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11+ ways single moms can build wealth in 2024

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Whew, it’s 2024, baby! If you’re like me, you set some resolutions — goals and milestones to hit in this new calendar year. This might include fitness, relationships (start dating again, maybe?), self-care like travel, or read more books, get the kids on a chore schedule, making more money, or to start investing to build wealth.

If you are like 76% of Americans, you had a new year’s resolution focused on becoming smarter with your finances, according to a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll/SlickDeals1. Unfortunately, history shows many people abandon their money goals early in the year.

If you are not in control of your finances, this affects your family life, because you are stressed, perhaps overworked and distracted worrying about bills. You are more likely to argue with your kids’ dad, which affects your co-parenting.

Money affects the men you seek out and attract — I have heard countless stories of very smart women moving in with all the wrong guys because they were tired of being stressed about rent.

Money affects your physical well being (less money means you are more likely to eat unhealthy food, pass on a gym membership and checkups, and suffer all the negative side effects of anxiety).

When you don’t have enough money, or feel that you don’t have enough money, you lose your power. That’s why you need to make more money!

When you don’t have enough money, you can’t protect your kids if something happens to you. That's why you need emergency savings!

Practical ways to improve your finances

Learn about 11 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024.

Here is your guide to locking down some practical financial resolutions, sticking to those goals, and upleveling into 2024 and beyond!

  1. Look for high-paying jobs
  2. Maximize investing
  3. Protect your family
  4. Get rid of debt and improve your credit
  5. Slash spending and get that single mom budget together
  6. Sell stuff you don't need or want
  7. Start an emergency fund
  8. Change your single mom money mindset
  9. Focus on money role modeling for your kids
  10. Open a retirement account
  11. Invest for other long-term goals
  12. Bonus tip: Start our money challenge

1. Look for high-paying jobs and side hustles for single moms — near you or online

A mom and her son looking at a laptop. Here are 12 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024.

When you are broke, or want more money for whatever reason, the first and natural thing to do is slash expenses. That is great, and you should do that. But the best and biggest way to have more in your pocket is to earn more. After all, If you focus on clipping $1 coupons for paper towels, the best you can do is saving $1. If you focus on earning and growing your career, the sky is the limit!

Building a career or business is the best thing you can do for your finances, your mental health, your parenthood and your future! 

Not sure where to start? If you already have a job, here is my guide to asking for and getting that raise. Also, check out these tips from millionaire moms on how to build wealth.

TopResume is an affordable service that will help create a killer resume.

Here is a run-down of high-paying careers you can do from home.

84 profitable side hustles for single moms to earn cash in 2024

2. Maximize investing — on every single-mom budget

Saving money is so awesome, but investing is where the juice is. After all, if you park all you savings in a checking account, or a low-earning savings account at your local bank (as most are these days), your hard-earned money will be flat year after year. Meanwhile, inflation means the cost keeping yourself and your children alive goes up 2 to 4 percent each year.

Nevermind that you likely want to grow your quality of life, too!

That is why investing your money in the stock market is so important. Over the last century, stock market returns have averaged 10 percent.

In other words, if you don’t actively invest and grow your money, you are actually losing money.

You don’t understand the stock market? Feel intimidated and stupid when it comes to investing (even though you are smart, successful and confident in the rest of your life)?

Here’s how to get started:

Establish financial goals

  • Make long-term financial goals: pay off debt, save for a home, retire
  • Make short-term financial goals: pay off small sums of debt, create a budget, refinance larger loans, make a purchase like a home repair or vacation
  • Make a plan to fund these goals (including growing your income, as well as living on a budget)

Open your own investment account or see what your employer offers

  • Employer-sponsored plans — this is a retirement fund or heal savings account through your job
  • Self-employed accounts — a self-employed 401k, a cash balance pension fund or an IRA that self-employed workers establish and fund 
  • Brokerage accounts — this might be through a brokerage like Fidelity or T. Rowe Price where you buy and sell equities. It is not typically tax-advantaged

