financial advice for new single mothers

9 Pieces of Important Financial Advice For New Single Mothers

financial advice for new single mothers


Life is different now. You have recently been through a divorce and are now the single head of a household, which is a huge personal – and financial – responsibility. While you may still be doing many of the same things as before, you now are 100 percent responsible. There is no one to share the myriad responsibilities and decision-making.

This may be all new to you. It is also likely that you are still riding an emotional rollercoaster. Now is a good time to step back and take a deep breath. While many financial challenges lie ahead, understand that you can do this.

Financial Advice For New Single Mothers

What do single mothers have to do differently financially? To achieve financial success, newly single mothers should heed the following advice.

Just say no to credit card debt

Don’t live beyond your means and rack up high-interest credit card debt. This is one of the worst debts to have due to high-interest rates. Credit card debt should be paid off first when prioritizing bills.

Prioritize what is most important.

Take a moment (or longer) to assess your new financial life. Your family needs you to clearly understand how you can make everything work, without sacrificing too many of “the good times.” Review your lifestyle and analyze what changes and/or adaptations need to be made. Prioritize and differentiate between your needs and wants, and those of your family. Make notes. Create lists. Write things down.

Ultimately, let this “prioritization” process guide your budget. Focus on just a few practical lifestyle/financial priorities and learn to make concessions with others.

Get real with what you can afford.

Create a realistic budget. Track your spending over a specific time to see where your money goes. The goal is not to set up an austerity program that is so severe that everyone is unhappy; rather you just need to accurately understand your spending habits so you can manage and track your flow of money in an honest manner. For example, if yoga makes you happy and less stressed overall, look a reasonably-priced studio in your area or do an at-home workout.

Not spending money on yourself (within reason) can be detrimental in the long run. It is fine to put some of the focus on you. Every mom has been told that she needs to take care of herself first, so she has the energy and resources to take care of others. This applies to finances too.

Don’t try to keep up with everyone else.

Even if your lifestyle had been different previously, now is not the time to try to keep up with your neighbors and friends. As we said earlier, your life is different now. The financial decisions you make going forward will be based on a different set of circumstances.

For example, prioritize making mortgage payments and saving for (or taking) one annual family vacation, rather than putting yourself into debt to drive a more expensive car.  Even if it seems that’s what everyone else is doing, prioritizing driving the Mercedes instead of keeping up with your everyday bills will only hurt you in the long run.

Manage risk smartly.

Having only one income means it is just that much more important to protect. Obtain life and disability insurance to protect you and your family in the event the unforeseen should happen … because it can. Unfortunately, I have worked with clients who depended exclusively on one income and that person became sick and was out of work for several months.

It was both unfortunate and sad. Purchasing a cost-effective disability policy is a prudent way to safeguard against a potential loss of income.

Develop a plan B.

Planning for the future is an important component of ongoing financial awareness. Many people have asked me what is necessary for an estate plan when you have young children. At the very least set up a will. Should something happen to you, you want to have a say in who will care for your kids and where your assets will go. You do not want to be in a situation where the state determines who the guardian of your children should be – what if that is not aligned with your intent? Get it in writing.

A full estate plan is recommended (including health care proxy and power of attorney), but creating a will is a good, productive first step.

Pay yourself first.

With only one income, it may seem harder to save for retirement, especially if you envision having college educations to pay for, but it is critical to do so. Children can receive financial aid, scholarships, and loans to help pay for school, but those alternatives do not exist for retirement. Put away as much as you can into your retirement savings on a pre-tax basis and make sure to contribute at least as much as your employer matches (it’s free money!).

Don’t try to do everything on your own.

Not having a knowledgeable team of resources on your side can be the biggest disservice possible to yourself. A smart parent – especially a single parent – is aware of what they don’t know and asks for help when she needs it. This includes seeking help with your finances. Work with an advisor who places your interests first to help you make sense of the various aspects of your financial life and empower you to become educated on these topics.

Get referrals for accountants, estate planners, etc., from trusted friends or colleagues who you know have been in a similar situation to what you are facing. Building a support system will make managing finances as a single parent much less overwhelming.

Proactive Approach

Taking a realistic, proactive financial approach as a single mother is essential to your well-being and that of your family. Following the advice in this article can help you avoid unnecessary anxiety and keep your financial options open as a single parent.

The post 9 Pieces of Important Financial Advice For New Single Mothers appeared first on Divorced Moms.


33 Pieces of Divorce Advice from Divorce Magazine’s Facebook Followers

33 Pieces of Divorce Advice from Divorce Magazine’s Facebook Followers

We asked DivorceMag’s Facebook followers for the most important piece of advice they could offer someone who is going through a divorce, and we received some great feedback.

The post 33 Pieces of Divorce Advice from Divorce Magazine’s Facebook Followers appeared first on Divorce Magazine.


divorce advice

36 Pieces of Divorce Advice from DivorcedMoms Readers

divorce advice


“Advice,” it’s probably the one thing we all seek when going through a divorce. The best advice you’re going to receive is from your divorce attorney or an expert in the field of divorce.

There is great value in the advice given by those who’ve been through the divorce process and come out the other side. That’s why DivorcedMoms has gathered divorce advice for you from our readers.

Who better to understand what you’re feeling, going through and stressing over than those who’ve also been in your situation?

I do, however, want to urge you to contact a family law attorney if it’s advice about the legal process of divorce that you need.

Divorce Advice from DivorcedMoms Readers:

1. Amber: Be proud of yourself. It takes strength to make this choice. Don’t make any decisions that you won’t feel comfortable telling your children about when they are adults. Have integrity, and accept that you will just have to make peace with some things.

