How to Budget for Your Family as a Single Mother
Stretching your paycheck as a single mother is difficult. Being a single mother comes with many specific challenges, not the least of which is maintaining a household with only one income. Raising children is expensive according to the USDA, who estimate that it costs an average of $233,610 to raise a child until the age of 18.
Raising a family with only one income means budgeting. These budget tips for single mothers can help you put more away after payday and help support a healthy family.
Start by Comparing Total Income to Total Expenses
Budget tips for single mothers starts with your budget. To form any budget, you first need to compare your total expenses to your income. Calculating total income is easy when you hold one job that pays you a salary, but many single mothers work multiple jobs. If you work multiple jobs, receive overtime, or work hourly – calculating total income takes more time. Review your recent paystubs to get an idea of how much you typically receive each month.
If you receive child support or alimony payments, you’ll need to add these payments to your total income. If you don’t receive these payments regularly, you might not want to add them when planning your budget.
Next, make a list of your total expenses. Be sure to include both bills and fun spending to get a true idea of what you spend on items each month. When forming a budget, it’s important to look beyond the previous month. Review the last 90 days to form an average. For example, you may not want to form a monthly budget around what you spent in November or December, since you most likely spent much more during those months.
Look for Savings
Once you’ve calculated your expenses, you can hunt for savings. Chances are, if you haven’t created a budget in the past, you’re missing out on a wealth of savings.
One place to start is with child care. The average cost of daycare for an infant is between $5,547 and $16,549, depending on the state you live. That means that single moms can expect to pay between $106 and $318 each week on daycare. Child care services are even more vital for single parents who don’t have a partner to share responsibilities with.
Check to see if you qualify for daycare assistance. If you don’t meet the income requirements for child care assistance, there are other ways to cut costs. One way to save is with group daycare. If your neighbors have children of similar ages, you can pool together to reduce the cost of childcare. Many nannies charge a flat rate per hour for child care. If you divide this amount among you, you can reduce costs. If you have a family member or friend who works different hours than you, they may be able to watch your child for a discounted rate.
Find more budget tips for single mothers by using apps to help you find deals. Whether it’s deals on groceries or clothing, apps like Ibotta can help you save hundreds to thousands each year. Use money saving apps like and websites like Lend Wallet to help you find great savings and stretch your paycheck.
This post is not intended to be a solicitation for a loan. Pomo One Marketing, Inc. provides these blogs for entertainment and informational purposes only. Remember to consider all your financial options before making any decisions related to credit.