9 ways single moms can make money and build wealth in 2022

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Whew, it’s 2022, 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 84% of Americans, you had financial goals last year, according to a NerdWallet survey of 2,000 U.S. adults. Unfortunately, that same survey found that one in five people abandoned their money goals within two weeks, and more than half failed to reach some or all of their resolutions.

And this is in a time when we all need to prepare for a recession.

There is a reason I blog primarily about money on this site and in my book (though I do love writing about dating!!). Money touches every vertical of your life:

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.

If you are like most single moms I know, you are going through a lot of life changes — your romantic life, family situation, living arrangements and relationship with yourself are all in flux.

Steady app has helped more than 2 million people find quality gigs and jobs, earn bonuses and manage their finances.

So is your money.

This time of transition offers great opportunity to make positive changes. But with so many balls in the air, there is also lots of opportunity to join the majority of Americans and not stick to those money goals.

Here is your guide to locking down some practical financial resolutions, stick to those goals, and uplevel into 2022 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. Start an emergency fund
  7. Change your single mom money mindset
  8. Focus on money role modeling for your kids
  9. Find cash now to start

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

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! 

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

There are more opportunities than ever before to earn a high income from home — or near you, with a flexible schedule.

Our top job board pick is FlexJobs, a paid job board which allows you to find remote, telecommute, at-home and other flexible career-level positions. Read our FlexJobs review.

Or, consider a job as a work-at-home bookkeeper, which can earn $75+/hour. Learn more about bookkeeping in this post, or check out the top online bookkeeping course, Bookkeeper Launch, which teaches you everything you need to know about being a bookkeeper, finding clients and growing your business.

Proofreading is another great, in-demand career you can do at home. Proofread Anywhere offers a FREE Intro to Proofreading Workshop to find out if you have what it takes to be a proofreader. The great news is these workshops are on-demand, so register for free now >>

Need income now while you consider all the ways single moms can make money? Steady app has helped more than 2 million people find quality gigs and jobs, earn bonuses and manage their finances.

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)?

Join the club. Most women do — including me! Wall Street — dominated by men — wants you to feel stupid so you’ll hand over your money to brokers and advisors — again, overwhelmingly bros — who you will pay a lot of money to manage this money.

I wrote this post to help women like you understand investing basics, and feel confident in picking a company, fund and plan to safely invest your hard-earned income for retirement, a home, your kids’ college — WHATEVER. Because you deserve that kind of security.

Ellevest is our recommended investment tool. Designed specifically for the life stages of women, this robo-advisor comes with a free financial planner, A personalized investment portfolio that is tailored to your unique financial situation and goals, $0 minimum, and free online workshops, email courses, on-demand webinars, and video resources to help you learn about finances and career advancement. Just $1/month.

Read more in our Ellevest review, or get started with your free financial plan now >>

3. Protect your family with insurance

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.

This post will not absolve you from all 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.

Get life insurance

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.

Bestow is a really cool company that allows you to apply for and buy term life insurance entirely online and with a guarantee of no medical or lab exams.

Bestow offers policies that start at $10 per month, for a $50,000, 10-year policy for a healthy 30-year-old non-smoker. Learn more in our Bestow review.

Get renter’s insurance

What would you do if your home was broken into? Flooded? Suffered a fire?

Renters insurance is very affordable, and can save you from financial ruin.

This post gives details about how renters insurance works, and where to find quick and affordable coverage.

Compare home and auto insurance rates

Compare rates among different lenders for auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and other insurance products you buy. I recommend Insurify, which lets you compare prices for more than 40 carriers:

  • Insurify customers save an average of $489 a year on their car insurance.
  • For auto, home, life, or renters insurance.
  • Compare 10+ quotes from national and regional insurance companies in 2 minutes.
  • Buy your policy online or over the phone in 5 minutes.
  • Insurify’s CEO and founder Snejina Zacharia started the business in 2013 by way of a pitch competition at MIT — one of the few female founders in the fintech space.

Get 10+ insurance quotes in 2 min. from Insurify and start saving now >>

4. Get rid of debt and improve your credit

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

Start by applying for a 0% balance transfer credit card.

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. Investigate your options for refinancing your student debt at a lower rate.

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.

If you want to see credit results fast, try Experian Boost, a 100% free tool that can instantly boost your FICO credit score. Average boost users see a 13-point increase. Try Experian Boost now, and get your free credit report and FICO score >>

Learn more about getting rid of credit card debt.

5. Slash spending and get that single mom budget together

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.

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

More on how to create a single-mom budget you can stick to, including tools like You Need a Budget — a spreadsheet-based app that helps you pay off debt, create a budget and set and reach all your money goals. Try YNAB's 34-day free trial now >>

6. Start an emergency fund

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.

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 not afraid. Money in the bank relieves fear.

Jump-start your savings by selling old gold and jewelry that you no longer need. CashforGoldUSA is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau, pays within 24 hours, and was found by a Fox Business News investigation to pay 3X its competitors. 

7. 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 2022 as a woman is that compared with the sexism our grandmothers and even mothers faced, we have endless opportunities to earn and invest.

