One of the biggest sources of stress for single mothers is money. That green stuff you never seem to have enough of. In the current economy money is on everyone’s mind regardless of marital status. However, single moms shoulder an enormous amount of financial responsibility since they are the sole provider in their household. Handling money responsibly and creating financial future goals will give you a sense of security for you and your family.
Here are a few ways to enhance a Single Mom’s financial well being
Get Financially Organized
The quickest way to throw your finances in a tailspin is to be disorganized.
Follow these organizing tips:
- Buy an inexpensive binder that can house your bills. Don’t let mail pile up, open it and organize it into the binder.
- Create an excel sheet and list all your bills, payment due dates, the amount paid, the date paid, and balances.
- Set up automatic payments. Automatic payments help you to avoid late payments.
- Create a budget! This will allow you to get a realistic snapshot of your finances. A budget includes all of your expenses such as, bills, food, transportation, mortgage, clothing, etc. Take an honest look at your financial lifestyle and make changes if necessary.
- Know your credit score and review your credit report for any discrepancies. If you find mistakes dispute them. Fico is an excellent resource to order and monitor your credit report. Currently, a credit score of 700 or above will get you the best interest rates.
Save for a Rainy Day
I cannot stress enough the importance of saving and creating a nest egg. Sure, it is hard to save especially with how expensive the cost of living has become. But, it is absolutely necessary for you to put money aside.
There are a number of ways to save:
- Savings Account- Set aside a specific amount of money from each paycheck to deposit in an interest bearing savings account. Whether it is $10.00 or a $100.00 put aside an amount you are comfortable with.
- 401k, IRA, and retirement accounts- If your company has a 401k option, please, please contribute. Retirement funds are there for your future and if needed you can borrow loans from it if necessary. If your company doesn’t have a 401k check into other options such as IRAs and money markets.
- Education accounts-Make it a goal to start a college fund for your kids. This can be a regular savings account or look into a 529 plan.
- Create other accounts and deposit smaller amounts for special occasions during the year. For example, birthday, vacation, car or home repair, and Christmas accounts are great ways to save throughout the year, so you won’t have to put out large amounts of cash at once.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
Insurance is a wonderful thing. It may not be popular, but it is necessary.
Here are some of the essentials you need to protect your family:
- A Will is an essential expense for all parents. Contact a lawyer who can advise you and write up your will. Hopefully, you’ll be around for a long time, but it is better to have this document to protect your family legally.
- Health Insurance has caused quite a stir these days! Although expensive make sure that everyone in your family has a health-care policy. If your company doesn’t provide it go online to find individual health insurance. If you can’t afford it look into state programs.
- Life Insurance protect s your family in the case of death. Talk to an insurance agent about the levels and premiums that would work for your budget.
- Rental or home insurance are a must! If you are renting or owning insurance will protect you against unforeseen circumstances that could be a huge burden to your family
Setting your financial goals are important. Write down your financial goals and review them monthly. Figure out what you want. If buying a house is a dream of yours, research the costs, start saving, and develop a plan to make your goal a reality. Live within your means and only use credit when you know you can pay it off. Take advantage of savings and if you come across financial seminars attend them. Financial planners are often helpful, find out if your company provides this service. The internet has a number of resources that can assist you. Always pray about your finances and ask God to give you wisdom and guidance so that your finances stay in line with His goal for you.
Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved
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