A wise man once told me “if you are not in a spot to plan for the future, then make a plan to plan.” As a newly single mother I can vouch for the fact that at times it can seem like life is closing in on you. There are kids to care for, jobs to tend to, and of course the whirlwind of emotions to sort out. Drastic life changes make planning for the future a daunting task.
“When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.”
Fortunately the old saying stands true – where there is a will, there is a way. Keep your will strong and your head high. With time your thoughts will become clearer, you will straighten out your emotions, and you will create the life you want and deserve.
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on anything. The advice I offer is what has helped me and what I believe can help others that are in a situation similar to mine. For all of you newly single mothers or anyone who has recently went through a major life change it is time to make your game plan!
First and foremost realize that there is no way around the “s” word. It’s likely that your income is now half of what it was pre-split up so it is time to think about where to make the cuts financially.
The easiest way to learn to sacrifice is to stop giving a shit what other people think of you. Take a moment to think about that. You may have once thought that you needed the latest gadget, newest clothes, or a big house….but why did you think that?
Take me for example. Pre divorce I lived in a decent sized house in an area that I loved. As soon as we split I decided that I was going to buy a home. I didn’t want to downsize, I went looking for what I just left and with the bank only requiring me to put 3% down I could have found something similar.
Had I went ahead and purchased a home, it could have financially devastated me. The down payment and closing costs would have depleted my savings and I would have faced financial ruin if an emergency came up.
Luckily all of the homes I put an offer on fell through. I got my head together and stopped worrying about people judging where I lived at. I instead decided to buy a trailer and make that my home until I became more financially stable. Did I ever envision myself living in a trailer? Absolutely not. I know that it is a temporary sacrifice for greater good.
Your sacrifices should be made for your long term plan. Do what makes the most sense – nothing is forever.
Anyone in the process of a major life change needs a support group. In fact I would go as far to say you will not be able to follow your game plan without support. Single moms go through and do a lot. There will be days that you can barely keep your head up and just want to throw in the towel.
Do not give up – talk about it! Having someone who cares about you listen to you rant does wonders for the soul. Think of at least three people who can be your “support group.” If there is something that you need to get off your chest – go to them.
I know sometimes we mothers feel like we can do it all, but if you are in a bind and need a break, please ask somebody for help.
Now it’s time to get the finances in order
It is sooo important for the single mom to have her finances in order. It is time to make a budget, (a realistic one that you will stick to), pay off your debts, and start your emergency fund. We will soon discuss all of this in more detail but if you are wanting to learn more about how to manage your finances I recommend that you go your local library and check out The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitnessby Dave Ramsey. (This book is an excellent starting place for a newly single mother.)
God bless and stay strong.
Until next time…………….