Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weather Giving Me the Blues

The last few days I have had no motivation to get anything accomplished. It has been raining and cold, but it should be in the high 70's tomorrow. Got to love the Texas weather. I think it is the pregnancy and the weather mixed that has me feeling so drained. Even though I am not very motivated, I have to get things accomplished. I am going to work a couple of hours on my online work, and then get to cleaning. I have a lot to get to in the next couple of months before my little boy is ready to come out, well anywhere from 6-10 weeks. I am ready for him to be here. I know that my responsibilities will be so much bigger, but it will be well worth it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Single Mommy Budgeting

I have always thought that budgeting was essential to everyone, but becoming a single mommy has made it even more important. Before I only had my needs to worry about now I have to think about the baby food, diapers, clothing, medical, and the babies future in addition to my expenses. Budgeting and finding ways to save money is more important than I had ever thought before.

Some Things to Help a Single Mommy Make a Budget, and Save Money:

1. Know exactly what is coming in to your home
       To begin a good budget you need to know where all of your money is coming from and how much it is. This could be child support, employment, side income, government help, etc. The only thing I would not include is BONUS money that may or may not come in.

2. Know All of Your Expenses
       Take time to write down your expenses for ever month. Some of these expenses may vary from month to month, but keep the amount as accurate as you can. In addition to your household bills you should include miscellaneous expenses such as; gas, fast food purchases, drink purchases, entertainment, etc. You can get an idea about your average spending by keeping track of all of your spending for a month. If you have items that you have to pay yearly you should divide that amount by 12, and put up that amount each year. This will help you avoid having to come up with one large lump sum.

3.Prepare Yourself For The Unexpected
      There is always going to be something unexpected come up, and we should try to be prepared for those situations. These unexpected things could be anything from car problems, to your child needing $10 for a school. Putting money away is important for everyone, but I am noticing that single parents have a lot of things come up. Preparing for the unexpected can be done by simply putting up a few dollars a month into a savings account or hid at home. Most place I read that you need at least six months of expenses put away, but most people cannot afford to do that. If you are one of those people, every small amount put up is helpful.

4. Cut Your Expenses to Save Money
         Now that you know what money is coming in, and what money is going out, you will be able to see what expenses can be cut out of your budget. Sometimes it takes us to be very critical of ourselves to cut things that we think we need. Begin by reducing your everyday spending on items that you can do without, then work your way up to the big items. There are many ways to cut your expenses, you just have to really decide that you want to stick to your budget and save money.

5. Live Within Your Means
        I see so many single parents trying to keep up with people that they know that have two incomes, most of us are not able to do that. Move if you can't afford you living arrangements, avoid big ticket purchases that you may not be able to pay for later, and avoid running up any debt that you may never pay off. This will help you a lot in the future, and you may be able to do a lot more once you get all of your finances in order.

This is just the basics of making a single mommy budget. Take these steps, and run with them. I was always worried about my future, but the kids future is so much more important than I had ever thought. Kids are expensive too, but worth every penny.

Helpful Articles:

How to Live Within Your Means

How to Save Money on Household Purchases

50 Real Ways to Save Money in Your Home

Save Money When You are Expecting

Friday, March 25, 2011

Surviving (and Thriving) as a Single Mom

Since I have learned that I was pregnant, my thought process has changed completely. I don't know if getting pregnant at a younger age would have effected me in such a way. I am worried only about making sure that my son (Torrie) is taken care of. I am not worried about dating, going out, or much else other than him. I just want to have a plan for him and I. I honestly believe I think about it a little to much at times :).

I know I am not alone in this, there are many women in today's world that are single moms. I read a lot of articles and blogs about what other single moms do, and they have helped a lot. I found one article that I found inspiring, it is Surviving (and Thriving) as a single Mom. The article is not long, but it had a few things that just inspired me. The biggest thing was focusing on short term, rather than trying to make a plan for everything NOW.

