Dealing With Finances As A Single Parent
When it comes to being a single parent, one of the bigger issues that you will face would be that of your finances. Without a second source of income and two mouths to feed, you may sometimes find yourself in a situation where you have to decide between paying money to buy gas or buying groceries for the family. You might also reach a point where you end up looking at your retirement fund thinking if it would be enough.
What’s more, some single parents are even juggling more than one to two jobs in order to ensure that there is enough money to provide for their family. However, if you are eligible for child support, new york child support lawyer paul matthews can help.
Being a single parent is tough and having to be the one to provide for everything within the household can be quite straining and tiresome. By being a single parent, you might not be able to have the same amount of money that a double-income family does. This then leads to there being a greater limitation in contrast to these double-income families. Not forgetting the household chores are now only dealt with by one person as well as the job of raising a child.
However, this does not mean that all hope is lost. In fact, many single parents have become masters in properly managing their finances while raising their children to a full and happy life. So what can you do to best manage your finances as a single parent?
Be confident and decisive
Well, being a single parent does lead up to quite a bit of self-doubt. However, one thing that you should be is confident and aware of yourself. Being afraid that your decision is not the right one will lead to a delay. When this happens, it takes a much longer time to achieve the things you want. Especially those with regard to financial planning. As such, it is very important to sit down and set a plan for yourself and set some achievable and realistic goals to help you best reach it.
Seek help if you need it
If you feel that you are unable to do this alone, reach out to someone for help and get them to do it together with you. You cannot be doing everything alone and it is especially important to have someone to confide in and seek knowledge from especially about your financial issues. Having people who can keep you accountable close by is very beneficial too. Doing things independently could also mean that you are more vulnerable to the things that happen in life. As such, the availability of a support group helps you to first think about the decision you are making and when you talk about it, you can hear better reasoning as to why you should or should not continue with that idea.
Create a budget
Being in control of your budget is also very important. You should be fully aware of your monthly expenditure. Know what you are spending your money on and do not avoid it. As a single parent, there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, be it in terms of taking care of your children or financially. Having a proper budget and sticking to it will help you to reduce any unnecessary spending and allow you to focus on what is more important or what should be the priority.
You could always turn online for help as there are countless personal finance websites and applications available for you to use. Some apps allow you to link all your different accounts into one app and help to illustrate to you clearly what your expenditure is like.
Take care of your debts
Another very important thing to do is to clear your debts as quickly as possible. Being able to pay off your debts quickly leaves you being more financially free to finally use your money to spend on your family. To do so, it is good to take on a debt elimination strategy. Firstly list out all your debts from the smallest to the largest. Then start paying off the minimum you can for your debts except the smallest, try to pay off as much as possible for the smallest debt to clear it quickly.
Increase your employability
Have a plan to increase your earning potential. It is good to have a plan for the future, regardless of the little time you have to do so. When you have a plan, you set goals for yourself to achieve. As such, it is good to upskill yourself constantly. This would ensure that you will always be in a hireable position. This upskill could also help you to earn more in the future.
Talk to your kids about finances
It is also good to let your children be aware of your financial status. Do not be afraid to talk to them about things such as budgets and at the same time, this would help them to better understand the value of money and perhaps establish proper expectations. Allow your children to understand why they are unable to constantly have the things they want and to be able to make adjustments. What is more important is to show your children love. Be there for them in other ways. This way they will learn to appreciate you and your sacrifices.
Set aside funds for retirement
Never give up your retirement. As much as you would like to give your child the best, you should never short-change yourself. Yes, college and school fees are very important, but you also have to take yourself into account. Having a retirement fund not only allows you to live a comfortable life but also takes the burden off your children as well. Remember that it is alright to care about yourself first, when it comes to paying tuition fees, you could always look out for the available financial aid schemes within the different schools.
All in all, being a single parent does have its disadvantages and stresses. While it is important to ensure that everyone in the household is well taken care of and that the needs of your children are met, be sure not to neglect yourself in the process. Be sure to surround yourself with individuals who are genuinely there to listen to you vent about your frustrations and give you the proper aid and help you need.