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 familes, regardless of how their families are structured.
- Today, most single mothers were never married, or 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?!).
This page is your go-to guide for all the resources, tools and support you need to blow this shit UP!
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
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:
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.
Ellevest has a really cool and free goal-setter on their beautiful website, founded by Wall Street legend Sally Krawcheck. This free financial planning tool will outline what it takes to reach your financial goals, whether that is to buy a house, start a business, remodel your kitchen, send your kid to college or camp, retire, have a baby or take that vacation, already! Use Ellevest's free financial planner tool now, and get $50 FREE for new users >>
Take care of your mental health
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.
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, and prices starting at $40/week, unlimited, with 7-days free FREE online therapy!
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, you 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 $3 per month, and smaller policies for 2 or 5 years, 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 quote from Bestow online now in a few minutes:
Declutter and sell your stuff!
If it is an engagement ring, wedding ring or other estate, inherited or fine jewelry like a watch, necklace, bracelet, earrings or brooch, go to Worthy.com to sell your jewelry. Worthy is an A+ Better Business Bureau rated online auction, that insures all your jewelry for up to $100,000, tracks your item by Fedex, and provides each seller a FREE GIA lab report. Sell your jewelry with Worthy now >>
If you have gold, silver, smaller diamonds, as well as gold coins and bullion worth less than $1,000 unload these items for quick cash at the highest price with CashforGoldUSA — which was found by a Fox Business investigation to pay 3X its competitors. Get a free estimate immediately now with CashforGoldUSA's online calculator >>
Track your money and set budgets (get real, mama!)
Tiller is another awesome app to track and budget for everyday and monthly expenses — for a low monthly fee.
Credit score, credit repair, and paying off debt
The Credit People offers an excellent program to clean up your credit score, remove errors and late payments, and get your credit score up ± for fees starting at $39.
Savings & checking accounts
Also, check out CIT Bank's online Savings Builder account, with market high rates of 1.8% APR.
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.
Invest your money
Ellevest is one of the leading robo-advisors, which use machine learning to offer superior investing tools, for very low fees. Ellevest is unique in that it focuses specifically on female investors — and the unique investing, saving and career challenges that come with being a woman.
House and home resources
Use New York Times's excellent tool to see if you should rent or buy a home: Rent or Buy Calculator
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.
OurFamilyWizard is one of the oldest, and most widely used co-parenting portals, mandated by judges in all 50 states and chosen by tens of thousands of divorced and separated families.
Our Family Wizard has a dynamic calendar, tools for sharing expenses, keeping track of school and medical information, and offers military discount, FREE 30-day trial, and fee waiver for low-income families. Plus you can add your lawyer, kids, grandparents, step-parents and others for no cost. Check out OurFamilyWizard now >>
Learn more: Best co-parenting apps of 2020
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. Affordable, easy, casts a wide net, and fun. EliteSingles is geared towards serious relationships, with 80% of users aged 30+ and 90% with college degrees. Try Elite Singles for online dating>>
More single-mom resources
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 —
I'm proud to say both books are multiple-category #1 Amazon Bestsellers!
Resources for low-income single moms
If you are struggling to make ends meet, take comfort in the fact that many, many single moms have been there — including highly educated women who previously enjoyed high incomes.
Here are some resources to help you get on your feet:
HUD housing for low-income single moms
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) works with landlords to offer affordable rent to low-income families, including single moms, the disabled and senior citizens.
Learn how to qualify for HUD housing, and search for a HUD apartment on the program's website.
HUD also has various state-sponsored housing programs throughout the country. Learn about these state housing programs for low-income moms.
HUD public housing for low-income families is another option. Contact your state's Public Housing Agency directly to learn more.
Section 8 vouchers for single mothers
HUD Section 8 vouchers are coupons given directly to low-income renters who use them to pay part of their rent to participating landlords. Apply for Section 8, and find participating property owners.
Buy a home as a single mom
Even if your income is low, you may qualify for special home buying programs for single moms, and those with limited income. The blog Single Moms Income has a great resource page about home-buying programs for single moms.
Get a free car, or help buying a car as a single mom
Free Charity Cars gives away donated cars throughout the United States to those in need, including:
- Domestic violence victims
- The medically needy
- Victims of natural disasters
- Families transitioning from public assistance to work
- Families living in transitional living shelters
- The working poor
- Non-profit organizations
- Military families
Working Cars for Working Families helps those in need find a donated car.
Find a food pantry near you using Food Finder, which will connect you with free food given away through local churches, community programs, charities in all 50 states.
The Women Infants and Children program for families with children aged 5 and younger offers food coupons you can use at grocery stores, markets and bodegas, for qualifying food. Learn whether you are eligible for WIC, and how to apply.
TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is the new name for cash assistance once called ‘welfare.' Today the program requires participants to work part-time or prove that you're looking for work. Learn more about TANF.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program loads financial credit to low-income people on a debit card, that you use at your local grocery store and market. Learn how to qualify, and apply online for SNAP.
Free cell phone
Lifeline Assistance is a government program partners with major wireless companies to provide qualifying families with free phones and cell service.
Safelink Wireless is a free government cell phone carrier serving 4 million customers in 31 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Safelink provides a free mobile phone and up to 350 free local and domestic long-distance minutes monthly, and unlimited text messages every month if you qualify.
Assurance Wireless provides a free phone and up to 500 monthly minutes and unlimited texting in the United States to qualifying members.
Medical insurance for low-income single moms
Medicaid is a joint federal and state medical insurance program for low-income families. Find out if you qualify for Medicaid, and learn about your state's benefits.
Help paying for child care for single moms
Public assistance day care programs
Each state's Health and Human Services can help you find grants for low-cost or free daycare, based on your need, income and program availability in your area. Learn about your options at the Office of Childcare Website.
Head Start day care
Head Start and Early Head Start is an established federal program that has proven successful in providing educational readiness for low-income children under age 5 from low-income families. The program's goals are to help all children get ready for school, as well as provide affordable child care to their parents.
State child care assistance subsidies for single moms
Each state has child care assistance programs that can help you find quality day care centers, and pay for them. Find programs in your state and town with the Office of Child Care's website.
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 women 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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