going right, then you know what it’s like to see the money situation get tighter.
Single parents have a lot to balance when it comes to keeping a family together. Knowing how to handle finances is an important part of running a successful household. If you feel as though you’re over your head with finances, check out these 10 financial tips for single moms:
#1. Write out a budget- No matter what your income is every week, make sure you write out a budget. Knowing what is coming in and going out is extremely important.
#2. Have a cash stash– It’s so important to have cash stashed away as a single mom. You never know when something could happen, so it’s important to be prepared for it.
#3. Stay on target- As a single mom, with only one income coming in; it’s important to stay on target. Know what your financial goals are and stick with them.
#4. Think about large purchases- Before you head to the store and make a large purchase, it’s important to put a lot of thought into it. Give yourself at least 24 hours to think about a big purchase, this gives you time to outweigh the pros and cons of the situation.
#5. Go with businesses you trust- In today’s world it is very easy to get taken advantage of. When it comes to getting a car fixed, a homeownership issue, or even getting a haircut, always go with the people you trust. And if you don’t trust anyone, ask for a recommendation.
#6. Stay away from credit- When there’s only one income coming in, taking on credit cards and lines or credit can be a huge mistake. It’s easy to get in over your head in these types of financial situations.
#7. Look for an income booster- No one wants to work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. However, boosting your income may be just what you need to stay financially afloat. Look for ways you can make the most amount of money in the shortest period of time. Consider writing, transcription, babysitting, data entry, dog walking, or anything of that nature!
#8. Reduce debt as much as possible- Staying away from credit is certainly important, but so is reducing the debt that you’re in. If you own a ton of money, start snowballing your debt and getting things paid off. Snowballing means you start with the smallest debt and work your way up to paying off your largest debt.
#9. Add an accountability partner- If you don’t feel like you can stay on target financially, then add someone to your life who you think can help. A friend is always a great person to help bounce financial decisions off of. You don’t have to let them know all of your business, but bouncing an idea off of them every once in a while is more than okay.
#10. Use what you have wisely- Part of being a financial responsible single mom means using the resources you have very wisely. Instead of eating out every night, consider eating at home and saving money. Those small purchases add up over time and can really hurt your overall finances.
What is one financial tip you would share with other single moms?