Create a retirement plan

  • According to investment advice site the Motley Fool, you’ll need 80% of your preretirement income to survive. So if you earn $80,000 a year by the time you retire, then you’ll need $64,000 to make it once you stop working. That translates to about $5,333 per month.
  • Fidelity recommends setting aside at least 15% of your pretax income, which sounds like a lot. If you’re still in the process of building your career, saving 10% should do the trick. But as your income increases, so should your retirement savings goals.
  • Prioritize retirement investing far above your kids' college education.
  • Seek out expert help. Nonprofit organizations like Savvy Ladies, a free financial helpline, can answer questions about financial planning and connect you to financial resources.

If you need help preparing your financial future, check out the free tools offered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This site offers info on investing, financial calculators, tips to protect your investments, and more.

3. Protect your family with insurance

A woman on the phone and looking at the hood of her car. Check here for 12 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024.

This post is designed to free you from worry: worry about making rent, worry about whether your car will break down and you won’t have enough cash to make repairs, worry that you will be stuck in debt forever.

A big part of building your wealth is protecting it. That’s why it’s so important to invest in reliable insurance coverage — for your home, your valuable possessions, your car, and more. 

But even if you have all of those items covered, that doesn’t mean you won’t worry. You know why not? Because you are a mom.

Moms worry. We do.

But I can help you reduce your worry, including that horrible fear that something will happen to you, and as a single mom, you are your kids’ primary caregiver.

Life insurance is a big piece of this mom-worry therapy. With enough life insurance, you can rest easy that your children can be cared for financially in the event that you pass.

More on life insurance for single parents

Also, read: Estate planning for single parents

4. Get rid of debt and improve your credit

A woman holding a card while typing on her laptop. Read here about the 12 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024.

Reducing your credit card, medical, student and car loans means fewer bills, less money wasted on interest rates, and more money to save or invest.

Improving your credit score and history means more options and more control: With a high credit score you can get a car note, qualify for a mortgage, business or student loan — all of which could dramatically improve your family’s lives.

Many people take advantage of auto loan refinancing to get a lower payment.

Here is my step-by-step guide for how to pay off debt for good, as well as an easy recipe for how to repair your credit score fast, securely and affordably.

5. Slash spending and get that single mom budget together

A woman happily holding a mug. Check out these 12 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024.

Here is something surprising I recently learned about myself:

The higher my income, the greater my net worth, the less stuff I want.

Yes, I enjoy a beautiful home, nice clothes and jewelry, and enjoy good food. But the fewer items I own, the happier I am.

I like my closets and drawers and cupboards occupied only by items I use and enjoy.

The less crowding my fridge, the more I enjoy the meals and snacks I have — as the waste of uneaten food stresses me out. Read: Easy, affordable meal planning for single moms

Everything else must go. Bonus? Less stuff means more money!

More on how to set up a budget you can stick to.

6. Sell stuff you don’t want or need

A woman on her laptop with boxes and clothes around her. Check here for the 12 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024.

Virtually all of us have things lying around the house that we don’t want or need anymore, but that we never actually get rid of. Instead of letting that garbage clutter your home, why not sell it to earn money that you can put to use hitting your other financial goals?

Read our guides on how to sell old clothes, furniture and cars for the most money.

Also consider selling jewelry and sterling silver, coins and diamonds. With gold and silver near historical highs, now is a great time to think about selling your old or broken gold jewelry, coins, dental scrap, etc. I recommend CashforGoldUSA, an online gold buyer known for paying top dollar within 24 hours of receiving your gold, which has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

7. Start an emergency fund

A woman using her calculator while looking at a document. Here are 12 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024. Check them out.

Do you have at least 3 months’ living expenses in a savings account? No? Create a plan to build up a cash account that will save your butt in the event of unemployment, a natural disaster or otherwise being displaced, a major medical event or any other unforeseen financial event. Even a car repair can undo you, financially.

