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Two Steps To Quickly Improve Your Finances

When you need to quickly improve your finances, there are two fundamentals. Even if this is the first time for you to handle the financial responsibility for your family, you can do this. Moving forward, financial steps all begin here: make more money and cut expenses.

Mom doing finances seated at a desk at a computer

Perhaps the most obvious option for creating money, besides hoping you suddenly come into a stellar inheritance from the long lost relative you didn’t know you had (please don’t count on this as it only happens in old fashioned fictional romance stories) is to get a job. But landing the first paying gig is not always the best answer. Today, moms have a lot of choices.

The most important decision is knowing what work is the most fulfilling for you and accommodates the needs of your children. Options include:

Improve Your Finances by Working for Others

Pros:

  • Steady paycheck
  • Possible benefits including health insurance and retirement
  • Friendships with colleagues
  • Potential ongoing training and career enrichment

Cons:

  • If you are salaried, working longer or harder may not equal more pay
  • You may not be able to control the pace you climb corporate ladder
  • Coworker relationships can be difficult
  • Your job may feel prescribed, or boss directed

Earn by Working for Yourself

Pros:

  • After expenses, if you work harder, you can/may increase income
  • As your own boss, you design how, when, and what you work on
  • You have some flexibility to schedule work around your children
  • Work benefits for your family can include car, work/travel combined, office at home

Cons:

  • According to the Small Business Association (SBA), 30 percent of new businesses fail during the first two years, 50 percent during the first five years
  • Running your own business can be overwhelming. Lines dividing work from home and family can blur
  • Cash flow can be irregular
  • Debt can accumulate quickly

Time is more valuable than money. 

You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.

~ Jim Rohn

Can you reduce spending? Increase income? Both?

We need income to cover out-go. People trade money for services and items we need and want. Naturally, if we reduce the amount of money being paid out, this reduces the amount of needed income. For instance, if a mom sells the car that requires a $500 monthly payment, and purchases outright a safe vehicle for her family, she cuts expenses by $500 every month.

Make a list of your expenditures. Include everything you can think of including hair cuts, birthday gifts, dental cleanings, and oil changes for the car. Next, what things can you eliminate? Do you have a subscription or membership you don’t use? When did you review your insurances to see if the premiums could be lowered? Do you need all those television channels? Do you need a television?

Consider the needs of your family. Could you create your income during the hours your children are at school and be with them when they are home to reduce the need for childcare? Does your company offer onsite childcare? Can you trade childcare with another mom? Is family available to help with childcare?

Build Your Finances

After you cut the unnecessary expenditures, you know how much income you need. What work can you do for someone else or for others to bring in that amount, and more, for you and your family?

Be encouraged by moms who took calculated risks, earned their college degree, entered a fulfilling career, opened businesses, launched ministries, and raised their children well. Feeling fearful and overwhelmed? Begin with small steps.

As the head of a single parent home, you can be a successful solo provider. Build your finances and refuse to be tripped up by life’s obstacles. Single mom and missionary, Mary Slessor adopted nine children to save their lives. In the margin of her Bible she penned, “God and one are a majority.” God promises to see the needs of your family met.

Be Financially Proactive

“I don’t like money, actually, but it quiets the nerves,” said Joe E. Lewis. While money issues can steal your peace, deciding to be financially proactive is one of the easiest decisions you can make with almost immediate results. Where can you cut expenses? How can you create more money?

What step will you take today to improve your finances?

For more tips about improving finances, see The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make by Pam Farrel and PeggySue Wells.

Not Alone

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:19 NIV)

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly, (Psalm 84:11 ESV)

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you, (John 15:16 ESV)

And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him, (1 John 3:22 ESV)

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work, (2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV)

For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things, (Psalm 107:9 NIV)

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing, (Psalm 23:1 NIV)

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread, (Psalm 37:25 NIV)

Additional Resources:

Dave Ramsey

Christy Wright

Rachel Cruze

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Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.