7 financial strategies for single parents
Being a single parent can arguably be the hardest job in America, and it doesn’t pay a salary. Adjusting to life as a single parent involves facing many energy-sapping and financially trying challenges.
It’s no easy task to be a single parent, but the following tips may help you avoid burnout and realize your future goals.
1. Create a road map for your new life: Cultivating a business-like relationship with a former spouse is a good start, but it’s also critical for you to develop a forward-looking self-image, especially if children are involved.
2. Control spending and have fun: More than likely, you’ll be on a leaner budget, which means you’ll need to keep tight tabs on where your money goes, but that doesn’t mean any sort of fun needs to disappear. Take advantage of free movie nights or restaurants’ children-eat-free nights.
3. Re-evaluate financial documents: As a single parent, it’s important that your children be provided for should something happen to you or your ex-spouse. Make sure that both of you are up-to-date on your life insurance policies, estate plans and retirement accounts.
4. Set up an emergency fund: Establishing an emergency fund was tough while you were married, but now that you’re single, it can be even more difficult. Continue to divert funds from your paycheck, child support, or spousal support into a money market or savings account.
5. Take advantage of tax breaks: Make sure that you have good head knowledge on what specific tax breaks you can receive, especially child-friendly ones. These tax breaks will depend on how much money you make and how old your children are.
6. Consider a new career: If you postponed your career or education to raise your family, you may need to take classes to earn a degree or certification. Before spending time and money on a career you may not like, it may be beneficial to consult a life coach or career adviser.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Single parents are always being pulled in every direction, which can lead to high stress levels and poor health. In fear of showing vulnerability, many single parents are reluctant to seek help. More often than not, single parents are always astounded to see how much support they do find when they simply ask.