Now that is the million dollar question everybody is asking, right? Well let me tell you, I learned how to go from minimum wage to six figures over a period of time. It was an interesting journey that I believe anyone can take with a plan.
So how do you do it? You do it by having a plan of action and actually taking that action until you reach your goal. That’s it in a nutshell. As easy or simple as it sounds, believe me it is not an easy journey and not for lazy or scary people.
My Single Mom Minimum Wage to Six Figures Story
I did it with my two kids, a full-time job, classes and homework, and a ton of determination. There were times I wanted to quit. There are days I cried and felt like giving up. Sometimes there were even people who tried to stop me. I even got distracted and off course for a little while, but I would not give up.
I went from working at the Probate Office in the county courthouse for the then minimum wage of $6.35/hr to a temporary job for $8.00 at AFLAC. Then I was hired full-time with benefits at $10.00/hr. My journey took me back to college after 10 years with a 6-month old and a four year old to a new city. My pay dropped to $8.50/hr working for the college then went up to $12/hr part time as an intern at NASA.
I was then hired as a full-time contract technical writer making $17/hr. Within a year I was promoted to Sr. technical writer and received a raise to $20/hr. From there I went to other companies and made $27/hr, $32/hr, $45/hr, to $50+/hr. As my skills and experience increased so did my income. I went from court clerk to SharePoint Corporate Trainer. None of what I’m sharing is to brag but it’s to show you that my hard work, prayers, and determination made the difference.
Even though I am a single mom it has never kept me from going after my dream. Maybe part of it is that I’ve always been an over achiever, but it’s mostly that I did not and would not let my circumstances or other people dictate my life and financial future. I decided what I wanted to do and I did it because I had two amazing kids keeping me motivated.
Dreams, Goals, & Plans are Key
You simply cannot give up on your dreams. You have to turn those dreams into goals. You have to create a plan. I’m not saying it has to be perfect but it has to at least drive you toward something better.
My process for going from $6.35 an hour to six figures was not a cut and dry path. I did not have a blueprint or cheatsheet. The truth is I had to piece together several parts to get to where I wanted to be. I can share those pieces with you but it’s up to you to take them and apply them to your life. In the end, it will probably look nothing like my journey.
Get the Puzzle Pieces Here
If you want to get the pieces to my puzzle you can join, enroll, or grab my $6.35 to Six Figures Master Class. In it I share how to create a Money Master Plan to elevate your income and upgrade your quality of life! There is no magic bullet but I can say my methods are sound and will help you along this financial journey.
Recovering from soul crushing heartache is difficult when you have a child depending on you. It’s challenging to grieve a failed relationship when you have to change diapers, pack lunches, go to play dates, and read bedtime stories. During the day you’re on auto-pilot, but when your sweet baby is sleeping you are wide awake with memories that haunt you. It can feel like there won’t ever be a time when the pain isn’t so tangible. It’s not easy but there are things that you can do to move yourself towards a sense of normalcy and healing:
Prayer is something that you can do at any time of the day. It does not have to be formal or long it just has to be earnest and followed by an ounce of faith. Talk to God when those moments of silence become overwhelming. Ask for healing, strength and guidance while you are driving, working or sitting alone. When you are done praying believe- even if it’s just a little bit- that your prayers will be answered. Pray (and cry) as often as needed.
FOCUS ON YOUR CHILD(REN)
It is easy to wallow in your grief and let feelings of powerlessness and rejection consume you. But children have a way of pulling you out of your own head and making you focus on them. You may even find yourself learning from your child as you become immersed in their world.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Let’s be honest: too much time spent watching Disney Junior and singing ‘Wheels on the Bus’ will drive you crazy. Take a timeout and reenergize by doing something you enjoy. What happens to a phone with a low battery? The same thing that happens to burnt out mommies.
This step is the hardest. It is easy to blame yourself for everything that went wrong. This kind of thinking is rarely ever helpful. Accept that you gave your best. The past is done and you are allowed to move on.
