Single moms keep asking how do single moms make it. I went through a lot with my four children and, I did struggled for a while. There were a lot of misconceptions floating around on the internet, through family and friends, and with my job. I didn’t know who to believe or what to do to make mine and my children’s lives, better.
I went on a long journey of self-discovery. I didn’t know how things were going to end but, I can tell you that they will get better, and you will learn how to make it as a single mom.
Single moms afford to live by understanding their means and knowing how to get what they need. Here is some advice on how single moms make it and to learn to survive as a single parent.
Guard Yourself Against Depression
Depression happens. It is believed that a divorced person is three times more likely to get depression. The depression could be from bills, family stress, your job, or simply just the divorce. If you are feeling depressed, maybe it is time to get out of the house….go for a walk, or talk to a friend. If the depression seems to put you out of commission, you need to talk to a doctor. Depression is not something you can put off and hope it goes away. If you want to know how to make it as a single mom, depression will set you back so make sure to get help if you are feeling the blues.
One of my favorite mottos is to why worry about the things that you can not change. If you are unable to change things at this very moment, stop stressing over it. Find something else to take your mind off of it for a little while. Understand that stress is a trigger of depression.
Apply for Government Assistance
I know you might be like I was, saying you can do this on your own and you don’t need any help. Trust me, you’re going to need all the help you can get. If you aren’t able to make ends meet, go down and apply for government assistance, it will help you in the long run.
There are still a lot of people out there who view government assistance as an easy way out but, government assistance helps thousands of people daily and especially single moms. The work force has not yet caught up with paying women equal amounts as men although the fight has been long and hard, so forget what others say about government assistance and get it if you need it.
There are five main things you can Apply for with government assistance:
Housing- There are government programs out there that allow you to apply for housing assistance. They will pay for part, or all, of your rent. They go by your income. Now, be forewarned that the waiting list for housing is long but you can apply for low-cost housing in the form of an apartment that will go by your income. Normally these low-income apartments charge 30% of your income but it will benefit you until you can get on Section 8 Housing. Single moms make it by knowing and admitting that they need help with their housing cost.
Daycare- The government can help you pay for some or all of daycare. This will help you either look for a job or keep the current job you have. The daycare that they pay for will only cover the hours that you work so make sure that you only take your kids in during those hours or they will make you pay the full price.
Medicaid- Depending on your income and needs, the government can help you pay for medical charges. This is beneficial to single moms when you are just starting a new job or can’t afford insurance for your entire family. Most single moms can’t get on Medicaid unless they are pregnant or be disabled but, a lot of children can.
Snap (also known as Food Stamps)- these are food benefits that the government can help you obtain. They go by your income but will give you a means to get food for your family. A lot of single moms are on Food Stamps because it helps benefit them. It is not a shame when you are on them if you need them. Single moms make it by getting help with food when they need it.
TANF (also known as a welfare check)- I am not sure how other states use their TANF system but here in Oklahoma they need you to either be looking for a job or be going to school while on it. The thing about this welfare check is that you can get a lot of other benefits by getting on it. They are more opt to help you with food stamps, child support, housing, and daycare while on it. They will also help you go to school and to find a job. There are many benefits to being on it.
Everything in your life of being a single mom should focus on the necessities for the time being. Pay your rent, utilities, and food before anything else and always make sure that you keep extra money back.
I actually advice my clients to keep money back for two months and not spend anything so that they can make sure that they have enough to cover everything for emergencies. I actually recommend doing this for six months but, being a single mom means that you sometimes aren’t able to do this right away. This would be a good thing to do around income tax time.
One thing I have learned while being a single mom is that things always happen and you can not always control them. It is better to plan than to realize you are in a bind when it’s already too late.
Now that you have everything taken care of, and know exactly what kind of government assistance you qualify for, it is time to set a budget. How single moms make it is by setting up a good solid budget that they can continue to modify as their needs change.
I normally tell everyone to set a budget for everything especially when they are a single mom. Budgeting keeps you from spending more than you make, budgeting allows you to pay your bills on time, and budgeting allows you to see exactly how much you have left over to buy other things.
Some wonderful budgeting categories are:
Save Money Any Way You Can:
When I first became a single mom, it was hard for me to budget and find ways to save money. I was so used to spending that I never thought about what I could have saved.
Here are some ideas to help you save money:
Shopping at second-hand places (Ebay, Craigslist, etc.)
Instead of using cable, try using your internet to watch movies or tv shows.
Change your wireless plan to fit your budget
We all want to earn more money but, we don’t always know where to begin. I am sure that you don’t want your entire life living off of government assistance or hand-me-downs. Her are some ways to help you get more money:
Ask for a raise
Look for a better job
Sign up for sites like Swag bucks
Find something that you can do online like freelance writing
Start a blog and monetize (lol)
Become Better Organized
Organizing your life has many benefits and it can help a single mom to afford to live. If you organize, you won’t have to worry about looking for your wallet, purse, clothes, or anything else that you simply don’t have time for. Organization helps to free your mind for other important things. How to make it as a single mom can be done by creating organization within your life and your family home.
Children learn from their parents and they can help
Just because a child is young does not mean that they shouldn’t help around the home. I have always been one to have my children do their homework first, then chores, then play. I have created a schedule for all of my children to follow. Children seem to do better when their entire day gets outlined for them. I do allow them some free time but they do have a routine that they follow each day.
Always Stay Positive
I sat around for a few months feeling sorry for myself until I realized I was the only one who was feeling sorry for me. I learned from this and now I understand how important it is to not sit around needing coddled.
If you sit around all your life and don’t do anything to improve your life, your life will become nothing and you might get stuck in the same place that you have been. As a single mom, you owe it to yourself and your kids to make the best of it.