How do you financially prepare for a baby as a first-time single mom? If there is one thing that will cause you the most stress as a single mom, it’s money. Whether it’s not having enough or not knowing how to juggle work and take care of your kids simultaneously. Therefore, being financially prepared before you welcome your child into the world is very important.
I was not financially stable when I found out I was pregnant and so I had to work a lot during my pregnancy to ensure that I had enough money to buy essentials and prepare for my twins’ arrival. Furthermore, I was planning on moving out of my parents’ house, which added more stress to the equation.
In this post, I want to share with you some of the ways you can ensure you are financially prepared for your baby so you can avoid some stress.
1. Secure A Good Job
If at the moment of finding out you’re pregnant, you don’t have a secure job, I would recommend you get one. Be sure to be open and honest with your employer about your situation to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.
While Looking for a job, ensure that they have the following:
2. Anticipate Delivery Costs
Take the time to meet with your health insurance provider and discuss with them the cost of having a baby. Forecast your delivery costs early in your pregnancy so you are not surprised when the medical bills arrive like I was.
3. Budget for Baby
Plan your budget for when the baby arrives. As you create your baby registry, understand how much essentials will cost you and how you will obtain them. Doing this during your pregnancy will allow you to anticipate what items you may not be able to afford based on your income.
4. Discuss Child Support With Ex
Everyone will have an opinion over whether or not you should accept child support from your ex if you two are not together, I say get it. Listen, you didn’t make your child alone (unless your single motherhood is by choice) so you shouldn’t have to bear the cost of your child by yourself while your ex lives without responsibility.
If you two are on good terms, discuss the financial arrangements. This is a good time to see if he will assist you in raising the child or if you will have to file for support. Granted, you can’t file for support until your child is born but this is the time to know where he stands on whether or not he will support you.
Unfortunately, there are some situations where you may discuss with your ex and then things change and they stop supporting you.
5. Don’t Rely On Child Support
Child support is not always reliable. Your ex may decide not to work anymore or they may decide to work under the table so the wages can’t be garnished. These unfortunate circumstances mean that you can’t rely solely on child support.
That is why is it essential for you to secure a job that will bring in income for you to take care of your child. This will also reduce some of the stress you can experience from waiting on a man to do his part.
6. Consider Government Assistance
If you are unable to work or don’t have enough income, consider applying for government support. There are a lot of programs designed to help single moms in different ways.
Here are a few:
7. Start An Emergency Fund
Emergencies happen and when they do, it’s better to have been prepared than to start looking for money somewhere. Therefore, start saving money for emergencies. Open a separate savings account, that you don’t touch, and start putting money towards that account for rainy days.
I love listening to Dave Ramsey and in his podcasts, he advises that you should save at least $1,000 first, and then after you have paid off your debts, start saving 6 months of expenses. This will ensure that you are secure financially and can tackle any surprises that come your way.
If you are looking to be debt-free, consider reading Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. In the book, he gives practical advice to help you live debt-free.
8. Plan For Child Care
Child care is one of the biggest financial demands for single moms because you need it for you to work and bring in income but it can be so costly.
There are a lot of government programs designed to help you with childcare costs so take advantage of those. If you don’t want to use government child care, and you have family around that is willing to support you, discuss with them how they can support you with babysitting.
I was so fortunate that my family was able to help me with babysitting so I didn’t have to worry about childcare costs. Furthermore, I opted for working from home to avoid having to take my children to daycare.
9. Tackle Debt
As you are preparing for your baby, try not to take on any unnecessary debt and work on paying off your current debt. Living on one income means that you have to be vigilant about your expenses and one way to avoid unnecessary charges is to stay away from bad debt.
10. Plan For The Future
As a single mom, you have to think about who will care for your child if you are not there. So as you prepare for your baby, make sure that you consider the future.
Here are a few ways to do this:
Feb 19, 2022
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