Today many women are struggling with debt and it’s even harder if you are a single mother trying to support your family. According to the Census Bureau single mothers far outweigh single fathers. In 2003 there was a total of 2,260,000 one parent family groups maintained by the father and 10,142,000 one parent family groups maintained by the mother. This is also why many single mothers find themselves diving into debt.
So if you are one of those single mothers struggling to get by, you are not alone. Whether you are going through a divorce or the father is absent most single mothers face the burden of supporting themselves and their children all on one income.
Did you know that only fifteen percent of women going through a divorce are awarded any form of court-ordered spousal support? Unfortunately, thirty-four percent of those women never receive what is due to them. Less than half of the women who claim child support ever receive the full amount. As well, within the first year of divorce a women’s average standard of living falls forty-five percent while a man’s will grow fifteen percent.
So as a single mother it is important to steer clear of debt, which is where SingleMotherResources gives you a variety of things you can do to prevent yourself from further debt. Budgeting is a key factor in helping so many people get out of debt and stay out of debt. The core of budgeting is for you as a single mother to see your monthly spending needs and habits.
The purpose of a budget allows you to track your personal cash flow. Your personal cash flow is how much money comes in and how much goes out. Adding up your monthly income is easy, but totaling up all your expenses takes a little bit of work. First, you’ll want to collect all your bills, your credit card statements, your checkbook register and all receipts including anything you buy with cash.
If you haven't been keeping good records, you may have to get a receipt of every dollar you spend for a month before you put together an accurate budget. Track you expenses by making entries in a notebook or learn how to in Microsoft Excel.
Now divide your spending into fixed costs and variable costs. Your fixed costs will include such things as mortgage payments, rent or loan payments. Your variable costs will include such things as clothing, food and entertainment. Now that you know how to budget, you need to learn how to stick to one.
Once you are managing your spending, you can easily decide which costs as a single mother you can cut and which you cannot. In most cases as soon as you see how much you are spending on your morning latte and breakfast item, you will be motivated to cut back. Stay motivated by setting goals.
Single Mother Resources is a great guide to get single mothers back on their feet and enjoying life. Before you know it, you’ll be debt free and be able to spend more time with your children opposed to dealing with the harassing phone calls from creditors and collection agencies!
Kathryn Spencer specializes in single mother financial aid issues and has long authored educational and support pieces for women and single mothers. Kathryn is a contributing author and editor to a variety of international and domestic web sites, and free newsletters. Kathryn lives in the southeastern United States with her two children Dylan and Kalie.