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I am going to give you some PRACTICAL tips on how to survive financially as a single mom. And know that I am the best person to tell you this because there was a time when I was a financially struggling single mom.
I was broke as a joke even after I had my first college degree. That just goes to show that BROKE-NESS is no respecter of persons. Meaning that you can be a single mom and broke due to a divorce, because you have no job, because of debt, or because you are underemployed; there are 1000 reasons why you can be broke as a single mom and it could be your fault and it can NOT be your fault.
For myself, it was being laid off that prompted my broke-ness and it was during that time that I felt like I was failing myself and failing my son (see my blog here) and you can also read my single mom story here for more of my single mother struggle. And also check out my video on when I was struggling as a single mom below. Just to show you I feel your pain. Subscribe to my Youtube Channel by clicking here.
If you are broke you do not need me to remind you of how broke you are, I am sure you already know. You see your bank account balance you know what is in there. Therefore, I do not want to re-traumatize you in this post by focusing on what you don’t have.
What I do want to show you are some things that I did to alleviate my financial struggle at the time of my extreme moments of being broke. What I also want to tell you, is that I know the hustle was real for me. And because the world did not stop spinning and bills still needed to pay for I had to come up with practical and immediate ways to make that happen. And those are the tips I am going to bring you today.
BUT with that being said, being in the struggle should NOT be your everyday. I did struggle but I always had an end goal in my mind. My end goal was to always move up, my end goal was to always get a better job, and my end goal was to always make more money. These are things that you can do on a regular basis now until you get to where you want to be. I also want to tell you to read the following blogs for job search tips.
Now, let’s get into my tips for financially struggling single moms that you can implement today that will help you out.
How to Survive Financially As a Single Mom #1 Be Cheap
Hello, my name is Sophia and I am cheap. I have no shame in my game whatsoever. When I was broke I cannot tell you were being cheap got me. It got me food, clothes, and the ability to pay my bills.
When you are a broke single mom you need to put the pride away. What is better, going grocery shopping and barely being able to buy food and worrying that your card may be declined. Or being cheap and getting what you need and still having money left over.
These are some examples of my cheapness.
Going to Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, or Even Discount Grocery Stores
They have food in the dollar stores(Family Dollar and Dollar Tree) and these are places that are normally pretty cheap ( I got a whole pack of hot dogs for $1 and the buns for $1, which was $2 for both).
This was my son’s lunch for 8 days. Granted these stores can have a lot of can goods, processed foods, and frozen foods but beggars cannot be choosers. Hopefully, you will not have to shop their forever, but when you are struggling financially it can be a huge difference to spending $100 for three weeks’ worth of food and spending the same $100 for 4 days worth of food.
Discount grocery stores are other options. These are stores that have food that was overstock at the regular grocery store or did not meet the requirements to be sold in a regular grocery store. Before you accuse me of trying to get you to eat spoiled food I want to give you an example of a food that I bought from one of these stores.
Some bacon, which had a lot more fat on them than the regular store. Nothing was wrong with it except it had a lot of fat. I also bought some orange juice that must have been dropped in shipping because it had a dent or two in it. No big deal for me but the regular store would not accept meaning that it went to the discount store and then to me for like half the price.
I am a thrift store junkie and the thrift store can save you, when you are looking to buy clothes for yourself and when you are looking to buy clothes for your child BUT you don’t have a big budget to do it. There is a key to finding a good thrift store which you can read my blog here. But you want to find a thrift store with the cheapest clothes and the best quality clothes as possible. There is nothing like buying gently used jeans, from a quality brand, for my son and only cost $1.99. And this has happened.
And for working moms this can really come in handy, you can get work clothes or even clothes for an interview when you are looking for a better job and not pay nearly as much.
Save On Utilities
This one you may laugh at but when I wanted to save on gas, which would save me money. I avoided running my air conditioner in my car and even my heat as much as possible.
I would prefer to roll down the windows or just wear a jacket in the car. I am telling you this because after I lost my job this is legit how broke I was. It was so important to find little ways to save money and these little ways did add up. Instead of filling up my tank twice a week, I filled up only once.
Instead of using your house heat use something like a space heater that you can buy here. One that heats up an entire floor or a room to save on your heat bill. And the same for airconditioning. Instead of running your air, just get a great electric air conditioner like the one seen here.
These may seem minor but I promise you they can save you a lot of money in the end.
How to Survive Financially As a Single Mom #2 Donate Blood or even Plasma
Did you know that you can get between $20 to $50 for donating blood or plasma and you can donate up to twice a week? So it may not sound like much but over the month it can add up.
If you donate 2 times a week for 4 weeks then that is anywhere between $160 to $400 a month. This can make the difference between your lights staying on and your lights staying off. Plus it is going toward a good cause.
How to Survive Financially As a Single Mom #3 Sell Your Stuff
Never underestimate the power of selling your stuff. When I was broke I remember looking at my bookshelf seeing all these textbooks from my undergrad and some from my Master’s program just sitting there and collecting dust. I decided to take all of those books and sell them online and by the time I finished clearing out my bookshelf I had gotten $900 for my textbooks.
I know a fellow single mom that also makes a habit of having yard sales, she always makes from about $400 to $800 selling her things in a yard sale alone. This could be old baby or children’s clothes or things you do not want anymore.
Just because it is junk to you does not mean it is junk to other people. I have sold my broken flat-screen TV for $100 on Craigslist and another old school TV for $75 on Craigslist.
Both of those things were just sitting in my house collecting dusk anyway, and I was able to turn a profit from them. In the end, there is probably something in your house that you can sell, not only will it help you to clear the clutter in your home BUT it will also help you make some additional cash.
How to Survive Financially As a Single Mom #4 Make Money from a Side Hustle
I have had so many side hustles and this blog that you are reading is one of them. When I was financially struggling as a single mom, I went online and found a site called Just Answers where I was approved to answer questions in the mental health section, relationship section, and parenting section because of my experience and my degrees.
It was where I answered questions for money and if I did a really good job I could earn a tip. The most I ever earned from Just Answers in one month was $923! Another side hustle I did during that time was to offer my services on Upwork, where I wrote relevant articles for people, in which I would get paid chump change, but it was still something. During that time everything counted. It could be up to an additional $100 a month.
You may not be qualified to go to Just Answers, but you can be qualified to do something. To do someone’s hair for a few bucks, someone’s makeup for a few bucks, sew something, write something, or do something. I have even gone on UPWORK to do freelance work. You can legit be a virtual assistant anything. Any skill you have can be turned into a side hustle.
I highly recommend you read my blog on 5 broke women turned their passion into a profit. I want you to read it so that you know that almost anything can be turned into a hustle and can make you money. And in these women’s cases, and very profitable income. Also, check out my video below for more things I did when I was broke to survive as a single mom.
How to Survive Financially As a Single Mom #5 Things to Remember
I know that being a financially struggling single mom sucks because I was one. I also know that you do not want to be in the constant state of struggle always trying to find some extra money somewhere.
Even though these are things that I DID, I do not do them now. That is because while I was in that situation I always had a plan to move up and I always had a plan to move on. Never have I thought that I was just going to be selling my plasma every day of the week in order to get by until the end of time.
That is why I want you to also read my blog how to upgrade your life as a single mom, what you want to do is to get to a life in which you are not struggling anymore. Yeah you may have to do something struggling while you get there, but in the end, I want you to be in a comfortable place where you are not robbing Peter to pay Paul, you know what I mean.