Set a goal of saving $500 in a dedicated savings account that is only for emergencies. Then work on building that up to $1,000, and then $2,000. Keep going until you’ve got between 3 and 6 months’ worth of expenses set aside. This will keep you covered in the event that you ever lose your job, need a car or home repair, face a medical emergency, or need to bail yourself out of jail in Guatemala (ha!).

Not sure where you should keep your emergency fund? Here are some savings accounts to check out:

The value of this savings account is one part practical, one part emotional (you will feel better each and every day knowing this money is safe and available), and one part spiritual. After all, you make better, wiser decisions from a place of power when you are not afraid. Money in the bank relieves fear.

8. Change your single-mom money mindset

The most important thing you can do to change your financial life, is change your financial mind.

How and what you think and believe establishes what happens in your bank account.

The first and most critical step to earning more, saving more, investing more, spending and stressing less about money, is to renovate what happens between your ears.

If you are stuck in broke, there are likely limiting beliefs specific to single motherhood that are spiraling in your mind. I have struggled with many of these, and have heard time and again (and again!) from moms on this blog and social media.

I’m a single mom, and single moms are broke. Of course I’m poor!

Reality: Yes, statistically, single moms are poorer than married moms. But, you are likely telling yourself that story (and it is indeed a story) based on decades of media portrayal of single mothers as downtrodden, struggling floozies, politicians who blame unmarried mothers as the source of all social ills.

There are also countless stories of both down-and-out married moms, as well as thriving, affluent, self-made single moms.

The beauty of living in 2024 as a woman is that compared with the sexism our grandmothers and even mothers faced, we have endless opportunities to earn and invest.

Here is a common money story single moms tell themselves:

No more “I need to sacrifice and struggle and overcompensate for the fact that my children are from a broken home.”

Reality: What’s with the martyr syndrome, mama? Not a good look! Focus on earning big, spending little, and maximizing quality time with your kids. Studies find that financial stability and a thriving mom are two of the biggest factors when it comes to child development.

Other ways to improve your money relationship: stop overspending on your kids (they really don’t need much), and focus on creating positive relationships for your kids, yourself and the whole family. Kids thrive not because their home looks like the Cleavers, but because they are safe, cared for, understood. You can control all of that, but first you have to decide to do those things.

What to do:

  1. Write down your limiting beliefs when it comes to money.
  2. Write down where these ideas came from. Who told you you are bad with money, or that you have to martyr yourself? What was your earliest memories of a single mom? Was she thriving, or struggling?
  3. Get therapy if you want. No shame at all! Online therapy is a great option, especially for busy single moms, since online counseling apps like BetterHelp allow you to choose from thousands of certified, licensed counselors, totally anonymously.
  4. Think about who your support system is. Do these people set big goals, and actively work towards them? Do they support your dreams and goals? Even the wonderful people who love you most may not be your money tribe. You can meet and be inspired by other, big-thinking and ambitious single moms who will change your paradigm at

Avoid temptation to focus on getting more alimony or child support — which are finite, negative and ultimately hold you back. Instead, my research found that moms who share parenting time equally are more likely to earn more, and feel better about being a mom.

9. Focus on money role modeling for your kids

A woman and a child looking at a tablet. The mom is holding a card. Here are 12 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024 you can check.

Like it or not, your kids are watching. Lecture them all the livelong day about the importance of saving, budgets and investing, but if your children see you live beyond your means and spend frivolously, one of two things will happen:

  1. They will repeat your bad habits, or
  2. They will grow up to have better money habits, and resent your bad ones. Especially if you are now financially dependent on your kids because of those bad habits, which they now feel pressure to care for.

Instead, involve your kids on your money journey. Set them up on an allowance system.

In this post, I elaborate here on what we do at my house, with spend/save/give jars, as well as a guide to teaching kids about money.

