Being a single parent can be one of the most challenging experiences that you’ll face. Not only do you have all of the regular expenses that everyone has to worry about (rent, food, insurance, etc.) but you have the added difficulty of being responsible for at least one child. Luckily, your kids will also give you an added incentive to succeed that people without kids just don’t have.
When it comes to financial planning, things might be a little more difficult for you. However, there are also plenty of people in your situation who still find a way to make ends meet. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick list of strategies that you can use to help manage your finances. Let’s take a look at a few tips to help you navigate financial planning as a single parent.
Find a way to increase your income
Most financial advisors and blogs are quick to talk about all of the ways that you need to cut back. They tell you that you need to save money, live frugally, and minimize your spending.
While these things are definitely important, increasing your income is a much more preferable option when it comes to making ends meet. Boosting your income will give you pretty much the same results as cutting spending except that your quality of life will be a little bit higher.
Here are a few ways that you can give your income a boost:
- Ask for a raise
- Do your best to find a jobs that pays you more
- Start a side hustle
- Start freelancing
If doing this sounds like too big of an extra workload, then you can focus on cutting your budget.
Improve your financial literacy
The key to making better decisions about your money is through financial literacy. As a parent, it wasn’t something that was taught at schools and yet it is the single most important life skill. With the internet and a simple Google search, you can become financially independent.
One such site is a free academy site that will guide you step-by-step through the learning journey, take a look at MNYMSTRS.com.
Be extremely efficient with your budget
Budgeting is a critical skill for everyone to master. However, as a single parent, you probably have less wiggle room in your budget compared to most people. This is because you have way more expenses such as healthcare for multiple people, babysitters, multiple mouths to feed, etc.
Due to this, you need to be very efficient with your budget. Each month, you should make sure that you are spending less than you are earning. If you aren’t spending less than you’re earning then you need to examine your spending habits to see where you can cut back.
Find fun, free things to do
One good way to cut back on your spending is to find fun, free things to do to keep your family entertained. Here are a few ideas:
- Find a free Museum
- Go on a picnic
- Take a trip to the beach or lake (if possible, depending on your location)
- Go on a hike
- Go to your local public library
Most of the time, outings like this are more about just spending quality time together. It’s not really about the activity itself.
Eliminate bad debt
Debt like credit cards and personal loans carries an incredibly high rate of interest. This can result in you paying way more in interest as time goes on, which can be a killer for your bank account.
Do some digging into your existing debts (if you have any) and check to see if you’re paying over 5% in interest on any of them. If you are, do your best to pay down these debts as quickly as possible.
We hope that you’ve found this article valuable when it comes to understanding financial planning for single parents. If you’re interested in reading more, please subscribe below to get alerted of new articles as we write them!