A couple of months ago I learned that I am going to be a first time mom. I am 30 years old, single, and only work part time. The father may be involved, but I want to prepare for him not to be just in case. Financially I am scared to death, but I am learning that there are a lot of things that expecting single mothers can do financially to prepare. There are a lot of single mothers today, and even though it may be hard we can make it.
The first thing I suggest doing is making a tight budget for yourself and begin cutting costs in every financial area that you can. Look at your spending as if the baby has already been born. Babies cost a lot of money, and every penny will count when he or she gets here.
Apply for financial assistance through the government. Most single women that are having financial difficulties when they are pregnant can apply for things like Medicaid, WIC, Food stamps, and a few other programs. These programs are great to help you get a head start financially.
Look for all of the free samples and coupons that you can find online. I have gotten things from Enfamil, Similac, pampers, gerber, and a few other sites. I went to most of the manufacturers web sites and signed up. You can also go to sites like Wal Mart and do a search for samples; they have different samples pretty regularly.
Avoid paying your bills late. I know we all can get behind at times, but it costs us a lot more money. My late charges are usually around $7 a month on 3 different bills, some are more and others are less. If we use the $7 as an example that makes $21 a month and more than $250 a year just on late charges for three bills. This is money that is just wasted that could be used for formula, diapers, or other things that an expecting mother may need.
Begin a savings account for you and your baby. This account can be for things you will need when you are on maternity leave, or for months to come. I still have 6 more months to go on my pregnancy, but I have already set up an account for this purpose. During the next few months people will give you money or gifts that you may not need. Return those gifts and deposit the money into the savings account. Even if you personally put $5 a week into the savings, it will be a great deal of help to you after the baby is born.
Move in with family or find a roommate for a short period of time. This may not be something that you are comfortable with at the moment, but it is a very big financial help. I am currently staying with my mom and sister, and they are a great help. I am actually blessed to have them, and am very grateful for the help. If you have family that is supportive, ask for help. The only thing I would advise is to make all living agreements before making the final decisions on moving in with someone or allowing them to move in with you.
Learn everything you can about cutting costs shopping. I have learned to look at sales paper, clip coupons, plan out shopping trips, and take advantage of all discounts in the stores that I can. If you can learn a lot of the money saving techniques before the baby is born, you will be able to make use of all of them without the stress when it arrives.
Find ways to increase your income before the baby is born. The main thing that I do is write online articles like this one, and I do fairly well with it. I also have personal blogs, and do a lot of survey sights. All of these things can bring me an additional $200-$300 a month when I work part time at it. If I would work more I would make more. You can also sell things online or do affiliate marketing. You may even want to consider getting a second part time job for a few months until you are closer to your due date.
Make a financial plan to prepare for your new baby. I have came up with a personal plan to have reduced my debt, increased my credit score, and increased my income by the time the baby is born. I am also working on a rough estimate on the amount of money I will be spending every month on baby supplies. This will give me a chance to have a couple of months save so I can enjoy my maternity leave. This financial plan should include you and your child.
I have never thought I would be a single mother, and I am sure no one else did either. Just because we are single does not mean we can not survive. Take advantage of all of the resources, talk to other single mothers, and learn as much as you can. Make plans for the things that you want to accomplish, and stick to them. I know it is going to be a tough road, but a lot of women do it all the time as do a lot of men. Stay strong and continue to strive forward, you will do great.