That seems like the million dollar question, but it’s a very real one to ask. Facing single motherhood after divorce is pretty scary. If you have been dependent on a spouse for the last few years and now face doing it all alone it can feel overwhelming

Hopefully you have been thinking about all of this during the separation process but if you haven’t here are some tips to get you on your feet and heading toward independence and economic self-sufficiency.

  1. Change your mindset – If your mind is filled with fear and negativity about your situation or your ex you will not get very far. Your thoughts determine your level of success so start thinking positively.

2. Dream and set goals – Think about where you want to be. How does your ideal life look? Think about it in detail then write down what it will take to get there. After that make a list of all the things you need to do. Keep your dream, your strategy, and your list in a place you can see it each day.

3. Get your kids on board and train them to help themselves – The pressure of raising kids alone is magnified if the kids are overly dependent on you for their age. Teach them how to do age appropriate things and learn how to solve problems on their own (with your guidance)

4. Create a one income spending plan – Things have changed and child support (even with a court order) may not be very reliable or always available. Live within the means you have and get temporary assistance when you need it. This is not the time to be proud if you are struggling

5. Get a better job or train for a new career to make more money – This is important because it will often determine how quickly you become financially independent. Look for a training program that fits your personality and lifestyle choice. Keep learning by taking advantage of every free resource and growing by paying for training you can’t get for free but will give you better opportunities.

6. Learn to be frugal and control your spending – look for sales, bargains, and freebies. You are trying to live below your means until you are financially independent.

7. Pay cash or use debit cards Stay out of debt and cut up all your credit cards. Paying case ensures you will not go into debt, which causes stress.

8. Cut your expenses – Continue to reduce your spending by cutting unnecessary expenses like that over bloated cable plan, the landline, and any other frivolous services. Instead get Netflix, a pre-paid cell phone, and shop at thrift stores for a while.

9. Make extra money – Baby sit or get a weekend job at a restaurant (free or discounted food for your family) or department store (reduced prices and discounts for clothes and/or household items). Use your skill to tutor someone as well. Finally, sell your diamond engagement ring for some cold hard cash!

10. Save 5-10% of your income – each pay period be sure to pay yourself. Live on the money you have left over.

11. Give to charity – Give back with your time, money, clothing or other resources. It helps you remember how blessed you are and this is a good example for your kids to learn how to help others. The benefit is more blessings coming to you.

These tips are just the beginning of the process but if you follow them you will be in a better place a year from now. No matter how overwhelmed you feel, NEVER give up. Though the situation is hard and overwhelming, you have the unique opportunity to create the life you’ve always wanted.

This weekend I’ll share my personal story of how I became self-sufficient and financially independent.