Financial Friday: Part III of Single Mom’s Get Ahead Guide

Jill is a single mother living in Colorado with three sons. She works full time, functions as CFO, maid, psychologist, chauffeur and coach, and specializes in maximizing her income through smart, careful budgeting and cost-saving strategies. Her humor and frugality play out at Single Mom on a Budget.

Originally posted by Jill on July 7, 2010

Making Changecaterpillar1 150x150 Part III of Single Moms Get Ahead Guide

Change is tough, but think of it this way; if caterpillars didn’t go through change we would just have a ton of caterpillars crawling around.  I don’t know about you but I would prefer butterflies.

Changing your mindset, and not spending money on a whim, is going to be tough.  No doubt.  It is going to take planning and carefully thought out purchases.  Yep, even those $2.00 ones and especially the $5.00 Starbucks ones!

chrysallis Part III of Single Moms Get Ahead GuideI am in the chrysalis, or cocoon, stage so I am in the midst of morphing but I really, really want to be a beautiful debt-free butterfly.  I have a goal of having all debt (except my mortgage) paid off in two years.  This might put some people into a panic.  Frankly, I am thrilled to see light at the end of the tunnel.  (Insert happy dance here.)  I will be doing everything in my power to get there before two years but on a single mom income…. well, I think two years is realistic.  For some the magic number is five, or three.  Find yours.

In Part I of Single Mom’s Get Ahead Series you went through your expenses and used the attached spreadsheet or a method of your own Mint.com to organize them.  In Part II, you gained understanding of debt and how you get it, just in case you weren’t sure.  In Part III, the right here and right now, you are going to make a commitment to make some changes. They can be small ones or big ones.  Either way they should be life-changing and tangible.

Commit to a budget.  Commit to a time period.  Commit to saving $25 per month (less than $1 per day!). Commit to staying out of the mall. Commit to using coupons.   Make changes that are realistic, but comfortable and challenging.  I mean if you have $20,000 in debt a six month goal is probably super uncomfortable and way too challenging.  icon wink Part III of Single Moms Get Ahead Guide

More importantly you need to commit to TAKING CONTROL of your finances.  I know is sounds hokey when people say “envision it” but I have to use it here:  Envision yourself free of credit debt just for a second or two.  Didn’t you feel physically lighter for that second? Imagine what it will feel like to actually be free of credit debt!!! (Insert singing angels here.  Laaaaaaaa)

What do you want to be?  Gluttony caterpillar or beautiful debt-free butterfly?

Jill

Did you miss:

Part I of Single Mom’s guide to getting out of debt: Budget and Realistic goals

Part II of Single Mom’s Guide to getting out of debt: Debt