Tips for Balancing Finances and Family as a Single Mother

How you became a single mother is not important. Some people choose to start a family on their own. For others, it may not have been their first choice. What's important is that you've found yourself with a precious gift, a child or children, and you are doing it alone. Why is that important? It's important because it's not an easy road. Society is structured for two-parent households with two streams of income. It's likely you have one stream of income because you need to have time for your children. So, how do you make it if society's structure is against you? Read on for answers. 

1. Buying a Home 

If you feel like the dream of homeownership is out of reach, you're wrong. Everyone wants to see you succeed, and not just your family and friends. Your community wants you to succeed and so does your government. There are programs available for single moms just like you to make buying a home affordable. 

First, you need to build your homebuying team. You need to find a realtor who can help you navigate the home buying process. You also need a lender who can help you determine how much home you can afford with a mortgage qualification calculator. The lender can also assist you with becoming knowledgeable about all the programs and options out there. 

2. Balancing Work and Child Care

It's impossible to work if you don't have child care. Even if you work from home someone needs to have eyes on young children. Child care never has an easy solution unless you have a family member with the time and ability to help look after your child while you're at work. Otherwise, you're either going to have to hire a nanny to come to your home or drop your child off at a daycare center during the day. 

The biggest issue with child care is that it's expensive. Everyone knows this, which is why there are subsidies available to parents on fixed and low incomes. If you're not bringing in 6-digits a year, this may include you. 

Check with your local human services office to see if you qualify for subsidies. If you're not comfortable asking for help, think of it as a temporary solution. You'd be surprised at the number of parents who utilize this option, and a lot of them are two-parent households. 

3. Feeling Alone

It might feel like you're alone, but you're not. Many women have trodden this path before you and there are many more just like you. Because of them, there are solutions to all your problems. When it comes to parenting, there really is no problem that someone else hasn't found a solution. 

The best thing you can do is network with other moms. Learn from their stories and listen to their advice. There are a multitude of groups for discussions online and meeting in person. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to your issues, but just knowing you aren't alone can take that weight off your back you've been hauling around. It's likely you'll also make lifetime friends. 

4. Dating

Only you can know if the time is right to try dating. If you're too busy balancing children and work, then it may not make sense to try to squeeze another person into the precious time you have available for each day. There is no right or wrong answer for if and when you should try your hand at dating, just always remember your first priorities. 

Single parenting can be difficult or it can be a breeze. There are so many factors at play that no one can guarantee you one way or the other. What they can guarantee is that if you do it right then there will be challenges and you will stay busy. Just always remember, you've received a precious gift and you will never be alone.