Single mom resources: How to be a single mom and run your household like a boss

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Hi Mama! CONGRATULATIONS on investing in YOU. Whether you have been a single mom for years, or are exploring what solo parenting is all about, the fact that you landed on this page is huge.

If you are new here, know that Wealthysinglemommy.com, and its founder Emma Johnson are committed to the following principles:

  • Single mothers are capable of leading happy, abundant lives and families, regardless of how their families are structured.
  • Today, most single mothers were never married, or had at least one baby outside of marriage. We're so over the presumption that all single moms are divorced moms.
  • Financial autonomy is not only attainable for single moms, it is necessary for you to live your fullest life.
  • You are free to explore all romantic pursuits your heart desires. In other words: Dating does not hurt your kids, and in fact, a mom who is fulfilled in her dating and sex life is a better mom. Rushing to get married is a bad look (and get real: marriage probably didn't work out for you the first time, so why the rush to repeat that model?!).

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What kinds of resources are there for single mothers?

Lots. This page is your go-to guide for all the resources, tools and support you need to blow this shit UP! Here you will find everything from ways to make quick cash, to how to build a sustainable career from home, caring for your mental health, the financial tools to protect you and your kids, and more.

Apply for my $500 Monthly Kickass Single Mom Stimulus Grant

Started during the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak, this weekly grant supports single moms doing it alone. Apply here >>

Join the Millionaire Single Moms Facebook Group

First, if you're not already a member, join Millionaire Single Moms on Facebook. Rules include: No bitching, whining, man-bashing or being mean.

Not a week goes by when I do not receive an email, Instagram or Facebook message from a member of the group who says that the support of other single moms with similar goals of living a joyful life of financial independence, happy romantic life, and thriving family and self changed their lives.

All income levels and points in your journey are welcome. See you there!

Join the newsletter and get my FREE GUIDE

My emails are full of inspiring stories, tools, tricks and instruction on how to build an incredible single-mom life.

Sign up now and get the FREE Guide—15 Steps to Thriving as a Single Mom:

Everyone experiences stress, and millions of people struggle with emotional and mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, couples and relationship hardship, parenting questions, sleep issues and career and money woes.

Take care of your mental health

Online therapy with BetterHelp is a wonderful asset for single moms, as it is a fraction of the cost of traditional, in-person counseling, and that you work with a licensed therapist through text, email, voice or video, you save the time of travel, or the need to hire a babysitter.

BetterHelp has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Prices start at $65/week for unlimited messaging and weekly live sessions. Financial assistance available. Use this link to get 20% off and get connected with a therapist immediately >>

Read: Best online therapy sites for single moms

Need medical help, or prescriptions from home? Learn about online medical care.

Hire the child care you need

Whether you find a free or reduced local daycare, private daycare, after-school are, hire a babysitter, nanny, take your mom up on her offer to watch your kids, or swap with another mom, you absolutely cannot be a full-time mom and be financially independent.

Buy life insurance

I don’t care how broke you are, single moms need life insurance. Chances are, your kids are financially dependent on you. While you may not have a lot to invest in the future now, single moms can find life insurance for a very small sum — and protect your family

Bestow promises you will never have a medical or lab exam. With plans as low as $10 per month for coverage up to $1.5 million. Bestow policies are issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, a carrier rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best that was founded in 1886.

Get a term life insurance quote online now from Bestow >>

Create or update a will / estate plan

Every parent needs a will and estate plan. Not only will this ensure your family is taken care of in the event of your passing, but you enjoy peace of mind now.

Estate planning and will for single parents

Set financial goals

What you put out there comes back to you. Your prayers, hopes, gratitude. This is especially true of manifestations put out during tumultuous times when energy is being stirred up and tossed around.

Write down those goals and dreams. Sit with them. Feel how it will feel when they come to fruition. Picture what your life, your family, your heart and body will look like when that comes true.

Single mom success guide

20 single mom scholarships

Aim for a low-conflict, low-cost divorce

Whether you are dissolving a marriage, or ending a relationship with someone with whom you share kids, the less time, money and toxic energy you spend now means more time, money and positivity going forward.

While a divorce lawyer may be necessary in a minority of cases (those involving abuse or where there are many millions of dollars of assets involved), most couples can agree to settle their divorces amongst themselves, and usually file online — saving tens of thousands of dollars in divorce lawyer fees

Learn about the benefits and how-to file for divorce, amicably, without an attorney: Top 10 DIY online divorce apps for 2021

Declutter and sell your stuff for cash!

If you have an engagement ring, gold, silver, diamonds, as well as gold coins and bullion or silverware, unload these items for quick cash at the highest price with CashforGoldUSA — which has a BBB rating of A+ was found by a Fox Business investigation to pay 3X its competitors. CashforGoldUSA pays within 24 hours.

