Money and insurance

Barack Obama, Jay-Z and countless others were raised by single moms. Here are tips on how you can do it too

Barack Obama, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and countless ordinary people were raised single-handedly by their mothers. It’s an exhausting, joyful, challenging role for moms, but not impossible especially when they’re able to make a single-income budget work.

Mother’s Day is one of the biggest holidays of the year. People love to pamper their moms, their wives or partners with flowers, gifts, dinners—and they all deserve it.

After Christmas, Mother’s Day is the most expensive holiday of the year, according to Forbes. For instance, Americans spend an average of $152 on moms, a survey by the National Federation of Retailers found out in 2019.

Mother’s Day is a happy occasion to celebrate the women who raised us, whether they’re our own mothers, our grandmothers, aunts or sisters. We owe our success to them, and our country owes them a debt of gratitude because they perform “the most necessary role in our society,” which is to help raise the next generation of children to be strong—morally, physically, psychologically and intellectually—said the late conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly

There is a special place for single moms on Mother’s Day—those who singlehandedly raise their children and perform the dual roles of mother and father. It’s a role that comes with long days of exhaustion, because being a parent is challenging enough, so just imagine how doubly hard it is for single moms.

Former US President Barack Obama was raised single-handedly by his mom Stanley Ann Dunham (with a little help from her own parents). “My mother was the single most important influence on my life,” Obama once said of his mom.

Actors Keanu Reeves, Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry, musicians Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguillera were also raised by their moms.

Apart from the basics of child-rearing, however, another challenge that single moms face is handling the household finances. A two-parent household is an obvious advantage because there are two adults that can help each other with the budgeting. For a single-parent household, however, the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of one parent.

Managing the finances alone is possible—as many moms have proven over generations. Here are 3 ways for you to do better.

1.Set a budget but leave some room for family fun.

The key to having a manageable budget is setting your priorities straight. Identify the big-ticket items that must be taken care of on a more regular basis, such as diapers for the baby and food for the household. Utilities, medical care, and other personal expenses must also be taken into account.

Once you have a clear picture of the expenses you are likely to incur every month, it becomes easier for you to adjust your spending and savings accordingly. Just remember to set aside some money for family fun, too. Apart from saving up for their educational plan, there are lessons they might want to take or sports they want to try.

2. Be keen about bookkeeping.
Complement your budget with good bookkeeping. It’s going to be tedious, but if you do it regularly and consistently (daily or weekly, it’s really up to you), it should get easier to update over time. Take note of your credit card bills, car loans if there are any, mortgage payments, and outstanding debts.

By having everything accounted for, you can better anticipate the budget adjustments you’ll need to make with rising gas prices, food and transportation. It may be daunting at first, but there are easy-to-use financial management apps you can try to keep everything accounted for and organized. You should be able to get the hang of it with enough practice.

3. Get started on your insurance.

Now that you have kids of your own and are taking care of them by yourself, it’s important to make sure that you get financial protection. An insurance plan can help you ease your worries about yours and your children’s future. Look at your monthly income and see where you can make adjustments to allot for monthly insurance premiums. If you do your budgeting and bookkeeping well, this should come easy for you.

There are plenty of available cost-friendly insurance plans out there today, such as FWD’s Set for Life, which is good especially for single parents because it only requires a low minimum annual premium. And because everyone in the family depends on you, don’t forget to take good care of your health and wellbeing too because you deserve all the love and protection there is. Check out FWD Set for Health and FWD KanMend to know how you can protect your health and finances.

Click here to schedule a free virtual financial check up with an FWD financial advisor today to discover how you can get protection and celebrate living.