Financial tips for single moms
Being a parent can be challenging. You go through the ups and downs, funny moments, boo-boos, accidents and knee scrapes — and let’s not forget about the legendary temper tantrums. But being a single mom? That’s something else altogether. And though being a single mom makes you a superhero in the eyes of your kids and others, it can get hard on the wallet if you’re not careful. Fortunately, CNBC.com has some great tips and tricks for single moms to help keep their good cheer and financial stability in check.
Tip #1 for single moms: Budget, Budget, Budget
Think about creating a thorough budgeting sheet to fill in all of your reoccurring bills like rent, groceries, car payment, mortgage, insurance, etc. Doing so will help you keep track of what’s coming out of your paycheck month after month – no surprises. Not only will this help you organize your finances, but it’ll also help you understand what’s left over that you can put aside should you need it. Saving is critical, but it’s almost impossible to know what you could be saving if you don’t have all of your money tracked down and accounted for. Budgeting doesn’t have to be hard though. Single Girl Budget Building 101 breaks down easy step by step instructions on how to budget.
Tip #2 for single moms: Save for the future
We’ve all heard the expression “when it rains it pours,” right? Well, the same applies to finances. Unexpected things happen, and it’s always helpful to be able to pull from an emergency fund when necessary. Taking advantage of every benefit that may be available through your employer, including wellness plans, 401K options, etc. Take the time to sit down and ask your employer questions to get the full picture of what options you have available to you and start building your savings account. After all, the devil is in the details, and there might be enough help there to take some of that financial burden off of your shoulders. A great rule of thumb is to have enough savings for six months of living expenses – so if the worst happens, you’ll have a little cushion.
Tip #3 for single moms: Pay your bills the easy way
You’ve got enough that you’re worried about. Chasing the little ones is exhausting and can put a wrench in remembering all of those bills that you need to pay. Make your life a little organized and predictable by setting up automatic bill pay to help you stay current with recurring payments and avoid late fees. Not only will this give you some piece of mind, but it will also help prevent from late payments dinging that credit score of yours. Check out online tools like Mint and Level Money that can help you track your income, expenses and manage your savings.
Tip # 4 for single moms: Make a backup plan
Making sure you have proper life insurance, disability insurance, a will and trusts, and naming guardians for your children is crucial when doing life as a single parent. Believe it or not, this isn’t something that most single moms think about. But if something were to happen, it’s important that your child/children are given the tools they need to continue their life in a way that will cover and educate them financially. Preparing for the future by barricading yourself with a little extra coverage is a sure way to build financial security for you and your family.
Tip #5 for single moms: Take time for you
Motherhood comes with a lot of little moments that you wouldn’t trade for the world and stress-out sessions that’ll leave your head spinning. But at the end of the day, it’s as equally important to remember to not only prepare for your financial future but to also take time for yourself. Make sure to get your nails done, take a brisk walk in the park, go to that yoga class you love, and never forget to spoil yourself from time to time. Getting your finances in check will help your wallet and your stress levels for certain, but keeping yourself fresh is good for the soul.
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