7 Ways Single Moms Can Save for the Future.
I know what you’re thinking; you read the title of this post and you said to yourself, “how the hell am I supposed to save for the future, when there’s not even enough for the present??”
I get it. I get it because that was my exact thought when I read those same words in other articles.
It used to baffle me when I read articles that contained advice about saving money. As a single mom, there was never any money left at the end of the month TO save!
Can you relate?
The kids always need something. So no matter how carefully you plan to start saving money, it just doesn’t seem feasible.
When my own children were little, those were my exact thoughts. And because those were my thoughts, I didn’t plan for the future that would see my kids moved out, and me on my own, possibly still struggling with money.
I thought about How to Save for the Future as a Single Mom, but didn’t actually take steps toward making my finances ‘easier’ once the kids moved out.
That said, I’m here to tell you that no matter WHAT your financial situation with kids at home, you absolutely HAVE TO make an honest effort to save money for your own future.
I’m not kidding here.
When my ‘mothering’ duties were pretty much done, and my children were raised, I found myself having to get a job when they moved out.
This wasn’t how I saw my life after raising kids. I saw myself being financially secure; not wealthy, but working for someone else wasn’t in my plans.
If hitting the job hunting trail doesn’t sound like something you want to be doing in your late 40’s or your 50’s, here are 7 Ways Single Moms Can Save for the Future.
1. Put Aside 10%
I know I know. It’s the first rule of saving. It’s the equivalent of ‘paying yourself first’.
But there’s already not enough to pay the bills, and I’m advising you to ‘short’ your already short budget. It’s difficult to do right now, but the struggle will be worth it, I promise.
Even if it’s not a full 10%, make every effort to put something aside for your future, even if it’s twenty bucks a month. It’s better than nothing, and that $20 a month will add up very quickly over the years.
2. Open a Separate Bank Account
The second of the 7 Ways Single Moms Can Save for the Future, is to open a separate bank account from the one that you keep your ‘general bills’ money in. Transfer your 10% from #1 to this account, and forget about it.
I have two checking, and two savings accounts. I used to simply transfer my 10% from my checking to my savings account in the same bank. I thought this would deter me from spending that money, but it was just too easy to move that 10% back, and spend it.
When I opened that second account, I was mindful of the fact that I detest bank fees. I didn’t want to be paying fees on two accounts, so I opened the second account at Tangerine.
Tangerine is an online bank, whose accounts don’t carry monthly fees. In addition, they have a higher interest rate than your ‘typical’ brick and mortar bank.
3. Don’t Carry a Bank Card for the Separate Account.
No matter what. Leave the bank card for the separate account at home.
If you carry it with you, you’ll be insanely tempted to use it…TRUST me. This account is for saving ONLY. It’s not for spending. Period.
4. Do Away with All Credit Cards but One.
Keep one credit card to use for emergencies ONLY. I’ll even go a step further and tell you to put that credit card in a plastic sandwich bag, then put that sandwich bag into another sandwich bag filled with water. Then put them both into the freezer.
This will keep you from using that card to make impulse purchases. Those impulse purchases can sink you at the end of the month.
In addition, if you don’t pay your credit card balance in full at the end of the month, you’ll end up owing interest on the remaining balance, which will definitely eat into your savings.
5. Get a Prepaid Credit Card
The fifth of 7 Ways Single Moms Can Save for the Future is to get a prepaid ‘credit’ card.
I hate credit cards. Always have. They stress me out. To me, credit cards represent debt and stress. I found that getting a prepaid card tends to ease that stress, because with a prepaid card, you’re simply spending your own money.
Prepaid credit cards can also be used online. I don’t like to use the debit Visa that’s attached to my bank account for online purchases. I’ve been burned doing that before. Never again. Now I swear by the prepaid card, especially for online purchases.
6. Find or Create a Side Hustle to Make some Extra Cash
I get that there’s not already enough money to allow you to save for your future. So you’re going to have to MAKE a way to earn that extra money. It’s really not as difficult as you might think at first. It can be as easy as selling a few items that you no longer use on ebay each month, and banking that money.
7. Make a Budget and STICK TO IT.
Last but not least of the 7 Ways Single Moms Can Save for the Future, is to make a budget and STICK TO IT.
Creating a budget is like drawing a map of your financial goals. Once you make that budget, you need to take all measures necessary to stay within it.
Believe me, you’ll be happy that you implemented even a few of these 7 Ways Single Moms Can Save for the Future.