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How to Make Ends Meet: A Single Mom’s Survival Guide

Make a budget and other money tips as a single mom

Finding the money to cover day-to-day expenses as well as those unexpected events can be quite a worry. When you’re a single mom or live in a family with only one income, it becomes even more challenging. For a single mom, money can be a cause of constant stress, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Having enough money for regular expenses, any emergencies, as well as putting some aside is within the realms of reality. You will, however, need to know how to approach your finances in the right way. Here are five steps to help you do it.

Plan for the Future

You created a budget, which makes it easier to plan for future expenses as a single mom. Knowing what items need to be paid for in the future helps you set aside a certain amount to cover them. You can even be extra prepared and plan ahead for retirement. You could also help an older relative or loved one to find the best healthcare plan for them.

Did you know that once you turn 65, you might also be eligible for Medicaid? This is a program funded by state and federal governments. It’s designed to cover the cost of medical bills for people who can’t afford to pay them. You can find out more about Tennessee Medicaid by visiting, for example.

Understand Where Your Money is Going

You might have been ignoring your spending habits for years, but now is the time to get real and look at where your money is going. The only way to take control of your money is to understand how you’re spending it. Print out your bank statements and keep all your receipts for the next two months.

As a Single Mom, You Must Make a Budget

Come to the end of the month, do you wonder where all your money went? Rather than just paying bills and buying things without a second thought, creating a budget is about setting aside money for certain expenses.

It’s not about limiting or denying yourself things. Instead, it’s about budgeting for whatever you want. In the beginning, it won’t be easy, and you will need to keep looking at it to check it meets your needs as a single mom.

Lower Expenses

This is actually easier than you think. Now that you’ve created a budget and know what you’re spending your money on, you can identify where savings can be made. You might have forgotten about that gym membership you pay every month. What about those impulse purchases that slip your mind?

Take the plunge and cut out any unnecessary expenditure. Make meals at home more often. Another tip is to carry a drink with you in a travel mug rather than visiting the local coffee shop. There are many different ways to cut expenses as a single mom if you really want to.

Look for a Side Hustle

You already made some significant changes, but still, the figures aren’t adding up. Another way you can even up your budget is to look for ways to get more money coming into your home. For example, ask your employer if you can work some extra hours. There might be room for promotion too. Are there things in your home you could sell instead? If you work for yourself, you could try working an extra hour or two every day to make some extra money.

Final Words on Making Ends Meet as a Single Mom

It is possible for single parents to be in control of their finances. But it takes work and isn’t easy or fast, much like other common struggles for single moms. There are sacrifices to make too. But once you get the basics for managing daily living, things can get easier to do, and soon you’ll barely think about making that coffee at home in the morning rather than stopping at Starbucks on the way to the office. Work up to saving for retirement and your child’s college education over time. Set goals and achieve them, you awesome woman!

20 thoughts on “How to Make Ends Meet: A Single Mom’s Survival Guide”

  1. Very good advice, I’m a new single mother of 3 boys it gets very scary at times wondering if I will make it, I will do everything in my power to stay away from an abusive relationship.

  2. Nice post! I relate as I was raised by a single mom who needed to adjust to a tight budget and the all the stresses and pain of a new situation. It also impacted me as a child as well.

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