If you’re a single mom, you know it’s a hard job. You’re caring for yourself without a spouse or partner in the picture, but you also have a child or multiple children you need to clothe, feed, house, and educate.
Paying off debt with low income is a challenge for anyone but particularly for single moms. With a bit of thriftiness and determination, though, it is possible. This article features a few tips that can help you pay off debt during this phase of your life.
Everyone needs to budget at every stage of their life, but as a single mom, this step is so crucial that it should be the first on your list. You’ll need to take some time to list all of your debts, including your credit card bills, student loans, medical bills, etc. Look at your financial assets as well, and then look at how much money you’re bringing in from your current job or jobs.
Make sure the money you have coming in covers your minimum expenses, such as food, rent or mortgage payments, and health insurance first. Any money left over you can put toward your outstanding debts.
You might choose to pay off the smallest debts first and work your way up to the big ones. Alternatively, you may decide to target the debts with the highest interest rates first since those will accrue interest and grow the fastest.
It’s hard to save when you have debts you need to pay, but you can often do it is important. The trick is to put a little away with each paycheck, even if that’s only $20 or $50 at a time.
You can use that money as an emergency fund if your car breaks down or you have some other unexpected expense. If that emergency doesn’t come, you might eventually use that money to pay off one of your big debts all at the same time. This will protect you from going into further debt to pay for emergencies, and help you develop the good habit of saving. Plus, it will feel great if you can pay off a large credit card bill or your student loans all in one go.
Consider a Higher-Paying Job
When you’re budgeting, you might realize that based on the money you have coming in from your current job or jobs, it will take a long time to pay off all your creditors while still covering monthly expenses. If so, job hunting is necessary.
Update your resume and create relevant, professional social media accounts for yourself. This means you should have a LinkedIn account, at a minimum. Job hunt and interview any chance you get, even as you continue to work at your current position. Although job hunting can be a difficult process, getting out of debt sooner can make it well worth it.
If you can find something you’re qualified for that pays better, it may make sense to switch from one job to another. Finding a higher-paying job that still allows you to take care of your child or children may even be a little easier now that some companies allow remote work.
If You’re Determined, You’ll Pay Off Your Debts
Being a single mom demands a great deal of strength. You can be a responsible parent to your kids and still pay off debt if you’re disciplined and dedicate yourself to it every day. If your current job doesn’t pay you enough, consider starting to look for something new.
Additionally, save for a rainy day or to pay off one of your debts all at once, even if you’re only putting away a little money with every paycheck. Ultimately, budget with the utmost care, so you’re paying for the essentials while not neglecting your creditors.
Use this strategy, and you can get out from under your debts while still being a world-class mom.