Get a free estimate immediately now with CashforGoldUSA's online calculator >>

Read: Should you sell your engagement ring after divorce?

Read: How to sell your gold jewelry for the most money

Build your career / side gig

If you're building a side gig or crave a career you can do from home, or with a flexible schedule, my #1 favorite resource is FlexJobs online job search, a huge website started by a mom who wanted to help women find careers that make sense for their families and lives. You can also find lots of opportunities on ZipRecruiter:

Increase your income

Of course you want more money. Read my posts on how to ask for a raise and negotiate a salary increase or promotion, as well as career-level at-home jobs, and side gigs — plus how to sell things you already have for cash.

Read: Top high-paying work-from-home, career-level jobs for single moms

Grants and scholarships for single moms

There is an extensive list of granst and scholarships for single moms on our Wealthysinglemommy.com $500 Monthly Grant page. Each month we give out $500 cash to a mom in need, and as of this publication granted more than $25,000. You can apply on that page, or here:

33 financial help resources for single moms

Track your money and set budgets (get real, mama!)

Track your money and set budgets (get real, mama!)

You Need a Budget is 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 >>

Read: How to make a monthly single-mom budget you can stick to

20 scholarships for single moms

Credit score, credit repair, and paying off debt

Check your credit report and get a free FICO credit score with Experian. Also, boost your credit score up to 16 points FREE and IMMEDIATELY with Experian Boost.

Read: How single moms can pay off debt in 14 easy steps

How to buy your first car as a grown-ass woman

How to repair your credit quickly and safely

How to build credit fast

Invest your money

Ellevest is a robo-advisor and financial planning platform designed specifically to support women in building wealth, growing a career and creating an overall financial plan. Learn more in our Ellevest review.

Ellevest's Essential plan costs $1 per month or $12 per year, which includes access to:

  • A personalized investment portfolio that is tailored to your unique financial situation and goals
  • 0% minimum
  • Free online workshops, email courses, on-demand webinars, and video resources to help you learn about finances and career advancement
  • Access to an FDIC-insured Ellevest Save account*
  • 20% discount for one-on-one coaching sessions with financial planners and career coaches

Get started with a free financial plan from Ellevest now >>

Read: How to get started investing for women —step-by-step

Aim for healthy co-parenting

While you may be really, really, (really fucking) angry at your ex now, it is so critical to focus on equally shared parenting whenever possible, and civilized, collaborative co-parenting.

Co-parenting can be overwhelming, or even toxic. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Co-parenting apps can simplify scheduling, keep everyone on track. The right co-parenting app might even make co-parenting communication, schedules, activities and contacts easier and more effective.

OurFamilyWizard co-parenting app review

21 parent control apps for 2021

Date!

Whether you are looking to meet new people after years of dating, or just dipping your toe in the romance waters, online dating has been my own BFF when dating.

9 reasons dating is better as a single mom

eharmony review — does this app really help you find love?

Which online dating sites are best for single moms?

Books for single moms

Check out my #1 bestsellers: The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children (Penguin)

The New York Post called the book a ‘Must Read' and it was featured on The Doctors, Jenny McCarthy Radio, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Oprah.com and more than 150 other media outlets!

— and —

30-Day Kickass Single Mom Money Makeover: Get Your Financial Act Together, Finally and Forever!

I'm proud to say both books are multiple-category #1 Amazon Bestsellers!

More single mom statistics and data

Public assistance helped this professional single mom get on her feet

I often struggle with this platform, where I speak primarily to women like me: Educated, professional single moms. The number of unmarried mothers is increasingly affluent and educated, as women gain power in business and earning. But the reality remains that about half of kids raised primarily by a single mom live in poverty (a figure plummets for kids raised by single dads).

I don't pretend that what I write about here speaks to every single one of the 10 million U.S. single moms, or financial challenges that I face as an educated white woman are the same as someone who grew up with the challenges of generational poverty. However, I often hear from women facing single motherhood and find themselves in financial straights — very real, scary financial straights — despite having had every perceived advantage, a fact that only adds to the shame and fear around their situation.

A couple years ago I had this Facebook instant message conversation with Jennifer L.W. Fink, a single mom to four boys in Wisconsin. She separated five years ago and has been divorced for two. When she separated, Fink worked part-time as a freelance writer and homeschooled her children. She turned to public assistance.

Today Fink makes a living as a full-time freelance writer. She blogs at Building Boys

EJ:  In launching this blog I started researching the economics of single moms, and it actually depressed me for a few days. I don't need to tell you that the numbers are dire. When I realized I would become a single mom, I just kind of put my blinders on to the roadblocks in my way and plunged ahead. So far so good. That is what I aim to preach on Wealthy Single Mommy.

But I also try to appreciate that I am a white, educated middle-class woman who had a career before I had kids and got divorced. No ignoring that.

