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5 Financial Tips for single moms

1. Earn Your way to freedom

Raising children alone puts a great financial strain on a family. The vast majority of single moms raise their kids with little or no financial help from their children’s fathers. In the US the average sum of child support received is about $300 per month. Meaning the financial responsibility falls on moms therefore, moms have a huge responsibility to earn.

Single moms are, statistically poor than their married counterparts. It is important you tap into your skills and invest in furthering your personal development and education to qualify for more promotions in the future. Invest in yourself development, attend that seminar, sign up for the course. Consider hiring extra babysitting, at least temporarily, so you can get that advanced degree, or work more hours. I speak as a single mom when I say I know how terrifying it is to take risks when you are the only financial provider for your children. I still advise you to take that risk, that terrifying risk and start that dream business. Statistically, risk over the long-term is rewarded, take that leap of faith. Go for it your financial freedom depends on it.

2. Pay off bad debt

Listen, if you are anything like me, you enjoy nice things and there is nothing wrong with that. However, it is important to take into account your long term goals before making purchases. Unless it is a home mortgage, which is not always the best choice for everyone at every phase of life or purchasing of a car, with a low interest rate. If you have to finance it, you likely can’t afford it. This definitely includes expenses like food and utilities, as well as clothes, electronics, and travel. Remember "the borrower is a slave to the lender." The less you owe to other people, the more freedom you have to do the things you want to do, and easier it is to build wealth.

3. Get real about what you can afford

Because you are the only earner in your family, you need extra financial cushions. This includes living within your means, paying down debt, saving for any future unexpected expenses. Whether single motherhood found you via divorce, or unplanned pregnancy, it can be easy to find yourself looking around at those two-parent families at parent-teacher night and feeling pressured to take on a particular lifestyle. But if you cannot afford your lifestyle, decide right now to change your spending. Successful single moms do not replicate their nuclear-family neighbors’ lives. They build their own amazing lives within their own means.

4. Save for the short-term & long-term

As a single mom, you don't have anyone else to care for you and your children, it is always best to plan ahead. Keep a minimum of three months’ living expenses on hand. We all experience unplanned expense at some point. You could experience a job loss, medical emergency or sudden major expense like a car repair. I for one have had several emergencies over the past decades ranges from medical emergencies to being unemployed for a couple of years. It is always best to plan for these things. At the same time, get serious about your retirement planning. Take advantage of any investment benefits offered by your employer, or learn how to invest in multi family real estate. The pressure to save is that much more important as a single mom. You don't want to be a financial burden to your children when you get older.

5. Protect your children

I understand 70 percent of adults in the US do not have life insurance, the numbers are not much better for single moms, and I understand the hesitance. After all, you have a many financial responsibilities already as a single mom on an already tight budget. Also, it is terrifying to think of your own mortality. Unfortunately, life happens and we really do not know what may happen in the future but it is always wise to plan for it. Even if you feel confident your children would be well cared for by their dad or your mom or any other family member, there are so many financial considerations to plan for in your absence. These could include: the need for a larger home than those new guardians may currently have, extra childcare that the other parent would need to hire or expenses like college tuition, summer camps and any other activities your children may enjoy. Having life insurance means, your children will not become a huge financial burden to another person.

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