Managing Money as Single Mom
Of all the troubles the single moms I coach have, money tops the list. I’ve read that 90% of single moms in the U.S. are on welfare. Single mothers are more likely than any other group to fall into poverty. Well over 33% already have. Depressing, huh?
Well, there are ways to manage money that will bring peace of mind.
If you do not have a job or a steady income a budget may be the least of your concerns. You may not be in the position to consider paying off debts or saving because you are financially dependent on others. Perhaps you are on welfare and food stamps. There are times when it is not only necessary to apply for assistance, but the only choice you have. It is certainly not shameful.
Seeds to Grow On
Of course Money Matters, but it seems to matter most to you when it is all that matters. Many people on the planet are perfectly happy with very little money. Others with loads of money are unhappy. It is a matter of perspective. If you have had a huge shift in your household budget as a result of a divorce or death of a spouse you will have to realign your thinking about money.
Ask yourself, “What really matters?” Most likely you already know the answer, but it helps to ask. Then follow the steps listed below to encourage you to keep priorities in proper perspective.
- Make a list of your financial priorities. Rent or house payment might be at the top of the list. Use general, not specific, topics.
- Check a book out from the church or public library on managing money. Read only the portions that pertain to you.
- Develop a short (one year) and a long (five year) range plan. Include some treats, like a short vacation.
- Review and research your spending each month. Break it into categories using the same categories each month.
- Plan ahead for expenditures like back to school supplies and birthdays.
- Develop a plan for savings even if in tiny amounts.
- Make contact with someone who can help you.
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Gail raised three children as a single mother before she remarried. She has experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years she knows a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. She is the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. She is a Certified Professional Coach and her stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. Her book, Living Learning Loving is available on CreateSpace, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble online.