If you’re just starting out as a single mom, the world can seem like a very big place. You’re likely filled with a lot of doubt, wondering how you can possibly cope with everything that’s being thrown at you. Perhaps you’re not too worried at the moment because you’re receiving financial support from an ex or relying on state programs to help, but that’s a short-term solution, not a long-term plan. Think of these things as your bonus money – not part of your real financial plan – and you’ll be a lot better off down the line. Your end game should be complete financial independence without the need for any help, so how do you get there?
Embrace Your Independence
The first step is to embrace your independence and figure out what it is you want to do with the rest of your life. A good career should be one that actually makes you happy – don’t just settle for the first opportunity that comes along if it’s not what you want to do. If you’re going to make your single family home truly financially independent, it’s important that you’re happy with your choice. Otherwise, you may find yourself drifting from job to job without any real prospects for improving your position. You may struggle at first, especially if your goals involve the added financial burden of educational costs, but as long as you stick with it, the results will come.
Set a Weekly Budget and Stick with It
When you have young children you want them to be happy, and the last thing you want is for them to be deprived of the things that other kids take for granted. Saying “no” to those little faces can be tough, but spending beyond your means is not helping them in the long run. Create a weekly budget and stick to it. Try to include some room in the budget to treat your kids, and if you’ve already reached the end of that budget, let them know it can be next week’s treat.
When you’re barely scraping by and trying to make ends meet, the idea of any kind of financial goal may seem like an impossibility, but it really isn’t. Set yourself very modest goals to create a savings plan, and stick with it. It may only be $10 per week at first, but you can increase that amount as your financial burdens ease over time. It’s more important to establish a habit; with time, that habit will pay dividends.