Single motherhood






Hi, I'm a Kenyan-born, Colorado-based single mom to twins Hodari and Milambu. I turned the challenges of single motherhood into a thriving YouTube community and blog. Here, I offer support and practical advice on parenting, lifestyle, and more. Let's navigate life's complexities together!


more about me

single motherhood





Living on one income as a single mom might sound daunting at first glance, but it’s far from impossible. It’s about making smart choices, understanding where your money goes, and finding creative ways to stretch that dollar.

This journey isn’t just about scraping by; it’s about setting a solid financial foundation, making every cent count, and still enjoying the precious moments with your children.

From mastering the art of budgeting to uncovering the potential for additional income through side hustles, the path to financial stability is paved with opportunities for growth and learning.

It’s not about denying yourself and your kids the joys of life but about finding balance and making informed decisions that align with your long-term goals. With the right strategies and a bit of creativity, thriving on one income becomes an achievable reality, not just a lofty goal.

Single Moms’ Secrets to Living On One Income

1. Embrace a Mindset Shift

The journey to thriving on one income as a single mom begins deep within, with a profound shift in mindset. This is about embracing the power of positivity and resilience.

It means viewing your financial situation not as a limitation but as an abundant field of opportunities waiting to be harvested. Such a perspective shift allows you to prioritize, make informed and smart decisions, and focus on what truly matters in life.

Your relationship with money—how you perceive it, manage it, and allocate it—plays a pivotal role in shaping your life’s outcomes.

Cultivating a positive and proactive attitude towards finances can transform obstacles into stepping stones towards financial freedom and well-being.

To embrace this new mindset, consider the following actionable steps:

  1. Focus on Gratitude: Start each day by listing three things you’re grateful for. This practice can shift your focus from scarcity to abundance, highlighting the positives in your life.
  2. Set Clear Financial Goals: Having specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) financial goals can motivate you to make smart financial decisions. Visualize your goals and remind yourself of them regularly.
  3. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Educate yourself about personal finance, budgeting, saving, and investing. This will empower you to make informed decisions and feel more in control of your financial situation.
  4. Celebrate Small Wins: Every step towards your financial goals, no matter how small, is a victory. Celebrate these moments to keep yourself motivated and focused on your journey.
  5. Seek Inspiration: Look for stories of other single moms who have successfully navigated financial challenges. Learning from others can provide valuable insights and inspiration.
  6. Practice Mindfulness: Financial stress can be overwhelming. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help manage stress and maintain a positive outlook.
  7. Embrace Flexibility: Life is unpredictable. Being open to adjust your plans and goals as needed can help you navigate financial surprises more smoothly.
  8. Surround Yourself with Support: Build a network of friends, family, and professionals who support your financial goals and positive mindset. A strong support system can provide encouragement and advice when you need it most.
  9. Focus on What You Can Control: Concentrate your energy on actions you can take, rather than worrying about things outside your control. This can include budgeting, reducing expenses, or finding ways to increase your income.
  10. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly reflect on your financial journey. Celebrate your progress and consider what adjustments might be needed to continue moving towards your goals.

By embracing a mindset of positivity, resilience, and proactive financial management, you can transform the challenge of living on one income into an opportunity for growth and fulfillment. Remember, your mindset is the foundation upon which your financial success is built.

2. Master Your Finances: The Art of Budgeting

Budgeting is not just about restraining your spending—it’s about taking charge of your financial destiny. By mastering the art of budgeting, you empower yourself to make informed decisions that align with your long-term goals.

Here’s how to refine your approach to budgeting and provide more insightful guidance to our readers:

A. Unveil Your Spending Patterns

The journey to financial empowerment starts with a deep dive into your spending habits. Commit to recording every transaction for at least one month—no purchase is too small to note.

This process isn’t just about tracking; it’s about uncovering the truth of where your money is going. You might discover habitual spending on things that don’t bring you joy or notice subscriptions you forgot you had.

This revelation is the first step toward financial clarity and control.

Tips for Effective Tracking:

  • Use a Daily Spending Journal: Keep a small notebook or use a smartphone app to jot down expenses as they happen.
  • Review Bank Statements: Regularly look over your bank and credit card statements for a comprehensive view of your spending.

B. Craft a Tailored Budget

With a clear understanding of your spending habits in hand, you’re ready to create a budget that reflects your unique financial situation and goals. This personalized financial blueprint should balance essential expenses, personal desires, and savings.

While the 50/30/20 rule offers a solid framework, adjust the percentages to fit your reality. Maybe your necessities take up 60% of your income, or perhaps you’re in a position to save more than 20%.

The key is flexibility and realism, ensuring your budget is both aspirational and achievable.

