As a single mom there are a lot of barriers that a woman must cross, whether it be going back to school, getting a job or starting to date again. One of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome was setting up a budgeting plan that actually worked for me.
Being a single parent doesn’t only mean double the workload; it also means half the income. One must rely solely on their income to make ends meet, and while it seems like a nightmare to go through, it is definitely doable.
I tend to be very cautious when it comes to spending on myself, but it is a whole different story with my 2-year-old daughter. If you tend to like to spoil your child like I do, stop and think before you make various unnecessary purchases. For example, at the top of your shopping list should be items that your child definitely needs, i.e. baby shampoo, diapers, wipes, etc. Some things you should put more though into are items such as toys. Step back and think about the amount of times you actually think your child will use it, if you believe it is only a small number of times, put it aside. Your wallet will thank you in the future.
Bills are a never-ending cycle. They are something that will keep showing up month after month, so the best thing to do is keep up with them. Something that has worked wonders for me is organizing dates on my planner. If you don’t have a planner or some sort of calendar I would strongly suggest you invest in one. They not only keep you organized, but prevent you from missing appointments, meetings or bill due dates.
Here is a list of steps that I do in order to organize my bills and their due dates:
1. Gather all your bills. (Whether they be paper statements or online statements)
2. Write down each of their due dates and the amount that is due in your planner. (If It is of high priority highlight it to better remind you to pay it on time)
3. Add up all the amount of your monthly bills, and compare it to how much money you have available for the month.
4. If possible, set money aside so you are guaranteed to have your bills paid that month.
5. If you don’t think you will be able to pay all of your bills in full that month, don’t be afraid to call the billing company, most companies have payment plans and are willing to work with you in order to get your bills paid.
6. Constantly check your bank accounts to make sure that you don’t hit a negative balance. You shouldn’t be spending money you don’t have.
Of course these suggestions are things that worked for me, if you find something that works best for you, practice it, and improve it where you find it lacks strength.
Being a single mom is a lot of work, but practice definitely makes perfect. It is a full time job that requires persistence, patience and lots of drive.