Finances for Single Moms

Finances for Single Moms
Finances for Single Moms

Since she has to pay rent and several expenses on her own, the single mother is prone to indebtedness. Here are some tips for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.


Enemy 1: the credit card

Every single mom's situation is unique, but she's usually in her 30s, has school-aged kids, and has to pay rent on her own. Although she receives the various government benefits, she has a modest salary, with which she must pay the bills, groceries and living expenses. So it may be tempting for her to overuse the credit card. A short-term solution, the famous credit card quickly turns out to be an enemy for anyone who can't pay the balance at the end of the month, especially if it's a high-interest card.

That being said, if you are used to using it for your day-to-day expenses, and you always pay off your balance at the end of the month, the famous card can pay off if it allows you to collect points or cash.

Keep a tight budget

This is why it is necessary, as much as possible, to avoid accumulating debts, in particular on credit cards, since the interest ratesare very high and, if we are content to repay the minimum balance, it takes a very long time to repay the capital! The single mother must therefore keep a tight budget. To achieve this, you can ask for help from certain associations, such as Association cooperative d'économie familial (ACEF). In short, we limit the use of the credit card, and we save money, to deal with the unexpected.

To save a few dollars, you can:

  • shop thrift stores for children's clothes;
  • join a clothing swap group;
  • take part in collective kitchens;
  • shop for more affordable housing;
  • in smaller accommodation, children can share a room.

Monthly installments

Most often, the Quebec government's Child Support payment is made quarterly, but, if requested, it is possible to receive it monthly by direct deposit such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB): which may be easier to manage. You could take this opportunity to match bills with benefit payment dates to ensure that you will be able to pay these bills.

Hydro-Québec's equal payment method also makes budget management easier. Review all the due dates of your invoices to spread them out: try to match them to your cash receipts, avoiding aconcentration around the same dates.

Make sure your Internet and phone provider has the ideal plan for your needs: additional bandwidth is expensive and can be a headache at the end of the month!


You must continue to include savings in your budget. Even if this amount is not very big, it is already that! Encourage yourself: it's with pennies that you make dollars, and so on! Also, we are trying to invest in an RRSP. When you receive a large amount of money that is not accounted for in your budget, such as a tax refund, put it in the children's RESP.

All financial advisors agree: the best way to save is to authorize a direct debit. That way, we don't even realize that we are putting money aside and yet it accumulates!

Family Mediation

According to the law, a parent who does not have custody of his children and who works must also support them and, if he is en titled to alimony, you have to claim it. To ensure that your agreement with your ex-spouse is made according to the rules of the art, you can call on a mediator. In Quebec, you are en titled to six free sessions.

The value of money

Money should not be a taboo subject: as soon as they are old enough to understand, it is your duty to raise your children's awareness of the value of money. InIndeed, even if he seems young to you, your child is slowly forging his own relationship with money. Thus, he must understand that he cannot have everything, and that in order to buy something, he must first work to earn money and pay all our obligations.

No: money does not grow on trees and the child will benefit from learning the difference between a need and a want as soon as possible. Thus, you could decide to pay for these needs, but, for his wants, he will have to manage, for example,

his pocket money.

Have a protection plan

When you have dependent children, it is even more important to be well protected, which means having insurance that will cover your needs in the event of illness or accident. Thus, there is disability insurance (essential for self-employed women), or even critical illness insurance. This insurance therefore offers an additional amount to the insurance offered by your employer which will allow you, during treatment or an extended work stoppage, to continue to meet your needs and those of your children. Also shop for life insurance and prepare your estate, so you don't leave a mountain of debt for your children as an inheritance.

Trust the Professionals

Surround yourself with professionals who will be able to enlighten you, depending on your situation. For your taxes, call on an accountant who will ensure that you benefit from all thecredits to which you are en titled. He can also advise you on the amount to invest in an RRSP, for example.

And for your investment and protection plans, do not hesitate to consult a financial planner. Shop around for these professionals, so a financial planner should never be condescending, and should speak the same language as you.

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