Strategies for a Realistic Budget:

  • Prioritize Your Goals: Identify what’s most important to you and your family, whether that’s saving for education, paying off debt, or planning a vacation.
  • Adjust Categories as Needed: Tailor the categories in your budget to reflect your actual life, not an idealized version. If you have specific hobbies or interests, make room for them within the “wants” category.

C. Leverage Budgeting Tools for Success

In the digital age, an array of tools and resources are available to help you stay on course with your budget.

Whether you prefer a simple spreadsheet or a sophisticated app that links to your bank accounts, the right tool can make the difference between a budget that works and one that’s forgotten.

These tools offer insights into your spending patterns, send alerts when you’re nearing budget limits, and provide a real-time overview of your financial health.

Choosing the Right Budgeting Tools:

  • Explore App Features: Look for apps that offer customization, easy input methods, and secure links to your financial accounts.
  • Regular Reviews: Set aside time each week or month to review your budget, using your chosen tool to identify areas for adjustment.

By elevating your budgeting practice through meticulous tracking, personalized budget creation, and the strategic use of technology, you position yourself not just to meet your financial goals, but to exceed them.

Remember, a budget is more than numbers on a page—it’s a reflection of your values, a roadmap to your dreams, and a tool for achieving the life you envision for yourself and your family.

RELATED: Single Mom: Break Free from the Weight of Guilt and Regret

3. Cut Costs Without Cutting Out Joy

Living on a single income requires creativity and intentionality, especially when it comes to managing expenses without sacrificing happiness. Here’s how you can cut costs while still savoring the joys of life.

A. Embrace Minimalism and Mindfulness

Downsize and Declutter: Simplifying your living situation or choosing a more economical vehicle can drastically reduce monthly outflows.

The process of decluttering—selling or donating items you no longer use—not only clears your space but can also provide a financial boost. This journey towards minimalism isn’t just about saving money; it’s about focusing on what’s truly important and creating a more intentional, fulfilling life.

Actionable Tip: Host a garage sale or list items online to sell. Use the proceeds to pay down debt or boost your emergency fund.

B. Smart Grocery Shopping: A Recipe for Savings

Plan, Purchase, Prepare: Mastering the art of smart grocery shopping involves meal planning, buying in bulk, utilizing coupons, and choosing store brands over name brands.

These strategies can significantly slash your grocery bills. Additionally, cooking at home transforms mealtime into an opportunity for bonding and imparting valuable culinary skills to your children.

Actionable Tip: Involve your children in meal planning and preparation. It’s a fun way to teach them about budgeting, nutrition, and the value of homemade meals.

RELATED: 28 of the Best Meal Planning Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

C. Creative Discretionary Spending

Redefine Entertainment: Take a close look at your discretionary spending to pinpoint where you can economize. Perhaps it’s dining out less often, reevaluating subscription services, or opting for more cost-effective leisure activities.

The key is to find joy and enrichment in experiences that don’t come with a hefty price tag.

Actionable Tip: Create a “fun fund” where you set aside a small amount each month specifically for entertainment. Let your children help decide how to spend it, making it a family decision.

D. Cultivate Cost-Free Connections

Engaging in free or low-cost activities not only supports your financial goals but also enriches your family’s life.

Nature hikes, library visits, community events, and DIY crafts at home are just a few examples of how you can create memorable experiences without spending a lot.

Actionable Tip: Each month, choose one new cost-free activity to explore with your family. It’s a great way to discover shared interests and enjoy quality time together.

By adopting these strategies, you’re not just saving money; you’re also building a lifestyle that values connection, creativity, and simplicity.

This approach to financial management proves that you can live abundantly on one income, finding joy in the things that matter most.

RELATED: Single Parenting with Grace: How to Cultivate a Positive Mindset for Yourself and Your Children

4. Save for the Future

Securing your family’s financial future is a critical aspect of thriving on a single income. Here are refined strategies to help you build a robust financial safety net, ensuring that you and your children are prepared for whatever lies ahead.

A. Establish a Robust Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is not just a financial safety net; it’s the bedrock of your financial peace of mind. Aim to save an amount equivalent to three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

This fund will serve as a crucial buffer against life’s unexpected turns, such as sudden job loss, medical emergencies, or urgent home repairs, ensuring that you’re prepared for any situation without having to rely on credit.

How to Build It Efficiently:

  • Start Small: Begin by setting aside a small, manageable amount from each paycheck. Even $50 or $100 can add up over time.
  • Automate Your Savings: Use your bank’s automatic transfer features to move money into your emergency fund without having to think about it.
  • Use Windfalls Wisely: Tax refunds, bonuses, or any unexpected cash should be partially funneled into your emergency fund.

B. Prioritize Retirement Savings

Your future self will thank you for starting to save for retirement now. If your employer offers a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), make sure to contribute, especially if they match your contributions. Alternatively, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a fantastic option.

