Prerequisites to Building a Savings Strategy for Single Moms

Prerequisites to Building a Savings Strategy for Single Moms

#Thrive Thursday: This week we begin our discussion on saving money! Did you attend this week’s challenge that I shared from another lady on the coaching page? What did you learn this week? You have one more day to go correct? Challenges are a great way to learn something old or new in a supportive, encouraging environment that celebrates the wins you get along the way.

evergreen challenge: Become the Strategic Spending Single MomAs single moms, the idea of having anything to save can seem like a pipe dream, particularly when we often end up with more month than money. The first step in moving toward building a savings strategy, is understanding where your money is going, why it’s going there, and what you can do to rearrange things so that you have an easier time paying the bills and buying the groceries. When you have those two things down, which often requires a shift of perspective, clamping down on unwanted influences shaping your decisions, and building a budget strategy, THEN you can consider a savings strategy. If you aren’t sure how to manage or accomplish this, you will want to sign up for my evergreen 6-day challenge on my website: https://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/tame/product/evergreen-6-day-challenge-become-the-strategic-spending-single-mom/

Once you know what you have on average in any given month, now you can figure out a savings strategy that fits your income level and that works toward your goals. Yes, I said goals. This leads me into a sizable, but emphatic side topic that I actually DO talk about at various times throughout the year already. I’ve been scoffed at over this occasionally, because for some reason, many among the single mom demographic think this somehow doesn’t apply to them. Even worse, I’ve seen many two-parent families throw this to the wind during COVID and then ask around for help to deal with the resulting fall-out.

You see, setting goals and writing out strategies are useless endeavors without something called Self-Discipline! I shared this paragraph with some self-employed Christian women recently, and a Godly single mom in the group all but demanded I share this with everyone here as well. Self-discipline is the difference between those who can work from home and those who can’t. Being able to mark out work hours vs family hours, build in boundaries that you and your family respect, being able to set yourself a todo list and actually cross stuff off that list, having a good day because everything on that list was crossed off. All this is necessary to develop even when children are young, or like myself, you’re a single mother even, working from home when they are in kindergarten and those early grade school years. There needs to be a combination of determination, self-discipline, household respect, and flexibility to manage the responsibilities that you have either merely received as your role of being a woman, or that you’ve given yourself by choosing to be self-employed in some capacity. If you can’t school yourself to do the work behind the scenes, you won’t be there for your client out front.

Not only won’t you be there for those who depend on you, whether it’s clients in a self-employment scenario, or your children if you work a 9-5 somewhere, but you also won’t have the wherewithal to manage your time or your money wisely. [bctt tweet=”Self-discipline affects every area of your life and if you struggle in this, you will struggle in everything else.” username=”songdovemd”] For the intentional single mother, self-discipline is the difference between constantly being harried and finding moments to rest. It’s the difference between constantly catching up, and having time to plan. If this is a struggle, you may wish to consider my Taming the Clock coaching module, or registering in my new SMART Mom Membership to start taking advantage of curated articles I’ve written on this subject already, as well as new content coming down the pipe just for paying members.

School Goal ChartSo we need a handle on where our money is going and a budget to help us stay on track. We need self-discipline to stick to that budget and refuse to spend outside it unless emergencies or rare special occasions come along that we’ve pulled out the calculator to see if we can afford. We have the time to sit down to write out our financial goals and build a strategy to realize those goals.

  • When it comes to savings goals, an immediate goal should be an emergency fund. This fund is typically advised to be roughly 3 months’ worth of funds in the bank in case you get sick or injured and can’t work. This should be goal number one.
  • A second goal is setting money aside for birthdays and Christmas. Failure to do this may result in overspending on your budget, making the following months difficult to get back on track, or it may mean overspending on your credit, adding to your monthly bills to get that paid back down. We don’t want either scenario, so we set a goal to save money toward birthdays and Christmas.
  • A third goal is saving money for a holiday, whether we’re talking a staycation to take in local tourist stuff we couldn’t otherwise afford to do, or whether it’s a weekend away at a cabin someone keeps offering us but the travel and food costs to take advantage of the offer are out of reach normally. Putting money aside for a holiday is something even the kids will want to get in on.
  • A fourth goal, and perhaps this one should be right up there with the emergency fund, is a maintenance fund. This is intended to cover anything that breaks down that needs a professional to repair, such as your washer and dryer, your dishwasher, your vehicle, or other items you own that may develop problems and require more than what you can teach yourself to do. Without this fund, if your washer dies, the laundromat costs will add up quickly! If your car needs repairs and you can’t afford it, suddenly you are doing a lot more walking than you anticipated (not a bad thing in itself) and bus passes for those destinations longer than an hour’s walk will begin to add up too, assuming the buses go to your destinations. So this is a big, necessary goal.
  • Another goal many parents try to engage in, and for which various governments may even offer incentives to engage in, are educational funds for your kids. This doesn’t mean your child will want to attend college or university when they graduate highschool, but it does mean if they choose to, this savings goal will make it more affordable for them.

Of all these goals, I recommend you work on the emergency fund first. This fund will be a combination of this goal and the maintenance goal for most families.

In my #Focus Friday video, I will recap this article, as well as share some strategies you can use to begin achieving these goals.

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