There is no definitive time line for the healing process. It takes the brain a while to recognize and accept new patterns so you will probably relapse into moments of despair and mourning. Continue to press forward as there is something greater on the other side of your pain. You can do it and you deserve it.
With Spring Break quickly approaching finding something to do with the children can be a task especially if your a single mother. This year I wanted to focus on spending a more meaningful time with my children and do more to take advantage of a free week in this amazing city of Atlanta that sits in a perfect spot in between South Carolina and Florida.
So I set myself up with a task of finding just that perfect thing to do that would not only shape them and be formative in their experience but was also agreeable with my current financial situation. Below you will find my simple but profound list of five things me and my children have experienced during the week of Spring Break at one time or another my prayer is that they will remember these times as adults and cherish as part of the cool experience of growing up with a single mother. Now, off I go to enjoy Spring break with my four beautiful children without breaking the bank.
1. Volunteer Your Time
As cliche’ as this may sound it really does pay off but “Volunteer your time” is the number one way to have a meaningful experience with your children. In today’s economy all companies are looking for volunteers and if you hit the right place you may even get to enjoy some free activities. Over the Christmas vacation I found this wonderful organization called Hands on Atlanta which is one of the largest community-based volunteer service organization in the United States. You can register for all kinds of events ranging from NBA basketball games, the Circus, food tasting and the list goes on and on. Once you sign up for an event you not only have the opportunity to volunteer and share that experience with your children you also get to join in the festivities for FREE what single mother can beat that?
2. Go Back to Basics
Go back to the basics. The world has become a busy place filled with technology and appointments we have forgotten about how we grew up. We grew up playing outside, going to the parks and enjoying the great outdoors. Buy some water guns, balloons and grab your children and burn that energy outside show them that we don’t need a lot of money to bring a little happiness to the scene.
3. Buy a City Pass
The most affordable way to see some of the top attractions in the city is to buy a city pass. City pass, is the original attractions discount provider, it allows you to see a variety of Atlanta (or other major city) within nine days at 40-70% discount. You even have the opportunity to skip the long lines something my kids fine to be really cool. Here is the link to the CityPass website: CityPass.com
4. Spend the day at the Beach
Atlanta is nestled right in between some of the World’s best beaches in either direction. Grab yourself a picnic basket, some Dollar Tree floats, a blanket and your wonderful kids, gas up the car and drive. I always try to leave in the middle of the night to give myself some mommy time before I encounter a day of fun in the sun. Your home may be near several beaches or attractions within driving distance. Get out, explore, and be pleasantly surprised at what you discover right in your own backyard.
5. Turn Your Home into a Vacation Spot
One of my favorite things to do sometimes is to just stay and enjoy my home one spring break me and the kids decided to just stay home for the week and then they came up with the great idea of turning our home into a vacation spot. Every day of the week one of my children took turns and gave us their version of one of the places they like to visit. My house went from Mexico to Spain in one week. My children decorated and even cooked, my oldest children tried their very best to make me some non alcoholic fruity beverage and we took pictures just like we were away. That was one on of our best Spring Breaks and I am looking forward to it this Spring Break.
Whatever you and your family decides to do for your Spring Break just remember it’s not about where you go or what you do its about that bonding time and giving your children that moment that they will cherish forever.
Sometimes the words single mom and struggle seems to mean the same thing. It’s hard to say one without thinking about the other. Everyday I read/hear about single moms who are struggling to make ends meet. I have been there and know how hard it is to look my kids in the face, knowing there is no money in the bank, no food in the cabinets, and no gas in the car. I know what it’s like to have the lights turned off and bill collectors calling. You may be facing this now, so I really want you to read the story below. A single mom sent this powerful testimony to me and wanted me to share it with you. What do you do when you are a struggling single mom? Pray…
God’s hand on a single mother…Karen’s Story
I will never forget Saturday morning January 12, 2013. I woke up with no money in my pocket, my bank accounts were negative and my fridge was so empty you could hear the echo if I stuck my head in it. I was on day 6 of reading my bible for 90 days and could feel the strength of God on the inside of me growing but the outside seemed hopeless.