Talk to them about the importance of money for security, including all kinds of insurance policies.

Set a family money goal — say, an ice skating outing (which my kids have been nagging me about for weeks). If the event costs $50, find ways to save money (sell unused items, skipping a weekly ice cream treat), to save up.

Get creative, and pay attention to what excites your kids — and you!

When my friend Blake was growing up, his family made a game of seeing how low they could get the monthly electric bill. This is something I think will go over well at my house, as both my son and I are passionate about green living.

Not only do these measures teach your kids important, core skills, but it keeps you motivated and on-track, too.

Plus, it relieves guilt, since you know you should be a good money role model for your kids.

10. Open a retirement account

Once your short-term savings are firm and your debt is being managed, start planning for longer-term goals, including retirement.

The good news is that there are a lot of different types of retirement plans to consider. If you’re currently employed, you may be eligible to participate in a 401(k), 403(b), or SIMPLE IRA offered by your employer. As a bonus, many employers match a certain percentage of your contributions each year, which is essentially free money. But even if you’re self-employed, you have options in the form of a Roth IRA or SEP IRA.

11. Invest for your other goals

A woman with a house in the background. Try any of these 12 ways single moms can build wealth in 2024.

If you’ve crossed off everything else in this list and still have some money to put to use, a brokerage account from a company like Vanguard or Fidelity will help you save for other investment goals: a down payment for a house, your child’s college education, or starting a business. You can invest in these accounts in index funds, mutual funds or bonds. But with high interest rates, a savings account or CD might be a safer and more lucrative option for these goals.

50 college grants and scholarships for single moms

Go back to school at 30 or 40?

Bonus tip: Start our money challenge

The biggest obstacles to building wealth are bad daily habits and your mindset—things you can change with regular, dedicated practice.

I put together a 52-week money challenge to help single moms like you learn to control spending, start saving and investing, and turn around your debt and credit score.

If you're ready to revolutionize your finances — save more, earn more, and spend less — sign up here:


  1. “Seventy-six Percent of Americans Resolve to be Smarter With Their Finances in 2022, According to Survey Commissioned by Slickdeals,” Dec. 21, 2021


These are all very terrifying but fantastic tips to financially prepare for a better life as a single mom. My question is extended childcare? I am working, but refusing to work nights due to a baby sitter at the cost of my hourly rate. I cannot seem to get passed this. Any suggestions would be great!

All I hear everywhere I look for advise, is the single mom…what about single dads? We exist, and some of us make good parents. Why don’t we call them what we all are; single parents.

I appreciate the article which was overall helpful; however, $40 per week for counseling equates to more than my past car note. Keep in mind, the app STARTS at $40/wk. Going through your insurance and having them help you find therapists “in network” and schedule your appointments for you would most likely be the best option for “affordable” mental health care especially for single moms. I’m sure BetterHelp is a great resource, but perhaps that affiliate link would have been more appropriate in a different article not centered around becoming financially intelligent. I will say that what you do with the save/spend/give jars is phenomenal! You go girl!

We need a Canadian you! Do you have any women you know of in Canada sharing similar information? I can research myself but as you know the way you’ve listed everything is so helpful. Just need the Canadian version of bank accounts, life insurance plans etc..

I love this article and have done most of the things you listed. However, you mentioned investing but left no links on how I as a single mother can better understand it. It seems so daunting and I don’t know where to begin.

This is one of the best empowering messages I have heard in a very long time. Especially about the road trip. I have been thinking of doing this for a long time and I’m hoping I can summon enough courage to do it with my kids next summer.
Thanks for all these words of affirmation

This is a great article, but what do we do when our childrens’ father habitually takes us to court? If it wasn’t for legal bills, I’d be doing just fine financially. Over the past two years, I’ve paid $50,000 in legal fees due to his motions to modify the custody order, motions to decrease child support, false complaints about phone calls, etc. He’s a diagnosed narcissist and an attorney. Help!

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