Easy, affordable meal planning for single moms

No more “I’m a single mom and I need money”

Here is a common money story single moms tell themselves:

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 Facebook.com/groups/millionairesinglemoms.

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.

8. Focus on money role modeling for your kids

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 insurances.

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.

Estate planning for single parents

9. Find cash now to get started

Not sure where to start? If you already have a job, here is my guide to asking for and getting that raise.

​​6 household items to sell for quick cash

There are an estimated 300,000 items in the average U.S. home, according to one Los Angeles Times article, and self-storage construction is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the real estate industry, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Monthly Self-Storage Spending 2004-2017

Infogram

Chances are, you have stuff you don't want, need or use, and that stuff is not only costing you money to store — it could make you money to sell it.

Here are some of the most lucrative things to sell:

  • Jewelry. Old engagement rings, necklaces, earrings, estate and antique jewelry, you name it — if it is made of diamonds, gemstones, gold or platinum, send it to CashforGoldUSA, an A+ BBB rated gold buyer that pays a 10% bonus, and sends payment within 24 hours.
    Read more about top places to sell jewelry online.
  • Coin collection, as well as silverware, or other scrap gold or silver. Pawn shops and jewelers are good places to start.
  • Pokémon cards are super-hot right now, as Millennials dust off their childhood collections, driving prices and interest through the roof. According to Newsweek, TCGplayer, one of the main Pokémon card resellers online, shipped more than 16.2 million single Pokémon cards in 2020, with the number of cards priced at more than $50 rose 466%. Some go for more than $2,00. Sell via:
    • eBay
    • Troll and Toad
    • Cardmarket
    • Card Cavern
    • TCGplayer
    • Facebook Marketplace
  • Furniture. Whether it is old items in your basement or attic, or a few inherited items you don't really love or use, sell them via Facebook marketplace, a yard sale, Craigslist or, if it is a marked item or notable brand, a site like 1stDibs or Chairish. Local consignment stores are also a good place to sell furniture.
  • Clothes. Gently used clothes, accessories, handbags and shoes can be sold through top online sites like ThredUp, Mercari, and Poshmark.
  • Household items. Kitechen goods, dishes, yard tools, gardening supplies, sports equipment, bikes and more can be unloaded for cash through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or a yard sale.

5 ways of renting out stuff you already to make money

ZipCar 

Maybe you don’t like driving, but you have a car that you don’t drive a lot. ZipCar lets you rent out your car for other people to drive. In most cases, you can make a nice second income by renting out your car. It’s also possible to rent a car through ZipCar to work another side gig, like driving with Uber. 

Turo

Much like ZipCar and GetAround, Turo lets you rent out your car to other people around you. Typically, if you live near an airport, you’ll have plenty of business people that need a car for the weekend. “Hosts” as Turo calls those who rent out their cars, have access to a mobile business app to manage their trips and pricing, etc. 

GetAround

Another great way to earn some cash by renting out your car! Don’t just let your parked car sit and collect dust, make money off it! Manage your calendar and rentals through the website or app. 

Airbnb

If you have a spare room or guest house, rent it out! Thanks to expensive hotel rates, Airbnb has exploded. Put a mint on those pillows and enjoy some extra money for letting people sleep in your spare beds. Manage your entire hosting business through the app.

VRBO

VRBO is another popular website for renting out your home or vacation home. The VRBO Owner app is specifically for hosts. 

6 ways to make money tutoring and teaching online

HAWO American Academy

Help English learners in China through video tutoring. Perks are flexible schedule, work from home, fun job (if you enjoy teaching!), weekly pay, and a high hourly rate. Qualifications are the standard USA / Canadian, Bachelor’s degree in any field or currently enrolled as an education major in a university, and any experience teaching or tutoring. You will teach your lessons through the web interface. 

VIPKid

VIPKid is an online tutoring service, but it has a unique twist. They are providing international learning for children in China between the ages of 4 – 12. They offer 1-on-1 English lessons. If you have a love of teaching English, it’s a great way to earn a side-income. The VIPKid Teach app allows you to manage your lessons and sessions. 

Udemy

Teaching is a great way to earn money, and thanks to the Internet, there are plenty of ways that you can share your knowledge online. If you have some technical skills, you can use Udemy to share it with the world and earn extra cash. Whenever anyone purchases your course, you get paid!

Wyzant

Tutoring is an excellent way to help students and also earn some extra cash on the side. Wyzant lets you create a free profile and search for tutoring jobs in your area. They have traditional school subjects, but there are also more specialized jobs like web design tutoring. Tutors have access to the mobile app Tutor on Wyzant to manage their lessons and business. 

Chegg Tutors

Chegg works similar to the other tutoring sites, except these tutoring sessions are all online. You can help tutor students virtually. You log in when you have free time to tutor and Chegg pairs you with students looking for help in your subjects.

iTalki

Learning a new language can be difficult. That’s where iTalki comes in. It’s a site that helps connect students to native speaking teachers. If you want to teach English, iTalki is one of the best places to get paid for your services. They will connect you to students across the globe and they manage all of the international payments for you. Teachers can manage their profile within the iTalki mobile apps.

