Single Parent’s Guide to Money

May 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Kids at the shore

Life is going differently that you’d dreamed and now you are parenting alone. Deep breath. You’ve got this, bud.

You are able – You CAN do this. You have to do this, so you obviously will. You’ll get the knowledge you need. You already have the wisdom you need. And you have the courage to make this life beautiful. We believe in you, buddy.

Make a budget that works- You have to look at all the bills. Hiding from them does not help, as you tell the kids when they try to avoid whatever discourages them. So, open everything and track what you’ve spent the last few weeks on everything. This is the beginning of making your own budget and budgets are good. They are a guide for what has been spent, ty provide a tool to plan for what will be spent and they present money in an objective format.

To get an idea of what financial experts suggest on spending percentages search online through your local library. Once you have an idea of how you might allocate your finite resources,make a PLAN. Paying bills automatically may be a good option for you so that you have one less thing to do. But feel FREE to do whatever works for you.

You aren’t alone- If managing the money hasn’t been your previous role in the past, or you feel totally out of your element, talk with your local financial institution, your church or friends who can sit down with you and work out a plan. You are not alone. You may be the only adult at breakfast, but you are not alone in this world, toots, and don’t forget it. You may not want folks to see you feeling confused. BUT there are people who would LOVE to help you, as you have helped others with their hardships and transitions. It is only if you isolate yourself that you will be alone, buddy.

Say no about spending- Do not feel guilty when the kids can’t have things they want to have. They will ask because they don’t know and because they are immature. But life isn’t about giving them everything they ask for, nor is it about parental guilt. This present single life is way more than about stuff and money. And you need to NOT let unproductive emotions rule your heart and mind. The kids will be fine. They will always want more stuff. Even if you had lots more money they would continue to be unsatisfied because it is the job of retailers and product manufactures to help them desire the newest thing. So be strong and calm and clear in your financial direction. The more they can be included in the process by giving them the reins of their money or, as they mature, getting them to help paying bills with you so they see exactly how life works and develop a clear understanding of the ‘family finances,’ the less they will grumble. And, yes, they can learn this. It will give them a better handle on money than you had.

Keep on keeping on- Now, keep going. Keep improving. Keep checking your plan and adjusting it as needed. Life is going to awesome. This is going to work out. You will come out on the other side of this transition wiser and more awesome. And you will have raised some wonderful people.

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