You are a single mom who is going to school, more than likely you also work so how are you supposed to not only keep up with your classes and take care of your kids, but still work enough hours to afford to pay your rent? It is a challenge, but it’s one that you can meet. After all you’ve already tackled the biggest challenge; you enrolled in school to further your education. Once you leap that hurdle all the little things tend to be easier to deal with, after all you’re becoming a master juggler.
- There are several ways you can find a little relief when it comes to housing costs. Sure there are programs and assistance from the state, but when you really want to feel like you are doing it yourself you still have options. Of course this means that you will have to be creative and open minded in order to find a solution to your rent problem.
- Look for an apartment or house that is designed for low income single parents. These sorts of homes approve tenants who make less than a certain threshold of income and the prices are adjusted to fit within that income level. Many times these are not government programs and don’t require assistance they are simply homes that are owned by a company who chooses to have affordable housing for lower income families.
- Talk to your landlord about working out a deal on the rent such as painting or landscaping the yard for a reduction in the rent each month. This will enable your landlord to see a rising property value and you to save money along the way. Any improvements to the property that you can handle are negotiating points.
- Consider a roommate! If you have an extra bedroom why fill it with toys when you could be collecting a portion of your rent money to let someone live with you. If you have a lot of room, another single mom could be the ideal boarder; and you would be helping her as well. If that isn’t the case another student might make a good roommate.
Don’t get frustrated and discouraged when you find that you can’t seem to make enough money while going to school to pay the rent, just start thinking outside the box and come up with a creative way to solve your rent problems.
Time management for single mom students is different than moms who have a partner to help them. Single moms have a lot of things to juggle. From doctors appointments to jobs, play dates to classes and quality time with the kids to helping with homework. One woman is challenged to handle these time management issues on a day to day basis. Once you add in going back to school and having your own classes and homework to deal with you may feel like you need to be “Superwoman” to get everything done each day.
The first thing a single mom needs is a good calendar. Every appointment, everything that needs done and every moment can be scheduled so that there is a time for everything. Having a calendar but not using it leads to confusion, rushing, and frustration. Organization is the key to time management as a single mom and as a student.
Look to your support system when it comes to time management to allow you to pursue your education. Family and friends can often be counted on to trade babysitting days or to help you with running errands so that you can go back to school. Work out a good schedule with your classes, job and child care so that you will have a few hours to dedicate to your class work, not just to attend the classes. Just as your children need to do homework and study to succeed at school so do you. Take advantage of any offers of help that come your way and don’t be afraid to ask when you need some help.
Create a study area where you can have quiet study and class work time. If need be share this area with your children so that at a certain time each evening you can all work on your school work together. This not only meets your needs for study time, it also allows you to spend this time with your children and creates a nicely scheduled routine.
You and I both know that learning is not usually done in small 15 minute increments. But as a single mom, holding down a job, raising kids and going to school that may be all you have. Try setting your alarm a 15 minutes early each day to work in some study time before you have to get the kids up and ready and you ready to go to work.
Time management for single moms requires a great deal of ingenuity and a willingness to not only think outside the box but to alter your typical schedule to allow for additional time. You can’t add more hours to the day, but you can make sure that each hour of your day is more productive. If you want to go back to school and earn a degree there will be sacrifices along the way. Managing your time helps you eliminate wasted time and provides for a more balanced schedule with less confusion.