Being a single mother is tough. You will likely have less emotional and financial support than you would if you had a partner.
As a result, you may begin to worry about how you will survive financially as a single mum.
As a single mum, you may be primarily responsible for the welfare of your child. Depending on their age, this may mean that they are unable to work.
Though this will mean that you get to spend quality time with your little one, it can leave you financially weak. Research has found that 300,000 single mothers in Australia are living below the poverty line.
The good news is that you aren’t destined to experience financial turmoil just because you’re a single mother.
If you’re a struggling single parent, here are some terrific tips that will make your financial situation less stressful!
How To Survive Financially As A Single Mum
1. Split Your Finances From Your Former Partner
When you were dating an ex-partner, you may have set up a joint account so that you could both access finances.
However, if you’ve split up from your partner, you may need to close this joint account. This is particularly true if you are not sharing joint responsibility for the financing of child care.
To achieve financial freedom, you should move your money to a separate account.
You can continue to use this joint account with the other parent of your child if they are willing to contribute towards child care.
2. Child Care Subsidy
In Australia, single mothers can apply for the Child Care Subsidy, which is a great help to survive financially as a single mum.
The Australian Government created this financial support scheme to aid families that are experiencing financial difficulty, including single parents.
Just bear in mind that there are certain stipulations that you must meet before you can get this subsidy.
For instance, you will have to be responsible for paying for child care, which must be provided through an approved service.
Moreover, the child must be under the age of 13 and they must not be attending secondary school.
Not to mention, your entitlement will depend on a range of different factors, including your income. Other important factors include the number of children that you have and their ages.
If you are interested in applying for the Australian Government’s Child Care Subsidy (CCS), be sure to visit the website.
To apply for this subsidy, you will need to fill in a simple form.
3. Adjust Your Mindset
There is a certain social stigma surrounding single mothers that can be quite harmful.
Many people assume that single mums are destined to a life of financial destitution. If you’re a single mother, this can be an unhealthy mindset.
You shouldn’t fear your financial situation. Instead, you should search for opportunities to improve it. Take control of your situation and improve your financially literacy with the help of some financial books or finance podcasts.
This is a much more proactive way of seeing yourself as a single mother and a key step to survive as a single mum.
4. Get Insurance
Insurance is an effective method that allows you to protect your family. Insurance lets you prepare for worst-case scenarios.
If these scenarios occur, you can be left in a financially difficult spot if you don’t have insurance.
In particular, single parents should consider applying for health and life insurance.
Many single mothers assume that insurance will be too costly, but you can easily find a plan that works for you!
5. Boost Your Income
Improving your income is easier said than done. Yet, the most simplistic method of improving your finances as a single mother is to increase your earnings.
Here are some of the ways to earn more money so that they can survive financially as a single mum:
- Consider getting a second job: of course, this will make it difficult for you to find time to raise your children and so may not be appropriate for all mothers.
- Increase your hours: likewise, this might not work for every mother due to time constraints. But if you’re working part-time, it may be worth working extra hours. In particular, you can work extra shifts while your children are in school.
- Request a salary increase: it can be intimidating to ask your boss for a salary increase, but it can be worth it! This method will work particularly well for employees who have been on the job for a long time and have a good performance history.
- Try a side hustle: single mums can make additional cash through side hustles. For instance, if you have a passion for crafting, you can sell your goods through online platforms, such as Etsy.
- Sell second-hand items: though sites like Facebook Marketplace and eBay, you can make extra cash by selling second-hand items that you no longer use.
- Look for a different job: if your current job isn’t paying enough, it may be worth looking for an alternative job with higher pay.
6. Parenting Payments
Our final tip is to look into Parenting Payments. This is another scheme devised by the Australian Government that is designed to help families pay for child care.
This scheme is only suitable for parents with children under a certain age. For couples, the child must be under the age of 6.
However, for single parents, the child must be under 8 years old for you to receive this aid.
Provided that you meet the criteria, such as being under a certain income limit, single mums can receive significant Parenting Payments from the government.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Single Mums Struggle With Most?
Aside from financial difficulty, depression and loneliness can be common among single mums. Ensuring that you have emotional support from friends and family helps you to overcome this.
Do Single Mums Struggle Financially?
Yes, research has found that a significant number of single mums struggle with finances.
If you’re a single mother who is struggling with finances, you should take solace in that you are not alone. Many other single mums are finding it difficult to care for their children whilst also earning a decent income.
We hope this guide has provided some ideas on how to survive financially as a single mum. As we highlight, there are lots of different options for improving your financial situation. As a result, you can focus on being the best mum that you can be!