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I'm a single mom and have been so for 19 years, and I know firsthand how tough it can be to make ends meet. But I also know that it's important to have financial goals, even as a single mom.

Having financial goals has helped me make better financial decisions in my effort to build a better future for my small family.

In this blog post, I'm going to share 5 financial goals every single mom should have, or at least strive for. It won't be easy especially for single moms since we may have fewer financial resources, but it's not impossible.

But before that here are some tips when getting started with setting your financial goals:

  • Get organized. Getting organized is the first step to reaching your financial goals. This involves tracking your income, and expenses, creating your budget, and setting your goals.

  • Be realistic. It's extremely important to have realistic financial goals when setting goals. If you're unrealistic, you're most likely to get discouraged and give up.

  • Consistency is key. Being consistent with your savings and investments is important. It doesn't matter how small the amount you put away, with consistency, it will add up over time and you'll see you'll be closer to achieving your goals.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to ask for help from a family member, a trusted friend or a financial advisor to help you with setting your financial goals or managing your money.

financial goals for single moms

Financial Goal #1 - Build an Emergency Fund

Life has a tendency of throwing curveballs at you when you least expect it.

Whether it's a sudden medical expense or a car breakdown or if you suddenly lose your job, having an emergency fund serves as a safety net and gives you peace of mind knowing that you have some money saved up for these unplanned expenses.

How to build an emergency fund. Start small by setting aside a small portion of your income and save it in a separate savings account. Set up an automatic transfer every month from your checking account into a separate emergency fund account.

I know you might be thinking how you can save on a single income, but try and look back at your expenses. Cut out your non-essentials. The daily coffees and subscriptions might look harmless in the moment but it really does adds up.

Even if you can only save $50 a month, it will add up over time. Aim to gradually build it up to be able to cover about 3 - 6 months' worth of your overall expenses.

Financial Goal #2 - Pay Off Your Debt

Debt is a major financial burden for single moms. It can sometimes feel like a dark cloud hanging over your head, the heaviest of weights on your shoulders, and a scary shadow, all rolled into one. Personally, it gives me anxiety and I do lose sleep over it. But it can be overcome.

How to face your debt one debt at a time.

It's easy to get overwhelmed if you look at the amount of debt you have. You might already be paying them but it still feels like you have a long way to go. Or you want to pay them all but you don't know where to start. But if you think of the long run, it's easier to tackle your debt head-on and have a strategy in place to get debt free as soon as you can.

The first thing you want to do is to list all your debt from the smallest to the largest amount. Start with the smallest amount and start paying that off as quickly as you can. Don't underestimate the satisfaction of paying off that first debt, it is incredibly motivating!

You could also:

  • Try negotiating with your creditors on reducing your interest rates.

  • Consider debt consolidation where you consolidate your debt into one loan with a lower interest rate.

  • If and where possible, make extra payments every month.

Financial Goal #3 - Save for Your Retirement

When I became a single mom 20 years ago, retirement was the last thing on my mind. Whatever I earned was always better put elsewhere. Now, I regret it. I regret not starting even earlier than 20 years.

It's actually never too early to start saving for your retirement. Even if you can only save a small amount each month, it will make a significant impact over the years.

There are a few different ways to save for retirement:

  • Opening an Individual Retirement Account or 401(k).

  • You can invest in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

  • Employer-sponsored retirement plans

If it's all too daunting and you're not sure where to start, get help from a financial advisor who can help you create a retirement plan specific to your needs and budget.

Financial Goal #4 - Save for Your Children's Education

We all want what's best for our children and that includes a good education. Truthfully, the cost of higher education can be a killer.

It's extremely important to start early because you only have 17 or 18 years before you'll be needing to make payments for college tuition. As a single mom trying to balance your monthly expenses and these financial goals on a single income, 17 years is not long enough. It can sometimes feel futile saving little by little especially when you consider the inflation rate after 17 years. What you think is enough today might otherwise be true 17 years later.

But planning ahead can ease the financial burden when the time comes. Things you can do to help you are:

  • Consider a tax-advantaged account specific to an education fund.

  • Open up a savings account that yields better interest rates.

  • Do research on financial aid options for colleges and do consider scholarships and grants.

  • Automate savings into the education fund that you have created.

  • Add extra income you receive from bonuses etc.

Financial Goal #5 - Invest for the Future

You're probably thinking - where on earth do I find extra money to invest? You don't have to if you're completely strapped but it will benefit you in the future. Investing is a great way to grow your money over time. Investing is a great way to grow your money over time.

There is a variety of investment opportunities to choose from that will fit your risk tolerance and financial goals.

If you have no clue about how to invest or what to invest in, you can start by talking to a financial advisor. They can explain the different kinds of investments available, guide you through investing, and if and when you're ready they can create an investment portfolio that meets your needs and budget.

Final thoughts on financial goals for single moms

There you go, these are 5 financial goals that every single mom should strive for, if at all possible, not just for her kids but for herself.

I hope this has given you some ideas for financial goals that you can set as a single mom. Remember, it's important to start small and to be realistic about your goals. But if you're consistent with your savings and investments, you can achieve your financial goals and build a better future for yourself and your children.

I wish you all the best in achieving your financial goals!

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financial goals for single moms


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