Finance is a complex topic that has a unique definition to each family across America. People of all shapes, sizes and ages do anything they can to set themselves and their families up for stability in the bank account.
While some have an easier time accomplishing this tall task, single parents are dealt a short deck of cards. They have it tougher, and a higher level of accountability and organization is needed for them to thrive financially as the sole provider and caretaker.
Below are some straight forward tips directed at all the single parents out there. If you’re having trouble managing your finances, these tips can shed some positive hope on your situation. Everyone’s life is different, but these ideas can generally be applied universally across most situations involving a single parent. From there, it’s up to you.
Make yourself indispensable at work
We all know that finances are necessary to keep a family healthy. We also know that employment is how we get the income to keep the bank account satisfied. One specific way to help keep your family financially stable is by making yourself indispensable at work. Job security is always a topic to focus on as an adult, but it holds added importance when you’re the sole provider.
Take pride in what you do, and if you can’t, find a different situation where you can put forth enough effort to make yourself irreplaceable. A single parent’s best friend is consistent and reliable income, and this is a sure way to keep yourself hired in the workplace.
Important: The more secure your job is, the more time and care you’ll be able to share with your family. With the other challenges in life, the last thing you want to worry about as a single parent is money. Part of avoiding the concern is enjoying your employment and thriving within the role as much as possible. From there, everything will work itself out.
Set an example for your children
Part of promoting financial stability within your home as a single parent involves educating any children you have on the value of money. Set an example. Be an example. Be realistic with your finances and if you can’t afford something, explain to your children why that is to the best of your ability. They will struggle to understand at a young age, but you’d be surprised how much they will mellow out once they get a gauge of where your financial limits are. When they don’t push you with demands that are out of reach, everyone’s life is easier.
Supporting children is extremely challenging as a single parent, and it only gets tougher when the young people in the household have no concept of money. If you’re reasonably frugal and your children understand how and why you go about things, you’ll have a great chance at financial strength.
Important: Children with unreasonable opinions on money can make your life nearly impossible. If they have no idea why that new bike or that new dress is out of reach, discussions arise that you can avoid with some effort here and there. Take the time to teach your children the realistic value of money and you’ll all benefit.
Organize for the future
Single parents inherently have to better prepare for the future. It’s critical to do so, whether the conversation centers on job security, retirement, college savings or insurance. Any metaphorical safety net gets a bit more necessary when you’re the sole guardian, as there isn’t a partner to catch the financial burden if something gives way.
Put money away earlier than you’re advised for savings plans like college funds and retirement. Take out a life insurance policy that not only covers any children you have, but also that is well organized with regards to a will. This type of insurance can make your efforts more focused and help you avoid feeling like you’re walking on eggshells for years on end.
Important: When finances are concerned, planning ahead is always a focus. As a single parent, it’s your main priority. It’s never too early to start thinking about a future issue when you’re solely responsible. Any leverage you can get financially right now, go for it. You’ll thank yourself later.
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It comes with intense decisions, though, and they can be even more taxing if you’re on your own. Finances aren’t everything, but having them in order can help the rest of your life move forward much more efficiently. These are some ideas to help you in the push. Your life is unique to anyone else’s, but these points are meant to help you formulate a legitimate plan.
Arlene Chandler is from the NSW south coast and writes about life insurance products from Suncorp.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want stable finances.