Whether your child’s father is in the picture or not, single mothers typicallay have a lot more financial stress in their lives than if they lived with their spouse or partner.
Here are some things to bear in mind if your relationship has broken down, and some tips to help you through:
- Keeping a roof over your head
If you can’t afford to pay for accommodation, speak to your local housing office and ask for some support. This won’t mean you’re given a mansion of your own for you and your child, but you’ll get some form of accommodation.
Being a single mum means that you can also get a discount on the cost of council tax – speak to your local council as soon as you start living on your own…every penny counts.
- Paying for childcare
Like all the other bills, as a single mum, you will have to pay childcare costs on your own.
However, there is help available if you work 16 hours a week and earn less than £40,000 per year. if that sounds like you then you can get working tax credits and the childcare elemtn of that will pay up to 70% of the cost of your childcare (up to £175 for your child or £300 if you have more than one child).
If you earn more than £40,000 a year, you should find out if your employer has childcare a voucher scheme in place, as this could save you around £4,000 a year off the cost of childcare.
- Keep good friends and family close
Having a good support network around any new mum, but it becomes a necessity when you’re going it alone.
A good support network should be include those who pick you up when you feel down, encourage you and help you to positively work through your challenges and overcome them.
A poor support network includes people who add fuel to the flame – make you hate your situation and loathe the father of your child, eggs you on when you feel self pity and want someone to share their own grumbles with…all the time.
- Take each day at a time, but don’t let life just happen
Being a single mum is a label that can have negative connotations, but it doesn not have to define who you are, the goals you set yourself, and the things you achieve.
Remember that your child first sees you as a role model, so you must show them what success and determination looks like, and you are in control of what your success in life looks like…keep your head up.