Today, a post on a Minimalist Facebook Group got me thinking about my time as a Single Mom.
At the time, there were some drastic changes that had to be made- I was downsized out of work due to a corporate merger, and at the same time became a single Mom to a two year old- while still managing a mortgage and car payment.
Some of the items on my list I have reinstated in life as my circumstances have changed- but I do remember that those few years as a Single Mom were some of the most stressful and joyful of any I have ever had.
- Dropped cable television: I replaced with slower internet and a Netflix account so I could still job hunt and have some entertainment for my son.
- Text Only Prepaid Phone: This one I sometimes wish I had stuck with. Once my income dropped, I switched to a $25 a month prepaid plan with a text only phone. It is amazing to be free of the constant notifications of email, but still just a phone call away.
- Sold Items on Ebay: Once my corporate job was done, I was able to sell off a collection of gently used tech products (old phones, tablets) and ‘career wear’ clothing or purses- In one month I ‘made’ around $1100 on these items. You would be amazed what people will buy on Ebay.
- Bought and Sold at Consignment Shops: The good and the bad of small children is they are constantly moving up in clothing sizes. We almost exclusively shopped at consignment stores, and I was able to sell back an amazing amount of clothing once my son outgrew them.
- Donated nearly 100 Books: A splurge during those times was a book on Kon-Marie; and part of it was dealing with the volume of ‘stuff’ I had collected. Namely, my precious library. But after sorting it, I found multiple copies of books, and in the end, donated about 100 to local charity. While I didn’t have a ton of money to donate to favorite causes, I felt better being able to give back something during this time.
- Dined In- Gardened Out: To save money, my dining out budget was slashed to- zero. During the summer, my son and I planted a small garden- enough to keep both of us busy and to provide fresh tomatoes, pumpkins, onion, and carrots. He enjoyed the benefits of nature and fresh air, and I saved money on fresh veggies while having quality time with him.
I have a very supportive family and circle of friends who helped me navigate all the changes in my life during that time. But even with the stress of it all, we survived and thrived- and once we were back on our feet, I could look back and be happy with all that we accomplished then.