I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Debra Jacobs, a fellow single mom by choice and a financial coach. The question I get asked more than most is “how do I know if I can afford to be a single mom by choice? So, that’s exactly what Debra and I talked about. There’s no magic bullet, but here are my top 4 takeaways about how to thrive financially as a single mom by choice from our conversation!
1) Once you’ve decided that becoming a single mom by choice is what you want to do more than anything else in the world, then you get creative and then you figure out a way to financially afford it.
Debra spent years trying to decide if she should have a baby on her own. “And I finally made that decision. Once I made the decision, I like to say the universe opened up, everything fell into place. I figured out the money. I figured out the childcare. I figured out how to do it.
“But I think it’s a little bit more than the universe opening up, because what happens when you make that decision is that you open up the universe, you make it happen once you’ve made that decision, your actions follow. I’ve made the decision. Now the question is, how do I make it work?
“If your heart and soul is pulling you towards motherhood, then you will make the universe open up to make it happen. And you will take care of the logistics. There are so many out of the box and creative ways of making it happen.
2) You need to believe you are enough. That confidence will cause you to make decisions that will bring more money.
“ I’m here to tell you you’re enough. Yes, our kids need a village. Yes. It’s really great for them to have male role models in their lives and people that they can trust and count on. But going into motherhood with a feeling of this is second best, or I don’t think I can provide for my child, everything they need….It’s not true.
“When you look at single mothers by choice and children who grow up in homes with single mothers by choice, they’re doing fine, you know, they’re doing great.
So the first mindset shift is one from, I don’t know if this is the right thing to to do, I don’t know if I can do this well can shift into : I’m enough. And, and I can do that well. The money follows that. If you’re feeling like you’re enough and you’re, you can do this well, then your decisions about money will be based on that sense of confidence.
3) As a single mom by choice, you might have to make some financial choices that are outside the normal advice.
“This path is different from what we think of as the norm. So any financial advisor or coach is going to tell you live on as little as you can save as much money as you can. Invest early and often, because time in the market is going to grow your money. And, use tax advantage to counts to your advantage, IRAs and 401ks, max them out. That is all great advice.
“However, if you’re a single mom and your path is a little bit different and you really want to have a flexible lifestyle so that you can spend more time with your kids, you might have to forego some of those things for a little while.
So maybe you’re not maxing out your IRA or your 401k, and you are income has gone down a little bit so that you can have those years together because those years of precious and you’ll never get them back. And when you’re building your relationship with your child ( I’m not saying be a stay at home mom, unless you can figure out how to do that) that flexibility might cause you to not follow the advice that you would typically get from financial advisors.
“You have to think out the side of the box and not always follow the really typical financial advice.”
4) The only limit to the solutions you can come up with is your own creativity.
Being a single mom requires many of us to think outside the box, have creative solutions and back up plans. If you’re creative and willing to be scrappy, you can usually make it work.
“if you can really think outside of the box, there’s always a way to do it. If you, if this is what you really, really want.”
You might have to work on asking for support, enacting your back up plans, but if you can drop the expectation of what you think it’s supposed to look like and get creative there is likely a solution.
This is just a tidbit of our conversation. Listen to the whole interview on IGTV. ”
And, if you like interviews like this, imagine getting to be live during this interview so you can ask your own questions. As well as having different guest experts each month on relevant topics.
Join the Motherhood Reimagined SMC Community with live guest expert interviews, a vibrant community forum with the ability to follow topics, and find others in your area or stage of the journey. I’m so excited to create this powerful resource for you!
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