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As a single mom, how can I budget smartly?

I'm 35, a single mom. Looking to build more wealth now that some of my debts are under control.

Feb 08, 2012 by Sidney from Newark, NJ in  |  Flag
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4 votes
David Kleinik Level 15


Make things automatic! I could only imagine how hectic a single moms life can get start or increase contributions to your 401k up to the match, then start a ROTH IRA (if you make less than approx $120k) then sit down with an advisor to figure out your next steps I.E. Total Debt Freedom, College Funding and the like. I would recommend a book by David Bach - "Smart Women Finish Rich" to help you with the rest of your budgeting.

Hope This Helps David Kleinik

Comment   |  Flag   |  Feb 08, 2012 from Jacksonville, FL

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The first part of budgeting is recognizing that you are now the CEO of your family finances. It will be important to figure out your savings goals for your hopes and dreams as this will actually be the first part of the budgeting process. How much do you need to 'pay yourself first' in order to meet your goals. We will also want to budget in income taxes and determine the best way for you to minimize those taxes so you have as much cash flow as possible. Then, with the remainder left over, we first want to assess the 'fixed' expenses (things that will be harder to change without completely altering your lifestyle). Then, we will want to assess the discretionary expenses to determine what areas we can save money that is more malleable in your budget.

As a single mom, you truly are going to be wearing many hats and it may be hard to sit down and budget every month. They key is if you get your savings off the top, you won't feel as guilty if you spend at the bottom. Shoot me a note at ted@oxygenfinancial.net and I will get you our awesome budget sheet.

Thanks and warm regards,


Comment   |  Flag   |  Feb 07, 2015 from Alpharetta, GA

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In addition to the great info above, I would make it a priority to pay yourself first instead of last. Most people who attempt do this find after they pay all their bills find there is nothing left to put away. Try to practice the reverse. Figure out what you need to save to have a suitable emergency fund, and retirement savings and then spend the rest without a guilty conscious. I feel this is a better approach and can help save people from living paycheck to paycheck.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Feb 07, 2015

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Steve Casull Level 13

Sidney, when I lived in Newark, it seemed that everyone in a suit and tie was a Financial Advisor. Find one by interviewing a few. Do not pick the first without meeting with others. I know you are busy, but this is important. Find an advisor that will help you with what you TRULY need. I'm assuming that 'investing money' is not your prime concern. There are many ways for people to save money. Read a few of my blogs where I cover a lot of these. Click on my name that appears over this window, then click on the link to my site, then go to the blog section. Until you find an advisor, you can always call me.

Comment   |  Flag   |  May 19, 2015 from South Jordan, UT

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