There are several types of self-care. One that affects most single moms deals with their financial well-being. Issues with finances can cause severe stress and difficulties at home.
Why does money matter?
Unfortunately, money does matter. Money makes a huge difference in our lives in so many ways. Money affects:
- the clothes/shoes we wear
- whether or not we can even afford the basic necessities of life
- the transportation we have access to
- the food we are able to buy
- the healthcare we have access to
- our mental health and stress level
- the quality of childcare we can afford for our kids
- the quality of housing and physical environment we live in
- the frequency of breaks we can afford to take
- the way we take care of ourselves by getting our hair or nails done
- time saving opportunities such as the ability to hire someone to help us clean our house, help maintain our house, or other responsibilities
- the ability
- our social network
- the events we attend and vacations we go on
Money affects all of the above and so much more. Most areas of life will root back to your financial well-being.
Single moms must often compensate by taking on two jobs, which affects things even more. It means less time with kids, usually no time socializing, and mental exhaustion.
Many of us are also living in survival mode, which means that every single part of our life is affected.
Don’t let anyone shame you due to finances
Single moms are often shamed for having nice things. I have even had “friends” make comments about things that I own just because they “don’t even have one of those” (so why should you).
If you ever hear comments like this, don’t feel like you owe anyone an explanation. And remember, they probably really aren’t your friend.
The other side to financial self-care is to remember that although you do deserve nice things just like anyone else. It’s more important to meet your financial goals and only purchase things you can afford.
Set a realistic budget
Find time to budget and then follow your budget every single day. Use a spreadsheet, scheduling software, or just write a budget out in a notebook. Whatever is easier for you is the way you should go.
Make sure that you budget every single dollar that comes to you so that you really know how you’re spending your money and learn to be completely honest with yourself.
Use a budgeting app
An app is a great way to budget every cent that you make and to automatically calculate everything. It can be much more efficient than trying to keep up your own calculations.
Start a savings account
I know that this might seem impossible at times, but it is SO important to have some money saved up for an emergency.
You never know what will happen, but if you have $1,000 saved up, it will save you a lot of stress when your car breaks down, your water heater stops working, or your kid needs to go to the doctor.
Pay off all debt
Debt doesn’t do anyone any good. If you’ve racked up large amounts of debt, remember that you can get through this. Take it as a lesson learned, forgive yourself and move on.
You’re not taking care of yourself financially if you’re in debt. Debt only adds more stress and makes it difficult to focus on the necessities.
Decide that from now on you will pay off your debt and stop accruing debt. Every time you pay on a credit card or loan, you’re wasting so much money on interest.
Every penny of that interest is money that you don’t have. Or if you can afford it, it would be much better spent on you or your kids.
Once you are financially free: Give
Once you get to a point where your own family is taken care of, you will be able to give. Usually when single parents get to this point of their life they feel so much joy to be able to give to others who are in a position that they may be familiar with.
Most people recommend giving 10% to your church, an organization that you love or even to someone you know who is struggling.
Write down your Goals
Always keep your end goals in mind. Think about whether each purchase is bringing you closer or taking you further away from your goals. It is important to write them down and evaluate them often.
Regularly spending time monthly or even weekly is important. Decide which financial routines you will do regularly and stick to it.
Positive money mindset
Keeping a positive attitude is important as the more positive vibes you put out there will attract the things you want. Evaluate your spending habits and determine whether your purchases are needs or wants.
You should also be aware of your mood when spending. Make sure that you’re not sabotaging yourself and your goals when upset by spending more than you have budgeted for.
Make money mantras a part of your routine.
No matter where you are financially, it is very important to always be grateful for what you do have. There is always something to be grateful for. Keep reminding yourself of that as you’re going through your journey.
How will you add financial self-care into your lifestyle?
Decide what works for you and stick with it. I know how depressing it can be when you’re struggling to keep your head above water. I’ve been to the point where I didn’t know how I was going to feed my kids.
Just remember there is always hope. Keep going and make healthy financial choices and your situation will improve. It may be slow, but it will happen. Most importantly, believe in yourself.
Share your best financial self-care tips below
I would love to hear about your self-care journey in the comments below!