Thanks to the great people at Money Magazine who featured me in this fantastic video, which gives the quick-and dirty money mindset tricks for single mom financial success:
Successful single moms are grateful.
It is easy to compare yourself to who you were when you were married, all the ‘perfect’ nuclear families populating your Facebook and Instagram feeds (fun fact: most people live in debt, half those families will divorce, and a whole lot of them are not as happy as their Disney-going, recently-remodeled kitchen, Invisaligned smiles suggest). Instead, focus on the realities of your own life, which include a WHOLE lot of abundance: that you live in a time and place of untold opportunities and rights for women, that you have many successful single mom peers in the world, that you have access to technology which empowers you with information on how to do anything at all — including making a ton of money.
Let go of assumptions about what is possible as a single mom
Your family, media, friends and colleagues likely give you messages — subtle and not-so-much — about your urge to get married “while you’re still young and cute,” settle for a low-paying, but steady job, and how statistically, your kids are destined for juvie and a life of otherwise underperformance. Ignore those people, and contend with those messages in your own mind (I’ve had them, trust me! Worries about living out of a car that I didn’t even own, visions of constantly struggling). Instead, surround yourself with successful, positive people. Identify successful single moms in your own life, or in the world. Cocoon in messages of what is possible. You absorb it by osmosis.
Do not make decisions ‘as a single mom’
Single moms are statistically poorer and more stressed out with kids who don’t do so great when compared with other families. That is not a sentence for your life. You can do whatever you want, but you have to do it through the lens of a person, a professional, a woman. Offered a promotion of your dreams, but consider not taking it because the travel will permanently damage your kids? Has any many ever in the history of mankind ever had that thought?! Take the freaking promotion, hire a wonderful babysitter to help you out, get a housecleaner for crying out loud, and show your kids — and the world! — how shit is done. Living your greatest potential is the best gift any mother can give her children, and the world.
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.