This article about single mums surviving financially was last updated in 2021.
If you’re a single mother, you don’t need me to tell you about the daily financial grind. Bringing up a family with no income or just one income is hard.
Therefore, it’s a fair question to ask: How do single mothers survive financially?
Let me start by telling you that it is possible. Not only will you survive financially but you will come out the other side with a knowledge and understanding that will see you financially thriving in the future.
Don’t wait another day. Get your money in check now and reap the rewards that you and your beautiful family deserve.
And, in case you’re wondering who I am …
I’m Lucy, a single mum and the founder of the website you are on. I spend my time helping other single mums embrace independence, redefine their paths and be the best they can be, all whilst being brilliant single mums. You can get more in-depth, personalised support from my “You’ve Got This” Single Mum eCourse, which has already been downloaded by 2k+ single mums from around the world.
ARE YOU A SINGLE MUM STARTING OVER WITH A LOW INCOME?
There is nothing worse than feeling like you’re going backwards in life. Maybe you were financially comfortable in your marriage but now the assets have been split, your share seems too small to build a new life from. You are not alone. Belinda Eldridge, Financial Separation Specialist at Divide says that:
“When a couple financially splits, there is no winner and unfortunately once the assets are divided, neither party is all too thrilled with the outcome.”
The fact is, you will have to adjust to a change of income when you separate. Accept this and understand that it is what you do from this point forward that matters.
SINGLE MOTHERS SURVIVE FINANCIALLY BY SAVING
Never underestimate the power of simple savings. And never think you can’t save because you don’t have enough money. Anyone can start saving.
There are heaps of ways to save money and you don’t need to have money to save money. Here is how to start:
- Check all your reoccurring bills to ensure they are correct and you are getting the cheapest deal available. Phone around for better deals if you have to. Why pay more than you need to for anything?
- Run through your weekly spend to see if you are purchasing anything unnecessary. Know where your money is going and where you can cut back, then do it!
- Work to a budget each week so you can only spend a certain amount and if you reach it, learn to live without!
- Save a percentage of your income every time you get paid. Ideally this should be around 30% but even 5% is a starting point and you can increase it when you get back on your financial feet.
Once, you start saving, open a high-interest savings account, preferably one you can’t touch, and watch your money grow. For sound advice about savings accounts check out The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape.
HELPFUL FINANCIAL TIPS FOR SINGLE MOTHERS
Once you’ve got your head around your savings, it’s time to concentrate on other financial areas. So, what can you do to not only ensure your financial survival, but boost your financial success?
Like with savings, the list is endless, but here are some ideas to get you off and running.
- Grocery bills, along-side rent/mortgage payments are one of the biggest outgoings for many families. Get your kitchen in order by bulk buying and cooking, ultilising your freezer, shopping online and shopping in season.
- Look around you! Do you really need everything in your home? If you don’t need it, sell it. For instance, kid’s toys, old exercise equipment and unwanted furniture.
- Teach your kids about money so they understand the value of it and don’t nag you for things you can’t afford. Get them to help around the house for their pocket money and teach them to save, just as you are.
- If living costs are really getting you down, consider house sharing with another single mother family or moving in with family members … on a temporary basis of course! Not only will you save money but you’ll be about to share household chores and childcare.
BUILDING WEALTH AS A SINGLE MUM
Great, you’ve started saving and you’ve got some aspects of your single mummy money in-check but what about the future?
We all have goals and dreams … and most of them need funding. Maybe you want to travel with your children, buy a home or train for a new career. It all takes money. If you want a grip on the bigger picture here are some ways to start building your wealth today.
- First things first, get rid of ALL your bad debt. Debt is soul (and life) destroying and with it hanging around your neck you will never move forward. Don’t rush off and declare bankruptcy which will set you back for years. Find a debt consultant who can help you work your way forward and ultimately out of debt.
- Get yourself on the property ladder. Yes, single mums can buy a home. If you think it’s impossible, check out current government schemes such as the Family Home Guarantee that only require you to front up a 2% deposit.
- Check in on your super and make sure it’s working for you. Head to the brilliant MoneySmart website to check your super is on target and track any lost super … again, you may be in for a nice surprise.
- Finding ways to earn more money is one of the best tips for single mothers to survive financially. Whether you need to find a job in school hours or work from home, there are opportunities out there. Get out and find them.
WHAT BENEFITS ARE SINGLE MUMS ENTITLED TO?
If you are in a financial fix then government support is available. If you are entitled to it, use it. Depending on your personal situation, there are plenty of benefits that single mums are entitled to.
- Child support
- Parenting payments
- Rent assistance
- Family tax benefit
- Child care subsidy
- Rent assistance
- Pension or concession cards
- Legal aid
- Dental services
Don’t feel ashamed to reach out for support at times when you need it.
LOTS OF SINGLE MOTHERS SURVIVE FINANCIALLY AND LOVE LIFE
Being a single mother takes some getting used to and financial independence may seem daunting at first but it’s also exciting.
Just think, you are totally in control. You can choose your financial goals and make them happen. And when they do, trust me, you will feel super proud.
It’s time to live by your rules. You are going to do more than survive .. you will thrive, you will love life and you will never look back.