As a single mother, one of the most challenging areas to deal with is money – or, to be more accurate, the lack of money.
Not every single mother is struggling financially, but I was and, from the many comments and questions about money on I get on this blog, I know many of you are, too.
Whether your financial struggles are due to not making enough money, not managing your money effectively – or, in a worse scenario, the combination of the two:
No/Low Income + Money Mismanagement = FINANCIAL DISASTER
You need to do something fast to change your financial circumstance.
Struggling financially is bad enough on your own, but when you have other mouths to feed, aside from your own, the weight of that added responsibility can be extremely stressful.
So, without further ado, here are the 10 THINGS EVERY SINGLE MOTHER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MONEY MANAGEMENT:
#1 STRUGGLE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PART OF YOUR SINGLE MOTHER JOURNEY
Just because you’re a single mother, it doesn’t mean you have to struggle. No matter what your financial situation, you—and only you—have the power to change it.
But something must click for you to change how you view and use the money. For me, I was tired of the stress that comes with not having enough money to live and enjoy life. I wanted better for my son and me, and I’m sure you do, too.
What I had to realize, though, is that I needed to change my relationship with money completely. Pre-baby, I always considered myself to be great with money, but when you got another life depending on you, things change—fast.
So there I was someone who’d always thought I was great with money to someone who, as a single mother, was constantly broke.
I needed to do something fast, but what?
I NEEDED to get real with myself about my finances, set up a single mother budget and stick to it. Period.
#2 ACCEPT YOUR NEW FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
For me, everything started with accepting my new financial circumstance. The money I made was good enough to take care of me, myself and I, but that same amount of money was not going to cut it with a baby—unless I drastically changed my lifestyle.
For instance, say you only make $10.00/hour or approximately $1600.00/month – accept it. No amount of wishing (alone) is going to change that. Having a clear understanding of your income is the first step in transforming your finances as a single mother.
LIST OUT YOUR BILLS AND DEBT
Yikes! It may be hard to face the fact of how many bills you’ve created or how much debt you’re in, but you have to do this. Trust me; it will be worth it.
Break out the long legal pad and start listing out every single monthly bill.
EVERY. SINGLE. BILL.
You can use a sheet of paper or a legal pad. At this point, it doesn’t matter what you use. The point of this exercise is to get:
- List of ALL your monthly BILLS
- Know EXACTLY when each BILL IS DUE
- Get a visual of the BARE NECESSITIES
- Know where you can CUT UNNECESSARY BILLS
- Have a TOTAL of YOUR MONTHLY EXPENSES
If you have a little extra cash, $10 – S25 dollars max, I would highly recommend getting a budget planner becuase it:
- Gives you ONE place to KEEP all your FINANCIALS
- Allows you to SEE your FINANCIAL HEALTH at a GLANCE.
- Allows you to see WHERE you’re SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY
- Keeps you FOCUSED on your BUDGET and your FINANCIAL GOALS
- Gives you POWER and CONTROL over your FINANCES
#3 BUDGET PLANNERS ARE A SINGLE MOM’S BEST FRIEND
Now that you know the benefits of using budget planners, here are some of the best budget-friendly budget planners. As you can see below, budget planners come in different styles, colors, designs. I like cute things and when I like the design aesthetic of something, I’m more inclined to use it. Find one you like, but more importantly, find one that makes budgeting easy.
To get an idea how other people have set up their budget planner, check out these videos:
Here is another budget planner set up video:
Here are a few budget planners on Amazon.com that are super cute and extremely easy to use:
- Mead Budget Planner and Expense Tracker (Comes in two colors, Pink and Purple) – $14.99.
- Monthly Budget Planner / Bill Paying Organizer (Colored Dots) $17.99
- Monthly Budget Planner/Organizer (Various Colors) $7.99