Single mothers face a lot of challenges since they almost have to do everything themselves, which often includes earning the money and paying the bills. This is why they’re unfortunately more likely to be in poverty. However, being a single mother doesn’t mean that you’re destined to live on the financial edge. You can get control of your finances, save for the future and build a better life. Here is a simple financial survival guide every single mum can follow.
Take Charge of Your Money
Set up your own bank accounts if you’re newly single. Then start taking charge of your money by building a sound budget. Create a full list of sources of income and expenses. This may include child support, spousal support, government benefits, a salary or a combination thereof. Your expense list needs to include every little bill you pay and all the ways you spend cash. Knowing how much you’re spending allows you to set a realistic budget and take action, if necessary, if the outgo is more than the income.
Educate Yourself on the Legal Aspects of Going It Alone
If you’re newly divorced or had a baby on your own, you need to start getting up to speed on the legal aspects fast. For divorced women, you’ll need to start planning how you’ll file taxes as a single person. Life insurance isn’t something you can afford to overlook. Don’t neglect disability insurance either, since you can’t afford to be without income if you’re out of work for months due to an injury or illness. If you’re newly single, learn whether or not you need to get auto or homeowners insurance in your own name.
Set Some Financial Goals
A large portion of single mothers have little to no financial reserves. You’ll need to start setting short and long term financial goals, one of which is to save up an emergency fund to cover little unplanned expenses like car repairs and broken appliances.
Until you’ve achieved that or the repair bill is greater than the emergency fund, you may have to rely on credit. Unsecure personal loans with no credit are available to anyone who has documented income, so they’re an option if your separation had a negative effect on your credit report. Services like simplepersonalloans.co.uk offer a fast and easy way to get a few hundred or thousand pounds without having to sell stuff or beg family and friends for money.
Once you have an emergency fund, set bigger goals like paying off debt, putting some money back for the kids’ education and starting to save for your own retirement. Or you can start planning how you’ll increase your income. Look for free ways to do this like getting a mentor, attending networking events, asking the boss for overtime or a promotion, or reading books related to your field.
Check Your Credit Report
You should start monitoring your credit report. If your ex isn’t paying jointly held debts or runs up credit cards in your name, the sooner you can respond to it, the better. Challenge inaccuracies on the credit report, because the credit score could affect your ability to get a new apartment and may even get in the way of getting a new job.
Money is often the number one concern of single mothers, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Follow our advice to get control of your financial life, breaking the stereotype that you have to be broke, stressed and desperate. You can make it better.