Consistency is key here; even modest contributions can grow exponentially over time due to compound interest.

Maximizing Your Retirement Savings:

  • Take Advantage of Employer Match: Always contribute enough to get the full employer match; it’s essentially free money.
  • Increase Contributions Gradually: Each time you receive a raise or pay off a debt, consider increasing your retirement savings by a small percentage.

C. Invest in Your Children’s Education

A 529 plan or another education savings account offers a smart way to invest in your children’s future.

These plans not only come with tax advantages but also allow your contributions to grow over time, reducing the burden of future education costs.

Strategies for Growing Education Savings:

  • Start Early: The sooner you begin saving, the more time your money has to grow. Even small contributions can make a big difference over time.
  • Make It a Family Affair: Encourage family members to contribute to your child’s education fund in lieu of gifts for birthdays and holidays.
  • Automate Contributions: Like your emergency fund, automate contributions to your education savings account to ensure consistent growth.

5. Earn More: Explore Side Hustles and Career Growth

In the quest to thrive on a single income, equally balancing the scales between income and expenses is crucial.

While tightening your budget is one part of the equation, proactively seeking ways to increase your income is the other, often more empowering, side.

Here’s how you can unlock more financial flexibility and security through side hustles and career growth.

A. Advance Through Education and Professional Development

Investing in yourself by pursuing higher education or attaining professional certifications is a powerful strategy for long-term financial growth.

These qualifications can significantly enhance your attractiveness to current and prospective employers, leading to opportunities for higher pay and career advancement.

Consider online courses, night classes, or industry-specific certifications that align with your career goals and personal schedule.

B. Embrace the Flexibility of Remote Work

The shift towards remote work has opened a treasure trove of opportunities for single moms seeking both flexibility and financial stability.

Remote positions can significantly reduce or eliminate commuting costs and the need for a professional wardrobe, not to mention the priceless benefit of having more control over your work-life balance.

Actively seek out remote opportunities in your field, or explore new career paths that lend themselves to telecommuting.

C. Cultivate a Side Hustle Tailored to Your Passion

Turning your talents and passions into a side business is not just a way to earn extra income; it’s an opportunity to engage with something you love. Whether it’s freelance writing, graphic design, crafting, or offering virtual assistance services, the key is to identify a niche that aligns with your skills and market demand. Utilize platforms like Etsy, Upwork, or Fiverr to showcase your services or products to a broader audience.

D. Innovate with Childcare Solutions

Childcare is a significant expense for single moms. By forming a childcare co-op with friends, family, or neighbors, you can mutually benefit from shared childcare responsibilities.

This system not only provides your children with regular playmates and socialization opportunities but also frees up time for you to focus on work or side projects without the added cost of traditional childcare services.

Practical Steps to Implement These Strategies

  1. Conduct a Skills Inventory: Take stock of your skills and interests to identify potential areas for education, career advancement, or side hustles.
  2. Research and Plan: For education and certifications, research programs that offer the best ROI in terms of cost, time, and potential income increase. For side hustles, create a simple business plan to outline your idea, target market, and financial projections.
  3. Network: Connect with others in your desired field or industry for insights, mentorship, and opportunities. Networking can open doors to remote work positions and collaborative side hustle ventures.
  4. Utilize Free Resources: Many online platforms offer free courses to improve your skills or teach you new ones, which can be particularly useful for starting a side hustle.
  5. Start Small: Begin with manageable commitments that won’t overwhelm your schedule or finances. As your side hustle grows or you advance in your career, gradually increase your investment of time and resources.
  6. Review and Adjust Regularly: Keep track of your progress and be prepared to adjust your strategies as necessary. What works well can be expanded, and what doesn’t can be phased out or reevaluated.

By embracing these strategies, you’re not just working towards earning more; you’re building a more secure and fulfilling future for yourself and your family. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take that step today towards a brighter, more financially secure tomorrow.

6. Invest in Yourself

Investing in yourself is a transformative strategy that goes beyond financial benefits. It’s about nurturing your well-being, expanding your knowledge, and connecting with others. Here’s how you can invest in yourself more profoundly:

A. Self-Care: The Foundation of Your Strength

  • Make Time for You: Schedule regular “me time” to unwind and recharge. This could be a quiet hour with a book, a relaxing bath, or a walk in nature. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential.
  • Healthy Living: Prioritize your physical health through balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. A healthy body fosters a healthy mind, equipping you to manage financial pressures with more resilience.
  • Emotional Wellness: Seek healthy outlets for stress and emotions. Journaling, meditation, or speaking with a therapist can provide valuable tools for coping and thriving.