2. Cathy: Make sure it’s what you want. It’s so hard, even if in the heat of the moment it feels right. It’s so painful before during and after. Just be sure.

3. Pattie: Document everything keep all texts and emails. They may help you in court. Hire a lawyer, it makes things a little easier. Always think of your children first and what’s best for them. Even when you’re finally divorced do not think it’s over …that is not the last time you will be in court.

4. Holly: Take someone with you to all meetings with your lawyer! That way you have a second pair of ears and someone that will advocate for YOU. Someone that is NOT emotionally invested. You will be emotional and stressed and not thinking right.

5. Lisa: Never doubt yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Take advice from others with a grain of salt. You have to do what is best for you. Don’t rush into another relationship. Love yourself and get to know you again separate from the married you.

6. Maureen: Always think of the children first. Co-parent with grace and dignity. Compromise. Children do not need to see the bad stuff. No matter how much you dislike the other parent, never ever let your children see that.

children and divorce

7. Connie: Go to therapy first. If you go through with it, DO NOT use the kids as pawns. Remember Love your kids more than you hate each other. Stay away from lawyers, go the mediation route ( I know that could be a lawyer too) if you need to involve professionals.

8. Katy: If you have kids remember that they’re half your ex and as much as you want to hurt the ex using the kids it will only hurt the kids and yourself

9. Karen: Think long and hard and be prepared. Get your and I mean YOUR affairs together and only then make the move if you feel that is your only option. There is nothing fair about divorce and if you have kids they will suffer if you don’t put money aside and be prepared. The courts will not care about your kids well being so don’t think they will be okay. Divorce is horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

10. Tami: Don’t Unless you are being abused. No one wins and as a woman, you will be destroyed on every level- so if you are prepared to rebuild everything with no help at all and surround yourself with good lawyers and you have the money to do it. Then and only then are you ready

11. Tonya: The person you’re divorcing is not the same person you married. And keep it business polite.

12. TeachinLady: Be 100% sure that you are 100% sure you want a divorce. Forever is a mighty long time.

13. Sandi: Get ready for a very long bumpy wild rollercoaster ride.

relationship with psychopath

14. Ruth: Get a good lawyer – even if you think it’s going to be an “amicable divorce“. There is no such thing – and the person who files first has more control in the divorce proceedings.

15. Yolanda: If there are kids, they didn’t ask for this so keep their best interest in mind at all times and YOU WILL SURVIVE!

16. Connie: Get a good lawyer and take their advice. All of it. No matter how mad you get, no matter what the other party does. Do what your lawyer says.

17. Yolande: It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Sometimes you won’t even understand why you feel like crying…you need to work through your emotions and learn to control them

18. Mary: Take a deep breath, think wisely, and do the right thing that will make you proud in the future. Bad decisions and mean words will come back to bite you. Kids are ALWAYS watching and listening. And remember to SURRENDER your troubles to God!

19. Jenna: Learn how to love yourself and forgive yourself. Let go of guilt and anger. But first, hire an amazing lawyer and get what you and the kids need. Don’t agree to anything in writing or arbitration without an attorney.

20. Ginger: Don’t rush into anything. Give yourself time to heal and get to know yourself again. Laugh again at things and yourself. Remember this to shall pass. Forgive yourself. Move on. And love yourself. You are your best friend.

happy he left

21. Jennie: Try to find a divorce support group in your area.

23. Joyce: Treat the other parent with respect in front of your child, they are not bargaining chips…be nice

24. Anamaria: Never give up on your dreams. Always smile no matter how difficult the day is.

25. Kelly: You need to tell your kids age-appropriate reasons. It’s is easier for them to understand the divorce, and saves them from placing blame on themselves. If you don’t give kids a reason, it will do two things.

  1. They can internalize the thought that sometimes someone you love abandons you and this can drive anxiety and avoidant behavior.
  2. It shows them to accept being treated badly when they see it in your marriage.

26. Nancy: Know that the roller coaster of emotions is normal and just get to the next day. There is light. It will come. Be brave. Stand strong. Find support.

27. Denisse: Don’t let it make you “bitter”, become a better version if you, and be happy. Even if it’s not you wanting the divorce.

28. Shari: Check your emotions at the door when making financial and custody decisions. Divorce is all business. Don’t make hasty decisions based on an emotion

29. Kenzie: Trust the process and don’t settle for less than your worth.

30. Danielle: If you’re set on divorce, strike first. Don’t tell anyone anything about it. Don’t post about it on social media. And if you have kids, DO NOT use them as a pawn. Even if you hate the ex’s guts. Don’t tell them too much, and so your best to make it easier for them.

31. Jane: Be strong and know you are doing the right thing.

32. Ida: Don’t feel sorry for him and let him off easy. Never give him the opportunity to take advantage of you legally.

33. Sherry: Pray for your children and for yourself and get the best attorney.

34. Alexandria: Hire a great Lawyer and take him for everything!! Do NOT trust him. Make copies of everything you will need for court. Keep a journal. Start putting money away. The courts are a business and you are just another number to them! Keep your personal business to yourself. Seek a good counselor because it will help you. Have faith and stay strong, time heals everything.

35. Cathy: Every woman thinking about divorce needs to be aware of the fact that there is no justice in the family court system and that being a divorced woman can be a lonely and stressful lifestyle. Especially if you’re raising children alone.

36. Susan: If you have children; fight for them and show them every day how much you love them. Be strong! Family court sucks!


The post 36 Pieces of Divorce Advice from DivorcedMoms Readers appeared first on Divorced Moms.