On this journey as not only a Christian Single Mama, but also a Single Working Mama, I have learned a few things about money and that is there is hope for us single mamas.
While some of us may not be receiving financial support from the father of child, and some of us may, whatever the case maybe, finances is usually an area that is tight for single mamas. Yet, one of the main things that anyone, especially the single mama, should be doing to take control of their money is creating a budget. A budget is a way to get organized and have a look at your income and your expenses.
Below is a copy of one of my general monthly budgets. It is general because it doesn’t take into account that sometimes I get a refund from my student loans and that sometimes I get financial assistance from family members. Those things are forever changing, what is shown below has been consistent.
- Paycheck- $840.00
- Paycheck- $840.00
- Food Stamps- $230.00
Total income: $1,910
- Rent: $575 (includes utilities)
- Childcare: $565
- Electric: $60
- Cable/Internet: $60
- Cell Phone: $75
- Car Insurance: $95
- Fuel: $120
- Pull-Ups: $50
- Food (includes eating out): $300
Total expenses: $1,900
I know something has got to change! I need to cut back somewhere some how! Only expecting to have $10 left to hang on to every month is not good.
You might be looking at my budget thinking, “Girl! There is no financial hope for you.” And to that, I say, “The devil is a lie!” My child and I have everything we need and more. I have an understanding that what I see now and the situation that I am in is only temporary.
I’ve applied for childcare assistance and I am eligible, however the State program is out of funding until further notice. My next hope is that my child will be potty trained before January 2017, so that she can go to a public school and the cost of childcare diminishes as well as the cost of pulls.
I thought about cutting back on my Cable/Internet bill, but I take my classes online and having it bundled is a lot cheaper than just having internet. Not mention, I was paying $90 a month for my cable bill just months ago and then I threatened to have it cut off if the cable company couldn’t help me find a way to cut it in half. I got rid of my HD channels and my music channels and all the extra sport channels I don’t watch.
I’ve also considered being more strategic about what I spend my food stamps on and cutting eating out way back to none. I’ve also thought about using coupons.
However, each and every month I’ve made sure that my bills are paid on time. I’ve learned to ask for help from dependable sources. I’m also seeking ways to get a second income flowing. I am in school and I know that upon completion I will qualify for a better paying job. I am reading about and doing research on how be frugal and slowly but surely implementing some of those ideas. And most of all, I am making it. It is tough, but I am staying a float. And so can you!
Your budget my look like my mine, your budget me be worse or better than mine, whatever the case may be, know that there is hope for your financial future! Let’s change the way that we think about money together. Let’s grow and learn together! To God be the glory. This season of tight finances will be a short one!
Believe it! Receive it! Claim it! Work towards it! It is yours!