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Life as a single parent can prove to be the toughest patch in life. This is especially true when it comes to financial management. You often find yourself stuck in dilemmas, such as whether to use the remaining cash to fuel your daily drive to work or buy groceries for your kids while avoiding credit cards.
Besides, you probably spend your evening hours working a second or third job while other parents read bedtime stories to their kids.
However, single parenthood doesn’t have to be a financial quandary. Many single parents have mastered the art of financial management, providing for their kids, and investing while still living a fulfilling life.
How do they do it?
Here are three major tips to help you improve your financial situation.
Control Your Budget And Debt
Budgeting and debt management are some of the basics of financial management. It’s vital to know where your monthly spending goes.
A monthly budget gives you a strong foundation, especially as a single parent.
Contrary to popular opinion, budgeting isn’t meant to take away your freedom. Instead, it will help you prioritize your needs and those of your kids.
For example, some of the kids’ activities you should budget for include school fees, weekend outings, and clothes, among many others. Without a monthly budget, you’ll not be able to prioritize, organize, and cut off unnecessary expenses.
You’ll be able to focus only on what’s important. For example, efficient budgeting can show you that you need to reduce your shopping expenses to pay more medical insurance fees.
It’s also important to know your debts and include them in your budget. This way, you’ll be able to pay them off sooner without defaulting.
Perhaps, you already know budgeting can be a bit intimidating as a single parent. However, you can find various online tools that can help you efficiently track your expenses. The tools are efficient as they generate reports and spending charts for monthly expenses.
Retirement Savings Over College Savings
Single parents often prioritize their kids’ needs and forget about their own. However, this can go wrong, especially once you retire, putting others’ needs before your own.
Affording college for your children can be challenging as a single parent. However, you don’t want to be a burden. If you don’t prepare, your retirement expenses will fall on your kids.
One great strategy to save up for your retirement is using a retirement savings vehicle that automatically and regularly deducts your retirement savings from your income. This is because you tend to get distracted by other financial pressures or emergencies that take away the need for saving.
For example, you can use your employer’s retirement plan so that you don’t have to worry about your savings every month.
Remember, financial security also means taking care of yourself. Don’t delay saving up for your retirement until your youngest one can take care of themselves.
Think about how you can always borrow money for your kids’ college but can’t borrow for your retirement. If you’re not sure where to start saving for your retirement, you can visit sites such as Retirement Investments for effective planning.
Start Investing Now
When money is tight, investing tends to be on the bottom tier of your priority list. It’s common for your bills to take up most of your income.
Yes, single-parent households tend to have lower income than families with two working parents. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t investment options for single parents.
With the right investment planning and strategies, you can secure a brighter future for you and your kids. Now that you’re budgeting, why don’t you go ahead and commit some of your money to investments?
That’s right. You only need to plan and implement the right strategies to reach your current and future financial goals.Financial management for single parents doesn't always have to be a dilemma between providing for your kids and setting yourself up for a fulfilling future. Check out these tips!Click To Tweet
Time and discipline are two essential factors for single parents looking to invest. Right now is the best time to start.
Dividend investing is an excellent option if you’re planning for a long-term investment.
How to do dividends work? You invest a certain amount in a company in exchange for shares. The company then distributes share dividends to investors on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
For example, if the company decides to pay 25 cents per share, you will get $25 if you have 100 shares.
You can reinvest the dividends into the same company, which will generate their own dividends. This is the magic of compound interest.
Financial management for single parents doesn’t always have to be a dilemma between providing for your kids and setting yourself up for a fulfilling future. With a few tips, you can achieve your financial goals and not neglect any of your needs.
Budgeting is one of the basics of financial management. Also, start investing for the long-term and prioritize your retirement savings.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.