They say “Mo’ Money. Mo’ problems.” I always say let me have my turn to see! Lol! But, it is a fact of life for many that finances (or the lack thereof) can put a damper on your life goals and plans. It doesn’t have to! Hey, I’m no finance guru, but the trials of my life have taught me a thing or two and I want to share them with you.
I write from my own experience, and let me tell you- It’s was rough, raw, and real. Your story may be different, but here is mine
When my boys were young, I didn’t make a lot of money nor do I now (but the way my God is set up!) All the Saints just shouted with me. 🙂 But, truthfully raising them alone was a struggle. I had good financial days, and I had some rough ones. I thought I was in good shape and the bottom fell out. More bills, less money. No help. It was a time. But, I learned some lessons in that season that I want to share with you. Read on for my tips for new single moms, veteran single moms, and every mom in between.
Five Financial Life Tips
Have a plan for your money
I planned of my first pregnancy. Well, not to have the child (but you gotta read my book for that. Launch coming soon!!!) But, once I knew I was preggo, I planned, saved, worked. That was still not enough. I’m here to tell any mom that is in the struggle right now or about to have a baby- SAVE MORE than you think you need. Make a monthly plan of how much you bring in and where it goes. If you do not give your money a home, it won’t be at home in your bank account.
If I could do it all over again, I would have tracked my spending and eaten out less leading up to baby. My pay was cut in half when I had my first son, and that is why I was saving like a mad lady. He was a big baby. It cost $400/month for milk alone as he grew. Right! I know. Yikes! But, God provided!
I did have to make some tough decisions on who to pay and what to pay. Sure did. Call your creditors and make arrangements. Remember: You and yours need to eat to live. You can hash tag that comment as #getinline Lol! Let’s be honest, my credit took a dip and I had to deal with it. Making half the money and being the only parent with a job. It was life for a little while. It did rise when I got on my feet. So, that is a word for somebody. It’ll come back around.
I know. That sounds like not a story that proves my point to have a plan. But, I want you to see that saving is good. Preparation is key. Don’t be excessive with the spending. You will need it later.
Invest your money
When I returned to work, I made sure to get in the 401(k) Plan. That was an amazing decision. If your company contributes money to you aka is giving you free money, take it! When I left that job, I left with my 401(k) and a retirement balance. Praise The Lord. I needed that too!
I ended up having a friend talk me into investing in a Roth IRA. He worked for a prominent finance company and that was a good decision. What I’m saying to you is “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I grew up poor. No one was investing or contributing to retirement plans. But by me doing that, I help save me and my boys from some other storms that came. Investing helps you weather the financial storms of life. I’m no pro. My advice is for you to check with the professionals and start with $5 bucks if you have to, but start!
Save your money
Of course this is self-explanatory. But, just in case, please make sure you put something up for you and emergencies. I tell you life can just show up and mess you up. I was saving good, had the credit score on fleek honey, but then…my child broke his elbow. Listen, sleek went low. Lol! I was like “Noooo-Wah!” But, bill after bill after bill. What is an orthopedic surgeon? Expensive. That is what! But, we do for our kids. mI also have learned from my life of parenting to save my change. I know it may seem like a pain, but I save my change. I do. You know what? At the end of the year, I have like $60-100 bucks in change. You can put that toward allowances, gifts, a bill, a mani/pedi, etc. Listen save your money. It all spends.
Share your money
I was at a time in my life where I was seeking to go deeper in my relationship with God. I tithed, but I didn’t tithe. So, as I was learning more, I realized that giving was an act of faith. Sure, we all give. But giving when you don’t have much takes faith. And hear me- do not go and give your all and miss your rent! But in my life, I saw where tithing from faith and not wanting anything to but to give and serve- brought blessing.
I remember one week, I had $60 bucks left. (Up til this point, I gave 5, 10, 20 bucks to the tithe. Don’t talk about me. I did what the old folks did at church.) All my bills were paid and we had food and gas. I said, “God, I’m gonna give this to the church.” And I did. I got a check in the mail the next week for 10x that. Now, some say “That was gonna happen any way.” Maybe. But, I know my tithe sparked the reaction to send greater into my life.
Whenever I hit a season of crazy in my finances, I look to see if I have been doing too much or if there is a place I’m slacking on my giving. Sure enough when I pull back, the flow slows. What do I mean? I’m saying add generosity to your life. Be it a random act of kindness, donation to a ministry or charity, or helping someone you know is in need, do it. Sharing sets you up for blessing. Hey, it’s biblical. And if you believe like me, you know God owns it all so He can replenish what you are missing. Plus, it just feels good to help.
Take Care of Your money
When you see your money differently, your life will change. Money is a tool that if you have a lot of it, you will be able to do more. Your impact will be greater for you, your family, and those around you. Respect your money by watching where you spend it, who you lend it to, and how you are allowing it to grow. If you take care of your money, it will be there for you AND your babies. After all, we are doing this thing for them and us.
I have not arrived in my wealthy, debt-free place YET! But, I will. I have the faith of a mustard seed that God is not done with me. I also believe the same for you. Do you see it? Do you see your new place of peace? But, we also have choices to make. He is watching to see what we are good stewards over. Sometimes life happens as it did me. I get it. But, get back up!
We were created to be lenders not borrowers. To be a lender, you have to think like one. How does a lender work? They respect money, know how to make more of it, and know who to get it from. Hmmm.
Start your journey by writing down ALL your bills, what you make, and give your money a home. I love Dave Ramsey. Check out his Debt Snowball System.
(By the way, I was supposed to be debt free 3 years ago using the debt snowball system. Life happened. I’m getting back up. How about you?)
I also love, love, love Michelle Singletary. She has a book on finance and how to get you and them under control. One summer, she did an email course with her book “The 21 Day Financial Fast” and I really enjoyed it. I recommend you follow her on social media and grab her book!
I know finance is a hard topic as a single mom. I also know plenty of single moms who are doing it (urban for Rocking the life they got!). You can, too! Start small. Just start.
As always, I pray you have been inspired, made to laugh a little, and empowered to take action. Life doesn’t give us the choice sometimes which storms we go through, but know this- they gotta end. It’s not easy to get your finances under control…
Do It Anyway!
Last month was a great month of guest posts for KaywandaLamb.com. Every Friday was Finance Friday and women wrote in with tips for us single moms to get our financial lives “togetha”. Honey! It was good. You can read those articles below.
Are you in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area? Come out for the Single Moms Who Brunch event on August 6th. Meet moms like you who are fabulous, hidden away working and providing, and are looking for the perfect event to connect, chat, dine, and grow. I’ll be hosting the brunch of the year for us which means great swag, the book, and mini lunch and learn topics throughout. Not your boring brunch honey. Fun times will be had. You’ve got to be at this brunch if you’re serious about parenting alone on the next level (until Boaz comes of course). Get the details here. Seating is limited. See you soon!