Are You Thinking OF Moving Abroad As A Single Mom?
Moving abroad as a single mom can be tough but so very rewarding. I never envisioned I would move to Mexico. But here I am totally in love with this beautiful country. I was so exhausted with my single mom budget not stretching far at all in the US or in Canada.
With my credit card debt, due to my expensive divorce, I really needed a place where I could finally get on top of my finances. I heard Mexico was very affordable for the American dollar so I headed that way assuming I would hate it. My plan was to spend two or three months in Mexico to save money.
After only being in Mexico for a day, we fell completely in love with the country. It is the perfect place for a single mom. You mean I can take my family of 4 out to a fancy dinner for $15 with a tip? Heck yeah! At a regular restaurant, you can expect to pay less than $10.
In Mexico, we single mommas can get a full-time nanny for around $250 to $300 a month and that is probably quoting higher than it actually is. This is amazing! Daycare in the states can cost around $800 or more a month for an infant. A nanny would be even more than that. It is super nice to have help with your kiddos without it costing you an arm and a leg.
I have two single mom friends here who got apartments for less than $200 a month. I, on the other hand, went for fancy and big at around $640 a month. Then I had a freak-out moment and realized, I didn’t want fancy and big. I wanted an affordable and small, and I wanted the beach. Sooo… you can read what happened HERE.
5 Things You Need To Know
I truly believe moving abroad as a single mom is a very smart move but there are 5 things you should know before you make the leap.
1. Income Source
You need to have an income source that can sustain you while abroad. Luckily, in places like Mexico, you really don’t need much to live a decent life. A friend here lives well with her daughter on only $1500 a month. Personally, I receive VA benefits plus freelance work and that is enough to live on for my daughters and I. There are ways to make money online too. Some people teach for VIP kid. It does require a degree but not a teaching degree which is nice. What are you good at? What are you passionate about? Can you turn that into a location independent income stream? I recommend you read The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. You can BUY IT HERE.
Some people choose to get a job in the country they are moving to. Once again, teaching seems to be a common choice for work in another country.
2. Custody Agreements
Custody is another big thing you need to know about before you make the leap abroad. Can you legally live in another country with your current custody order? If dad is not on the birth certificate, you are golden and free. That is the case for my older two.
Unfortunately, it was a battle with my youngest. I knew I wanted to travel and possibly live abroad with my daughter so I made sure my custody order, specifically the travel section I put in, was very specific. I offer one-on-one consultation through my Facebook Business Page. If you are interested, FOLLOW THIS LINK and send me a message. This is extremely important for moving abroad as a single mom. A lot of people think they just need their kids’ passport to travel or move abroad but that is not always the case.
3. What About School?
Schooling is another topic that comes up. I have been homeschooling my girls for over a year now but some people do choose to put their kids in the public and private schools abroad. It all depends on the country you are wanting to move to. In some countries, it is illegal to homeschool. These are things you will want to know before you make the leap. If you are interested in unschooling, I recommend you read Unschooling Rules.
Booking an Airbnb for a short time in your new country is a great way to save money while you search local listings to find a long-term rental. For our upcoming adventure to Playa Del Carmen, I booked a month-long stay in an Airbnb to get a good idea of the city and to help decided if we actually want to stay. If you are new to Airbnb, here is a $40 coupon off your first stay. I highly recommend visiting a city before deciding to move there. There are many different ways you can find rentals- Facebook Marketplace, a local realtor, walking around, and the local paper. Please do your research in this area so you are not STUCK paying tourist prices.
We have learned that it is super important to connect with others beforehand in the city you plan to move to. This can make a huge difference in how quickly you adjust when you move abroad as a single mom. Here in Guanajuato, I reached out to a momma prior to coming and she was super helpful. Look on Facebook for expat groups for the country and city you are interested in. There are loads of information within these groups as well as potential connections you could make prior to your move. Having some sort of support system is important especially for single moms. For example, I got super sick when I first arrived in Mexico. Two of the single mommas here helped get me groceries and helped with my kids. I am so thankful I made those connections prior to coming.
What other things do you want me to cover for moving abroad as a single mom? Let me know below in the comments.
Update: Since writing this post, we decided to go back to being fully nomadic. We did not make a full legal move to Mexico with visas so I can’t advise you on that part. More recent posts are 5 Reasons Why Mexico Is The Perfect Place For Single Moms and The Best City In Mexico For Single Moms. Happy Reading!