I decided months ago that just paying my tithe every pay period wasn’t cutting it so I signed up for a program at my church called “Money Wise”. A part of this program is to have you meet up with the director so she can ask you some questions and pray to see which one of the many volunteer counselors she would be able to match you up with.
Well this Saturday my counselor was coming to meet me to discuss my finances which were just a mess. We sat down for 2 hours as I displayed the part of the bible that says “ my people perish for a lack of knowledge” because I didn’t know anything. All I knew was that I was in so much debt all built from being a single mother and not trusting God . You see, I was a survivor and never living or experiencing God as my Jehovah Jirah but today that was about to change.
That morning I woke up and prompted by a vision I went downstairs to explain to my children how the money I made came in and out of the house by demonstrating with monopoly money. They seemed to understand so we moved on to have some family time when my daughter said, “mommy what’s for breakfast?” I literally had nothing but a can of corn. Thank God she loves corn because that day that is what she ate a can of buttered corn, while me and my oldest ate nothing and my two youngest went to ask one of their friends for a package of noodles.
I told my kids that I was not being a good manager over the 90% that God was letting me keep and that the bible says if you’re not a good manager of the little, even the little would be taken. So I told them from this day they had one of two choices either get on the bandwagon with me to serve God by surrendering or get out. By their silence I believe everyone chose to get on the bandwagon with me. My oldest son said a simple prayer, “ God we don’t have anything, we need something, take care of us. Thank you. Amen. We continued on our day reading the bible, praying and just praising God we had forgot that we didn’t have dinner that night.
As I said earlier my counselor was coming over to discuss money management. She showed up and for 2 hours we discussed, planned, budgeted, set goals and I repented for my lack of knowledge, faith and no seeing God as my source. As we finished praying and my counselor was about to leave, she said to me, “We don’t normally do this but I am feeling led by the Lord to ask you how much gas do you have in your car? I said it is on “E” only enough to make it to the highway to pull over and wait for the local roadside assistance to give me a gallon of gas.
She said, “follow me”, and we went to the gas station where she put gas in my car. She then proceeded to tell me to follow her to the store and there she made me go up and down every aisle picking up the things I needed and wanted in multiples of two. By the time we got to the register I had two carts full of groceries!!!!! God is good but he didn’t stop there…
I went home, put those bags on the table, and me and my children took a moment and said, “Thank you God”. I asked each one of my children how they felt and one by one they expressed how amazing it was to see God’s hand move first hand. We had tacos and pizza that night and the only reason we had pizza was because it wouldn’t fit in our fridge.
Sunday came and we did our normal routine went to church, volunteered, and enjoyed the day as a family when I received a call from my counselor again asking me to meet her at a nearby Starbucks. Once I got there she handed me an orange envelope with my name on the front of it inside of the envelope was 200.00 of gas cards and 200.00 of groceries cards… Are you serious God!!! Ephesians 3:20 says God will do exceedingly and abundantly more than you can ever think of or ever ask. And God still was not finished.
On the outside of the envelope were the words “electric”, “water”, and “lease”. It meant that I would not have to worry about my electric bill that was behind a month, my water bill that was behind a month and my rent for next month would be paid as well.
God is good!! Awesome, amazing and he loves us. Here I am a single mother of 5 children, 4 that actually are home with me, one income that is being garnished at 35% for an upside down car note because I had to buy from a “buy here ,pay here” place. I had to just throw my hands up and say God I surrender. The moment I did God said, “thank you for moving out of my position”, and did the unthinkable.
I don’t know where you are as a single mother but I know it can be frustrating and embarrassing at times but trust me God wants to do things for us if we would only surrender and let him. It was so hard for me to throw up my hands up, but I am so thankful that I finally did and thank God because that was my last can of corn.
I am excited to finish in my journey of the money wise program to see how God is going to move on all of these debts and my one crave that I am asking God for daily is to get rid of this horrible car note that I got myself in to do the unthinkable again and have this $10,963.45 balance removed from my life.
Thank you God for looking down on a single mother and being faithful!!
Do you believe in the power of prayer? How has it helped you during the times you struggled the most? Talk about it in the comments below.