Being a single mom is a financially unpleasant task. There is no way around that fact. However, savvy moms quickly find that the rewards greatly outweigh the trials. As trying as the financial situation can be, there are plenty of programs that can offer assistance in various forms. You just have to get passed the mindset that the only help you can get comes in the form of SNAP.
Housing is the biggest cost, but you would have to have a home even if you didn’t have a child. Having a child can actually be a benefit here because the fact that you have a dependent changes the amount of money you can make in order to qualify for certain programs, like the housing programs funded through the Housing Authority.
Food is another expense that you would have whether you were a mother or not, but the dynamics change because you have a child. For instance, you have special considerations depending on health issues, allergies, and age. Programs like SNAP and WIC can help you out and you can even use them to live a healthier lifestyle of you understand all of the elements involved. For instance, you might set aside part of your SNAP budget to buy seeds or plants that produce food. Keep the seeds from the food produced to grow more during the next season. In this way you not only reduce your food costs, but also eat healthier.
Your priorities are going to change…or at least they should. You are going to buy more clothes and worry less about brand names or where you obtain brand name clothing. The interests of your child are going to need funding as well. While you should put some money into your own hobbies simply for the sake of stress reduction and sanity, your children have budding interests that need to be encouraged. You may have to put aside some of your own interests to take care of theirs, but do it wisely. Visit resale shops for items like clothing and toys. For high end educational items, frequent college groups that often offer sales of items like microscopes and other educational materials.
When it comes to schooling, apply for reduced or free meals and book rental. If you are in a low income bracket and meet the requirements, these are a few more costs that you won’t have to worry about. You might also consider enrolling in school yourself so that you can move forward with your own career goals and get financial assistance that an help with the cost of living.