4 Common Financial Problems Single Moms Have and How to Address Them

  • Dyana King is a single mom of two and a personal finance coach to other single moms on fixed incomes.
  • He said that emotional waste and lack of self-esteem are the biggest obstacles for his clients.
  • She advises consistency in working toward goals and slowly building confidence.

Dyana King, now 30, decided to start paying off her $35,000 debt in 2016. At the time, she only made about $32,000 a year, or $15 an hour, as a single mom with two young children to care for.

Despite the uphill battle, he started small and by 2020 he was completely debt free. Today, he has a positive net worth of almost $80,000 according to documents reviewed by Insider.

King has a blog and YouTube channel called boss money mom where she talks about personal finances as a single mother of a 9-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. She also has a side business as a personal finance coach for other single mothers who have limited resources and tries to help them overcome obstacles on their way to building wealth.

King told Insider the four issues he hears the most from his customers and his best advice for each.

1. ‘I can’t stop spending money’

King said this is by far the most he hears from clients, saying that for most of his clients, this is first and foremost an emotional issue, not a material one.

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“Many people don’t realize why they behave the way they do with money, because they don’t remember their experiences and observations growing up that shape their spending behavior,” King said. “So they’re frustrated with themselves.”

King said his customers will have clear goals in mind, but will find themselves making impulse purchases that take them away from their goals.

The best way to combat the desire for instant gratification, he advises, is to start small with debt repayment and savings plans. Even if a customer only has $15 or $20 left over at the end of each month, putting that money in cash to pay down debt or save regularly will create better money habits that will only grow over time.

2. ‘I don’t trust myself with my money’

King said another issue her clients often have is low self-esteem when it comes to making financial decisions, especially clients who have negative histories with money. He often finds clients frozen on things like what to do with their tax refund or which debt to pay off first.

“They want someone to hold their hand because they’re kind of chained to their past decisions, so they don’t trust themselves now,” King said.

She said the antidote to this is for the client to work on their self-esteem and believe they are worthy of financial success so they don’t sabotage themselves.

“I always tell people: If you believe you are worthy of financial success, you will allow yourself to stay consistent and do whatever you have to do to get there,” King said. “But if you don’t, you’re going to sabotage yourself because your goals and your mindset collide, and your mindset is going to win every time.”

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3. ‘How do I start investing?’

As well as not trusting themselves to make decisions, King also said his clients have a hard time getting started when it comes to investing because the subject feels intimidating. He said he is often asked questions about what the “best” types of accounts or investments are.

“I always tell them I’m not an investment guru, but they need to come in and get their feet wet,” King said. “Don’t overthink it: find something and see what’s there. If it’s a mutual fund and it looks like there’s an upward trend, just start there.”

In addition to mutual funds, King also said that index funds are a good option for beginners.

4. ‘Something occurred to one of my children’

When asked if any child-related financial issues ever came up with his clients, King replied “Oh, 1,000%.”

“It seems to me that a lot of them tend to overcompensate when it comes to their children because they’re not secure with their finances,” King said. “So they have that lack of confidence, which causes them to spend too much on their kids. They don’t want their kids to realize that finances aren’t good or stable, and they want to feel like they can provide for their kids.”

In addition, King said that child care expenses are “obviously a roadblock” and often instructs clients to create sinking funds for child care needs that can help through tough times and prevent other goals from being derailed.

“I always tell them to set aside a small amount of reserve,” King said. “For whatever, just general miscellaneous things, or things like clothes, shoes, summer fun.”

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