How to Survive Financially as a Single Mom

Being a single mom is hard. As the only parent to the child, you are responsible for all financial, material and emotional needs. While being the best parent you can be, keeping it all together could certainly be a struggle. How to cope with being a single mom? How to survive financially as a single mom? I am sure these questions pop into your mind time to time when trying to adjust to a life where you are the sole provider.

Well, raising little humans is definitely a challenge regardless being a solo parent or not, right? Add money troubles to this equation and you have a condition much worse.

My dad was a single parent.

After our Mom left, it fell on his shoulders to raise us and provide for. Although I never knew then his struggles to take care of us single-handedly, I knew it was not the best situation. He had to be present in our lives to compensate for the absence of our Mom, at the same time he had to work hard so there is enough money to support our small family. Not to mention, the emotional abandonment my brother and I felt in the wake of our estranged Mom had to be dealt with too. And guess who had to carry the heavy lifting? Right! My Dad. Those were really tough times…

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As someone who was raised by a single parent, it is natural that I have a lot to say on the topic. But it would take pages and pages to write it all down. So today, I want to focus on the financial side of single parenting. How to survive financially as a single mom when the going gets tough? Money plays a big part in these type of situations. Having just enough to live comfortably or scrambling to make both ends meet-both can decide the fate of those involved, favorably or not.

How to Survive Financially as a Single Mom

How to Survive financially as a single mom

What does it really mean financially when you are the sole provider to your little ones?

When you find yourself parenting a child alone, every dollar seems to take on a new importance. Finding new and unique ways to save money becomes a way of life and new ideas are at a premium. You can never have too many savings ideas.

Read below 5 practical tips on how to survive financially as a single Mom

That said, here are some easy ways to save money as a single mom…some that are unusual and some that are standard fare in the world of saving money.

1. Plan Out Your Meals

Planning your meals is a fairly common way of saving cash because it allows for you to take advantage of several things at once. This is ideal all times, regardless you are a single parent or not. By planning ahead, you can budget and limit your spending. You also can maximize your usage by planning out leftovers and such. The biggest benefits, however, is in the way you can save money through coupons. If you know what you are eating for the next month, clipping coupons become much easier. You can also plan out the sales and shop all at one time.

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2. Purchase Full-sized Snacks and Break Them Down

When you buy individually wrapped items you are almost always paying extra. The weight of the extra packaging alone eats into your dollar per food costs. Instead, buy the items in bulk that you use often and package them yourself for your kids. Some small plastic bags can do wonders and save you money. This is a neat way to put some extra dollars back in your pocket without shaving off too much out of your groceries.


RELATED: Lunch Box Food Safety Tips for Kids

3. Embrace the Thrift Stores

Buying from a thrift store can save you a ton of cash over the period of a year. From kid’s clothes to your own, costs will dramatically begin to shrink. Housewares can often be found cheaply as well. Getting over the thrift store stigma is not easy for some, but you will save copious amounts of cash doing so. These days, you can buy good quality stuff from local dollar stores which is great!

4. Review Your Activity Schedules

If your kids have an active social schedule, reviewing it can save you tons of cash as well. By all means, allow them to have hobbies. Try to find solutions that will allow you to combine schedules. If you can carpool, by all means, do so. Try to organize and combine these hobbies so that you can do them in one trip instead of several.


RELATED: 5 Best Apps for Family Organizing Schedules

how to survive financially as a single mom

5. Create a Trusted Sharing Network

One of my most powerful and easy way to save money as a single mom is to create a trusted sharing network. This means getting a core group of trusted friends and families together and sharing resources. This can be handy for rides, clothes, baby equipment, toys and even food in emergency situations. This group can be a source of support that goes in many directions.


RELATED: Single Moms Financial Resources in Ontario Canada


Being a single mom is hard. It takes a toll on you emotionally. Dealing with it is personal. You need to work it out yourself. It might take may be months or years. But you will eventually find your happy place, there is nothing time can’t heal right?

But that is not the case with financial hardships. It can be mitigated.  By adopting some tricks and with the help of resources available these days, you will be able to land on stable grounds. If you are asking the questions like how to cope with being a single mom or how to survive financially as a single mom, I hope this post gives you at least a starting point.

Single parents need to think outside the box in most cases. When it comes to finances, these ideas are a great way to begin your journey to a better tomorrow.


RELATED: Housing Resources for Single Moms


Do you have any tips that worked financially if you are a single mom? Please feel free to share with us so everyone could benefit! 



  1. I can imagine the struggles of raising kids as a single parent. Sometimes the financial support from the other parent is just not there. I think single parents spend more time interacting with the kids showing them you don’t need to be rich to have fun.

  2. Great list! I’d also add learn to say No to your kids! Kids want a lot of stuff that they don’t need . Of course “everyone” has those things! Learn to say no to non-essentials, and focus on filling your home with love and laughter! That’s what they’ll remember.

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