Do you need some ways to save money as a single mom?Being a single mother is a sensitive issue especially when it comes to handling your personal finances correctly. Balancing the emotional and financial aspects of your life all at once can be an incredibly difficult feat when the task is suddenly thrust onto you with the departure of your significant other. Luckily, there are a lot of systems in place to ensure that you don’t just fall through the cracks and that both yourself and your child have the adequate financial safety. Here are some terrific financial tips for single mothers.
1. Cut down on Your Taxable Income
There are a ton of opportunities for tax exemptions when you’re a single mom supporting dependents and this is one of the best ways to save money as a single mom. You want to make sure that you take full advantage of these tax exemptions - which are established in the first place to help out - so that you have the most money left over to support the needs and education of your children. The IRS lists out a number of things that count as personal exemptions that will allow you the yearly adjusted amount for each one of those exemptions that apply to you.
2. Secure Your Financial Future with an Emergency Savings Account
Establishing an emergency savings account is already important from an individual perspective, but it’s even more pertinent if you’re a single parent who’s responsible for supporting one or multiple children. Accidents and unexpected events like unemployment can really throw your finances into a downward spiral if you don’t have a good financial safety net in the form of an emergency savings account. While it may be difficult to set aside money for another savings account when you’re in a situation of living paycheck to paycheck, not being prepared for financial emergencies will end up costing you.
3. Seek Child Support or Alimony Costs Where Relevant
This tip follows from ensuring that you’re making the most out of the financial options available to you and it’s justified by the fact that your children should be provided with the best possible future that you can allow them to have. Taking a look at the child support basics that go into how courts determine child support costs can help you situate yourself with regard to what receiving child support implies.
4. Learn about Alimony and Spousal Support
This is another option that concerns spousal support, which will overlap if you’re a single mother with the majority of custodial rights to the children. Find out if you're due alimony, which can really help your bottom line.
5. Try Not to Work Multiple Jobs if Possible
Contrary to popular belief, working multiple jobs to make ends meet may actually hasten you down the path to financial bankruptcy. The logic for not working three jobs for the additional income is the same exact rationale for why you shouldn’t work two jobs unless you’re in dire straits. Even then, you should only do so as a temporary stopgap measure and it should never be prolonged. This is because while working two jobs may give you a bit more financial leniency, it quickly causes burnout, which may further cloud your financial judgment, lower your productivity, and most importantly, rob you of the ability to give your children the attention they need.
6. Create a Spending Plan or Budget
Planning out what you want to do with your money and how much you want to save for yourself and your children will allow you to get a bird’s eye view of your finances and make much clearer spending decisions as a result. Get started with free services and stick to a plan that you’ve created yourself. This will allow you to take back control of both your financial life and get back on track.
7. Focus on Cleaning up Your Credit
Credit is an incredibly important lifeline if you’re a single mother since it allows you to leverage money that you don’t have based on how others perceive your ability to pay them back, as reflected in your credit score. You can figure out your current credit score and go from there. A great credit score will come in handy when you’re behind on the bills or simply need to put food on the table.
8. Don’t Put Asking for Help off the Table
As part of the process of being a single mother, one of the most important things to remember is that you’re not alone. There are lots of resources out there for all life circumstances and situation. Asking and getting to know the people in your local community can also point you in the right direction and it may even help engender some opportunities that you can benefit greatly from. It’s not impossible for a single mom to get the help she needs.