Financial Independence Strategies for Moms

Let’s face it: trying to raise a kid (or kids!) can be a terrifying proposition in this day and age. One of the main reasons why it gets so scary is the cost that is involved. Kids aren’t cheap.

According to one study, the cost of raising a child for 17 years will run you almost $250,000. All of this can put a strain on your finances, particularly if you are a single mom trying to handle it alone.

If you are in this situation, it’s probably time to sit down and do an examination of your finances so that you can declare your own financial independence.

  1. Assess where you stand—The first thing you need to do is to learn how to do a budget. First, look at your past three months (or even the past year’s) spending and sort things into three levels. The first should be for absolute essential purchases and bills, such as mortgage/rent, utilities, car payment, and the like. The second should be for things that are essential (or pretty close) but that you may have some “wiggle room” with, such as phone bill and groceries. The third should be your absolute nonessential bills. This would include that daily Frappuccino from Starbucks, your shoe and purse collection, and your subscriptions to things like Netflix and Spotify.
  2. Say goodbye to the last section—That third pile of nonessential bills are going to have to go bye-bye (at least until you get more stability in your finances). Sure, these are items that you are going to miss, but they are not something that will destroy your life if you get rid of them. If you are spending $5 a day every workday at Starbucks, then cutting that out will save you over $1250 a year. Just cutting out these types of expenses for a couple of years may hurt at first, but it will allow you to pay off your debts and be more stable with your finances.
  3. Adjust the middle section—Start looking carefully at those bills that you can adjust each month. When it comes to groceries, remember that there is nothing wrong with being a coupon and sales shopper. Also, consider getting a membership to a wholesale club like Costco and buy everything in bulk so you can save money in the long-run. Also, look at things like your Internet and phone bills and see if you can cut those back to the absolute minimum. Remember, every penny counts.
  4. Pick up a second job—This may sound hard to do if you have children, especially ones who need constant care or those who have to be shuttled around by mom’s taxi service. But there are several jobs that you can do from home, including everything from medical coding to blogging. Now’s the time to explore some of these part-time options that can give you a secondary income that will help you get out of debt faster. Once you can get rid of those pesky credit card bills, you can cut back and still maintain your independence.

Financial independence isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. But with some time and careful planning (and a good bit of sacrifice), you can get things on track so that you can stop living paycheck-to-paycheck.


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motherhood, parenting