Learn more about our $500 single-mom monthly grant

6 second income ideas with delivery services

UberEATS

Instead of shuttling people around with Uber, depending on where you live, you can deliver food for customers. You won’t work with one specific fast food place. Customers can order from just about any restaurant and you’ll deliver the food. Manage your deliveries within the Uber Driver app. 

AmazonFlex

Everyone is shopping on Amazon now. They have started outsourcing their package delivery, and that’s an excellent way for you to earn money. You don’t have to drive people around, you only have to deliver packages. The AmazonFlex app lets you find gigs quickly and easily. 

Postmates

Postmates used to be a competing app to UberEats, which has since been purchased by Uber. You can sign up to be a Postmates driver through UberEats. 

GrubHub

Delivering with GrubHub works much the same as delivering for UberEats. All you need is a car or bike (in certain areas), a valid driver’s license and car insurance, and a smartphone to get started. Use the app to manage your deliveries.

UPS Personal Vehicle Driver

If you’re interested in making some extra cash delivering packages on a flexible schedule, you can apply to become a Personal Vehicle Driver with UPS. Drive your own car on your own schedule to make deliveries and make extra money. 

FedEx Express

Like UPS, FedEx offers flexible employment options for people looking to work for the company on a flexible basis. FedEx Casual Couriers deliver packages according to their schedule, while FedEx Casual Handlers work on their own schedule to pack trucks and handle packages.

14 ways to make a second income with odd jobs and tasks

Gigwalk

This is a unique way of earning money. Gigwalk members can post a variety of different jobs. Everything from seeing if products are stocked, to collecting data. You can get gigs based on your zip code. Find gigs right on the app. 

Craigslist

I’m sure you’ve heard of Craigslist. You may have even bought something off of it, but it’s also a great place to find some freelance work.

TaskRabbit

Looking for work in your own neighborhood? Have some handyman skills or are you willing to do some yard work? This is the perfect site for you. Workers can find gigs on the Tasker by TaskRabbit app. 

NeedTo

Another place to find random freelance work. Anything from web design to washing dishes.

Zaarly

The description on their homepage says it all, “hire local, hand-picked home services.” So add your skills to their site, and just wait for the requests to come in!

SnagAJob

This website lets you browse through thousands of hourly jobs. You can browse through a variety of different industries and see if anything part-time would work for your needs. You can use either the website or the Snagajob app to find work. 

SimplyHired

There are plenty of people looking for qualified candidates, but finding the perfect second job can be difficult, that’s where SimplyHired comes in. The Simply Hired app makes it easy to find work right from your phone. 

The Source

If you don’t mind doing a little driving, becoming a field agent with Trendsource is a simple way to earn extra cash. All that you have to do is visit a project location and complete an evaluation as a mystery shopper. You’ll get paid twice a month.

360 Intel

Mystery shopping is not a new idea, but it’s an excellent way for you to go shopping and get paid to do it. Restaurants and shops will pay for “mystery customers” to come in, shop, and then tell them about their experience. 360 Intel used to be known as Goodwin Hospitality.

Fiverr

The freelance community has never been bigger. There are plenty of people out there that are looking for talented people to finish up some work for them. Fiverr has freelance jobs for just about any profession. Anything from musician to web analyst. You can manage your entire business right from within the app. 

UpWork

If you have some technical skills, like admin support or design, you can find some excellent freelance jobs. Download the Upwork for Freelancers app to find gigs. 

MediaBistro

This site specializes in freelance jobs in the media field. This includes marketing, sales, PR, television, and much more.

99Designs

It’s another freelance site that specializes in design work.

Contently

Another freelance site that has jobs for videographers, photographers, and researchers.

3 sites to find babysitting, elder care, pet sitting and housekeeping jobs

Care.com

If you enjoy spending time caring for people, you can turn it into money. Care.com has jobs for child care, day care, caregivers, pet sitters, and much more. Manage jobs through the Care.com Caregiver app.

Rover

Rover lets you get paid to walk dogs or check on them in the middle of the day. It’s easy to get started with their site. Get paid to pet dogs, what could be better?? It’s easy to find and manage your gigs in the Rover app. 

DogVacay

This is the nation’s “largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers,” which means there is probably a job opportunity somewhere near you. DogVacay has been purchased by Rover and is in the process of being integrated into the company.

3 sites to find part-time typing and transcription jobs

TDEC

Data entry is a popular occupation for anyone that’s looking to make money online. TDEC is hiring data entry specialists at their various locations and dozens of states.

Scribie

If you’re a fast typer, working at Scribie is an excellent option for you. All that you have to do is watch a video and transcribe the audio. You can get paid anywhere from $5 to $20 per an audio hour.

MegaTypers

This is another data entry site that offers a variety of services to their clients. If you work with MegaTypers, you could be entering data or transcribing voice to text. The faster that you type, the more that you’ll earn. You can make anywhere from $0.45 per 1000 words to $1.5 per 100 words.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

11 Comments

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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