RELATED: How to Design a Self-Care Routine That Fits Your Busy Mom Life

B. Continual Learning: Expanding Your Horizons

  • Skill Enhancement: Identify skills that can elevate your career or open up new job opportunities. Online courses, workshops, and books can be accessible resources for growth.
  • Creative Pursuits: Learning isn’t limited to job-related skills. Explore creative outlets or hobbies that bring you joy and satisfaction, enriching your personal life and enhancing your overall happiness.
  • Stay Curious: Foster a mindset of curiosity and openness. Lifelong learning keeps you engaged and adaptable, qualities that are invaluable in navigating the uncertainties of single-income living.

C. Networking: Cultivating Connections

  • Community Engagement: Join local or online communities related to your interests or career. These can be excellent sources of support, advice, and friendship.
  • Professional Networks: Attend industry conferences, workshops, or networking events to connect with peers and potential mentors. These relationships can offer career guidance, job leads, and insights into new opportunities.
  • Give Back: Networking isn’t just about receiving; it’s also about giving. Offer your knowledge, time, or resources to others in your network. This generosity often comes full circle, enhancing your sense of community and belonging.

Making It Practical: Steps to Take Today

  1. Schedule Regular Self-Care: Block out time in your calendar for self-care activities, making them non-negotiable appointments with yourself.
  2. Set Learning Goals: Choose one skill to develop or area to learn about each quarter. Break this down into small, manageable steps.
  3. Create a Networking Plan: Identify networking opportunities in the next six months and commit to attending. Set simple goals for each event, like meeting three new people or learning about a new industry trend.

7. Government Assistance and Community Resources

Living on a single income as a single mom doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. There’s a wealth of government assistance programs and community resources designed specifically to support families like yours.

By understanding and accessing these resources, you can significantly ease your financial burden, ensuring you and your children have access to the essentials for a healthy, happy life.

A. Explore Government Assistance Programs

The first step is to familiarize yourself with the range of government programs available to single mothers and their families. These programs are designed to provide a safety net for those who need it most, offering support in areas such as food, healthcare, and housing.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP offers nutritional assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families. This program can help you afford healthy food for your family.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities. It ensures you and your children have access to necessary healthcare services.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF provides temporary financial assistance to help pay for essentials such as food, housing, and childcare. It’s designed to help families achieve independence after experiencing temporary difficulties.
  • Child Care Assistance Programs: Many states offer programs to help low-income families afford childcare, enabling parents to work or pursue education.

To apply for these programs, visit the official websites or contact your local social services office. Application processes can vary by state, so it’s important to gather all the necessary information and documentation before applying.

B. Leverage Community Resources

Beyond government programs, many community resources are available to provide additional support. These resources often include food banks, free or low-cost healthcare clinics, counseling services, and educational programs. They can offer both immediate relief and long-term support to help you build a more stable and prosperous future for your family.

  • Food Banks and Pantries: Many communities have food banks and pantries that provide free groceries to families in need. These can be invaluable for stretching your budget further.
  • Free or Low-Cost Healthcare Services: Look for community health clinics that offer free or low-cost medical, dental, and mental health services.
  • Counseling and Support Groups: Mental health is as important as physical health. Many organizations offer free or affordable counseling services and support groups to help you navigate the challenges of single parenthood.
  • Educational and Job Training Programs: Community colleges and local organizations often provide free or low-cost educational and job training programs to help you gain new skills and improve your employment prospects.

To find these resources, reach out to local community centers, churches, schools, and non-profits. They can often direct you to the assistance you need or provide it directly.

C. Embracing Support for a Brighter Future

By taking advantage of government assistance and community resources, you’re not just surviving on one income; you’re setting the foundation for a brighter, more secure future for you and your children. These programs and resources are there to help you through tough times, providing the support you need to focus on your family’s well-being and your personal and professional growth.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength and a step toward independence and stability. With the right support, you can navigate the challenges of living on one income with confidence and grace, ensuring a prosperous future for yourself and your children.

Wrapping Up…

Embracing life on one income as a single mom is more than a lesson in finance; it’s a testament to strength, resilience, and the power of smart planning.

By focusing on practical budgeting, mindful spending, and exploring avenues for additional income, you’re not just surviving—you’re setting the stage for a thriving future for both you and your children.

Remember, success in this journey comes from celebrating the wins, learning from the challenges, and always moving forward with optimism and determination. With these strategies in hand, you’re not just making ends meet; you’re weaving a richer tapestry for your family’s life, filled with possibilities and promise.

How To Effectively Live On One Income As A Single Mom

single mom income

Mar 14, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!

30 Day Self-Care Challenge

free download!

It's time to prioritize you, mama! Dive into our 30-Day Self-Care Challenge, a tailor-made journey to fit your hectic life. 

@ FAITH MATINI 2021 All Rights Reserved


Faith Matini is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

error: Content is protected !!