Budgeting 101: 6 Helpful Tips for Young Moms

Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but having a clear direction of where you’re headed financially is pure bliss.

My kids are my reason I get up every morning to go to work, why I budget, why I save, why I’m trying to invest. I realize I’m starting out with less by having my children earlier in my career, and I guess in some way I’m trying to make up for that.

I’ve been pretty successful so far. Since starting my current position in January, I’ve been able to save almost $10,000. That’s not bad for a 22-year-old, right? A lot of the lessons I’ve learned have been through trial and error. Let me share what I’ve discovered so far.

1.) Get a piece of paper and write down everything you spend. Or pay for everything using your debit or credit card and track your purchases online. You can’t save money if you don’t know how much you’re spending and how much is available for you to save. Do this for about three months and you’ll get a pretty good idea of your expenses.

2.) Once you know what you’re spending money on, calculate your income. Maybe you have one or two jobs, or maybe you have a side hustle (see my latest post on side hustles from last week) that brings in additional income. Tally up how much you bring in and subtract your expenses from that. Get a good idea on how much you have left over each month.

3.) Once you know your income, your expenses, and your surplus (here’s hoping you have a surplus!), put things on autopilot. If your cell phone bill is the same every month, have it automatically deducted. Have your check direct deposited and a certain amount (perhaps all of your surplus) deposited into savings.

4.) Most importantly: PAY YOURSELF FIRST. If you wait until all your other bills are paid off, and then you decide to save some money, you’ll probably end up saving less than if you made paying yourself a priority. Decide on a certain amount that HAS TO go into savngs each paycheck and then pay it first.

5.) Evaluate ways to save more. Once you’ve determined how much you can save, try to save 10% more, just to challenge yourself. Say you save $100 each month – after a few months of successfully meeting that goal, bump it up to $110 a month. Look at your expenses – do you need to go out to dinner every Friday? How about if you get your hair done every three weeks instead of every two? Start slow and see how much you can save.

6.) Research different savings accounts. You don’t have to settle for a dismal 0.5% interest rate anymore. Open an account with an online bank, such as ING Direct or HSBC, and get rates up to 3.5%. It isn’t much, but it’s enough to motivate you to keep saving.

So what do you all think? How are you trying to save money?


  1. WOW! $10,000 is very impressive and encouraging as a single mom & myself working on my finances right now. Great post!!

  2. I just came across your website and LOVE it! I’m a young mom-to-be (due with my first in two months) and I totally agree that we are under-represented on the internet.