A single parent is under tremendous and unique challenges when it comes to raising a family. They only have one income and they only have themselves to rely upon, so the potential for stress is huge. The best way to deal with this stress is to manage it. Here are 5 tips to better help a single parent deal with the stress of having to financially protect their family.
1. Have cash in the bank – As it is possible, you need to establish a cash reserve to fall back on in the case you have an emergency or lose your job. A few months worth of living expenses saved up means that a serious situation doesn’t have to be worse than it already is.
2. Protect your future – Since your kids only have you to rely on you need to have a way to take care of them if something happens to you. You need to investigate and purchase a long-term disability insurance plan and a life insurance plan so that your kids are provided for if you can no longer provide for them.
3. Think about college early – College is going to be expensive, but the sooner you start saving for it the longer you have to save the money you need and the easier the saving will be. There are all sorts of great savings plans which can help you save for your child’s college education.
4. Rethink how you spend – Every so often you and your family should sit down and look at how you are spending money. Consider where the money goes and think about how much of it you need to spend. You can certainly come up with ways to cut some unnecessary expenses and redirect those funds. You can use that freed up money for savings or for other expenses. If you do it as a family it will seem like a game and you won’t even miss the money that you aren’t spending any more.
5. Have a plan – Sit down and set up a realistic spending plan (a nicer way of saying budget). Make sure it is realistic, accounts for savings and debt payments as well as your ongoing expenses and contingencies. Once you have it in place check back regularly to make sure you are sticking to it. If you consistently aren’t sticking to it, take a look at it to see what the problem is and see how you can adjust it so that it works for you.