JLWF:  That's a big point. I'm white and educated and relatively middle class. But I married at 20 and didn't exactly have a career before that. But I still have a leg up that a lot of other single moms don't have in that I have a college degree and had some professional experience.

[Don't cry for me, I'm a black single mom]

But there's the thing: raising kids takes at least as much time as it takes money. I don't think we, as parents, do ourselves any favors by glossing over that fact. Ideally, you have two parents working toward that goal.

Jennifer L.W. Fink

EJ: I agree 100 percent. But that isn't our story now. So what do you suggest?

What kind of assistance does a single mom qualify for?

JLWF: I definitely suggest applying for and accepting as much help as you need. There is nothing wrong or shameful about that.

EJ: We're talking public assistance?

JLWF: Yes. Most of the time, single motherhood is sudden. Even in families with two, educated, professional spouses, one spouse (often the woman) is working less outside the home to facilitate family life. And while many moms— most moms—can and will ramp up their income and earning potential, they can’t always pull that off right away. I would definitely urge these women to look into what's available in terms of health benefits, food stamps or other benefits. You have nothing to lose.

Check out our list of where to get free Christmas and holiday gifts for low-income families.

EJ: Did you accept public aid?

JLWF: Yes, I did, and I’m OK talking about it.

I have a nursing degree, but I transitioned into a writing career while I was having and homeschooling my kids. By the time of my divorce, I hadn't actively practiced nursing in 6 years. I made something like $21,000 writing the year before I divorced — not bad for a part-time job, but it's not nearly enough to support a family of five.

When I separated I ramped up my writing work, but to fill in that gap I applied for every kind of assistance I could get. Health insurance was a particular worry since my ex had carried me on his policy. I qualified for food assistance for six months, health benefits for a year, and help with heating costs that first winter.

[13 high-paying work-at-home careers for moms]

EJ: How did you feel about applying for aid? What went through your mind?

JLWF: I'm from a middle class home. I'm not supposed to be one of “those moms.” I felt angry at a world and a system and circumstances that put my children and me in such a position that makes it easy for one spouse to walk away, while another struggles to figure out how to feed and clothe her kids. But at that time, it truly was survival for me. It was the only way to make the numbers work.

EJ: What would you family's life have looked like had you not gotten that assistance?

JLWF: I'm lucky and blessed to have good friends and family. No one would have let us starve, or land on the streets, but none of my family or friends could have afforded to subsidize us for long. We would definitely considered selling the house. But it would have been tough to find something more reasonable, and apartment living isn't exactly a great option for four active boys.

EJ: Not at all! Do you worry that professional women — or at least middle-class women — struggle unduly because they’re too embarrassed to apply for public benefits?

JLWF: Yes. It’s very hard to whip out your state assistance food card at the grocery store when you’re used to using a credit or debit card.

EJ: You said you were angry. Are you still angry, and if so, what do you do with that energy – and how does that affect your financial life?

How to financially thrive as a single mom

JLWF: I am angry, but I try to channel that anger into writing and building a better life for my kids and myself. My goal is to earn enough to make it without child support, and to build a life in which my kids and I are comfortable. In many cases (my case), child support comes with strings and resentment, even though it is just supposed to be about the children.

So far, I am on my way. Each year as been better financially than the last.

EJ: That’s fantastic.

JLWF: There is also a chance that if I make too much, it will affect my child support.

[17 steps to thriving financially as a single mom]

EJ: Do you think that has held you back professionally and financially – that fear of losing your child support, and how unfair that might seem?

JLWF: It was a huge step for me to get over that, yes. Now my goal is to make enough so that if that were to happen, it wouldn’t eat into our comfort. I also made the conscious decision that nothing can stop me from succeeding – especially not my ex-husband.

EJ: I love that. What you are really saying is, “I will not stop myself from being successful.”

JLWF: Right. It's recognizing and overcoming my own mental hurdles.

EJ: But it is easier, I think, to build a career and wealth and success — no matter how you define success — if you do it from a place of happiness and not from being pissed off — even if we deserve to be pissed!

[How to break the single-mom stereotypes and thrive!]

JLWF: I think you're right. It's just hard to get there sometimes! That’s why I think assistance works best when viewed as a temporary bridge while you work through the professional and personal challenges of divorce.

EJ: And what do you have to say to women in similar situations who refuse to apply for assistance, and instead spend their energy trying to get their ex to fork over more money?

Reasons not to fight for child support

JLWF:  I’d say:

1) You're going to spend more in legal bills than you'd probably get; you're not going to come out ahead.

2) You're feeding the negative energy instead of trying to work through it.

3) See what you can do to improve your financial situation.

EJ: I like #3 because we can't totally control how much the ex gives us, or how much we can get from the state. But we can control ourselves and our finances and our careers.

JLWF: We can't totally control anything!

Are you a for-real single mom? Join Millionaire Single Moms on Facebook!

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.