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Single Moms Turn to 'Mommunes' Amid Soaring Expenses and Rising Costs

Single moms find financial relief and support through 'mommunes,' shared living arrangements.
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @saintiriswellness
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @saintiriswellness

In today's challenging economic landscape, single mothers across America are facing increasing financial burdens. With expenses soaring, many are turning to innovative solutions to make ends meet. One such trend gaining traction is the concept of "mommunes" — shared living arrangements among single moms aimed at easing financial strain and providing mutual support.

TikTok | @saintiriswellness,
TikTok | @saintiriswellness

Kimber (@saintiriswellness), a single mother from Salem, Oregon, recently shared her struggles in a viral TikTok video. She detailed how the cost of living has doubled since 2020, with rent skyrocketing to $2,600 a month and groceries costing at least $1,000 monthly. These financial challenges have left Kimber, and many like her, grappling to find sustainable solutions.

"I used to make it work, but now it's just overwhelming," Kimber lamented in her video.

TikTok | @saintiriswellness
TikTok | @saintiriswellness

The Brookings Institute underscores the financial strain, estimating an additional $26,011 to raise a child to the age of 17 since 2017. This brings the total cost to $310,605 for a middle-income, two-parent household by 2022.

"I can’t, for the freaking life of me, figure out how to make this work,” she said in her video. “I always could before.” Faced with mounting expenses, single moms are exploring alternative living arrangements to alleviate financial pressure. The concept of "mommunes" has emerged as a viable solution, allowing single mothers to share living spaces, split expenses, and divide parenting responsibilities.

Commenters on social media platforms like TikTok have expressed support for this idea, with @happyhrwithdd, a single mother of three, expressing reliance on faith, stating, "Single mom of 3. All I can say is GOD IS GOOD cause some days I don’t even know how I’m gonna make it but HE shows up". Another user, @Melina Del Toro, shared a practical solution, revealing, "I’m renting a room to another single mom and we help each other a lot with daycare and groceries, cooking and cleaning." Kimber praised this approach, commending, "Sooooo smart!" However, challenges extended beyond single mothers, as highlighted by @Jess83, a single father of four, who confessed, "I’m not a single mom but a single dad with four kiddos.

TikTok | @saintiriswellness
TikTok | @saintiriswellness

USA Today and Parade have reported on the increasing popularity of "mommunes," highlighting the benefits of shared living arrangements. By pooling resources and sharing household duties, single moms reduce financial stress and gain valuable time to focus on earning income. Dr. Sarah Johnson, a Women and Gender Studies professor, notes that many single mothers struggle to advance in their careers due to time constraints.

"A 'mommune' could provide the support needed for single moms to pursue career opportunities without sacrificing their family's well-being," she explains. For Kimber, who recently lost her corporate job due to its demanding hours, joining a "mommune" could have provided much-needed assistance during her job search. "I wish I had joined one sooner," she reflects.

The economic impact of such communal living arrangements extends beyond individual households. Single mothers have the highest poverty rates among families, according to research from Columbia University and the U.S. Census Bureau.

TikTok | @saintiriswellness
TikTok | @saintiriswellness

The federal government's expansion of the monthly child tax credit in 2021 provided temporary relief for millions of families. However, the abrupt discontinuation of the expanded credit in December 2021 dealt a significant blow to parents already grappling with rising costs.

NPR reports that the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) for 2022 showed a sharp increase in poverty rates, with the SPM child poverty rate doubling from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022. This reversal underscores the critical role of government support in alleviating financial hardship for vulnerable families. “As a mother of four in Durham, North Carolina, she told NPR, 'To lose that money, especially when the price of everything has skyrocketed... I just feel abandoned by this country.'”

For more such content dod follow @saintiriswellness on TikTok.