All single moms can get through the tough times. My mom did it with 4 kids, so I know I can do it with one. I have to enjoy the fact that I am going to be a mom, then plan on what I want to do for our future. He will always be the most important thing to me, so I know I will do everything I can to make sure he is taken care of.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kids Clothing Swap

Clothing is a big part of most parents budgets, next to food of course. There is a lot of different options for saving money on clothes. I found one site that is Thredup. Thredup is a clothing swap site for parents. From what I can see you pay the shipping for the box,plus $5 for the box.  There is also ways to make money on the site, but I did not look into that option. I just thought it was something that other moms may like to look into to save money, or make money.

I found this about the site

"Pick a box of clothing posted on the site by a ThredUP parent and for just $5 plus shipping -- each box contains about 15 items -- it's sent directly to your home. We just ask that you post and send a box for every one you receive. About 1,000 boxes are shipped each week; 92% are rated three or four stars out of four. Each box is unique, so if you want the one with Gymboree and Crewcuts, you better move fast."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Preparing for a New Baby

I have helped my sister raise her three kids, but it is so much different trying to prepare for my own to come into this world. It is even more difficult knowing that the father doesn't want anything to do with his son. Trying to prepare for financial issues, emotional issues, and whatever issues may come up is difficult. I am so glad that I have a positive attitude, or I would probably be worse off.

Preparing for the newborn to come home:

I have read so many different articles about what you may need for the baby, but I believe that your list will vary somewhat from other moms. It will depend on where you live, and your living environment. I did find two sites that have printable lists to help a new mommy keep up with what they are getting for there baby. I like lists, so I use them as much as possible.

New Baby Checklist

Free Newborn Baby Checklists

Preparing financially:

All of us have worries about being financially prepared for our baby. We will probably never be completely prepared, but there is steps that we all can take to get ready.

Just a few to start:
-Start Saving as soon as you find out you are expecting
-Find every way possible to cut costs around your home
-Be sure to have a baby shower for gifts
-Accept second hand items from friends and family
-Keep receipts for everything so it can be returned if you can't use it
-Sign up for all of the free samples that you can find

Financially Preparing for Maternity Leave When Single

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Need Help With Food?

Food is one thing that I believe all parents worry about having for there children and themselves. There are a lot of different ways to get help with food.  You can check with local churches about food banks. Quite a few in my area help with food, and some even help with utility bills. Apply for food stamps at you local health and human services department. People do not want you or your family to go hungry, so ask for help if you need to. Do not ever be ashamed to ask for help if you need it, just don't take advantage of peoples kindness either.

One great place to get discounted food is Angel Food Ministries. They offer different packages for individuals and families at a discounted price. They also accept food stamps. To find out more information about the ministries please visit there site Angel Food Ministries.

If you are able to get food stamps, do not be scared to still cut prices on the food that you purchase. You can still use coupons for all of the food that you purchase with the food stamps, and you can price match just as if you were paying with your debit card. If you are given the opportunity to get help with food stamps, why not stretch them out just like you do your own money.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Few Samples to Begin With

Since I have discovered I was pregnant I have began looking for free samples everywhere that I could. I have found a few and and here are some that you may enjoy. I will try to put updated of free samples as often as I can, because I know they are one of the most helpful things you can find.

Free Yoplait Yogurt

Free Procter and Gable Samples (Changes monthly)

Similac Samples and Coupons

Enfamil Samples and Coupons

Arm & Hammer Advanced White Sample

The New Single Mommy Blog

I am a 31 year old soon to be first time mommy, and single. I was with the father of my child for 6 years, but things have not worked out very well. I will be doing this on my own. The only help I have is my mom and sister, and I am very thankful for them. I work part time for minimum wage, so I do not make a lot of money. My baby boy is due June 9th, and I am mentally ready but not quite financially ready. I do have a few hundred dollars put away, but as of now I will only be able to take 4 weeks of maternity leave if I do not have to use that money for other bills before the baby is due.

I have been blogging about things from working online and personal finance, but I wanted to share my mommy experience with others. In this blog I will share things about saving money on child and mommy, websites that I think others may find helpful, product reviews, and much much more. This will be a great ways for me to share my experience, help others, and hopefully make a little extra money to care for my child.