Kids bring so much to your life when they come along, but they also take a lot, too. One thing, aside from sleep, that seems to simply disappear into thin air when you’re a single parent, is money. Finances in a one-parent family can be a juggling act, can’t they? If you are struggling to make ends meet, take a look at these five vital tips to help you avoid getting into debt:
1- Something To Tide You Over
Often, we can be doing so well to keep everything balanced month on month, then suddenly, the car breaks down, or a birthday comes up, maybe the dishwasher breaks – disaster! How are you going to pay for it? Perhaps a no-interest loan is a sensible approach to an unexpected cost. If it keeps you from debt in the short-term, it could be a good idea.
2- Don’t Overspend When You Don’t Need To
As parents, we can often guilt ourselves into thinking our children only need the best. However, you can cut costs without compromising their happiness. Designer clothes or organic food can be switched for lower-cost options that provide the same benefits. If you’re guilty of pushing your finances to the brink for your baby’s birthday, consider the fact that scientific studies show that babies remember nothing but a good time. Whether you pass them an empty box or an expensive stuffed toy, if you smile and play with them as you do it, they won’t care what the gift actually is. A happy baby will do best with a happy mummy or daddy, not one stressed from going into debt to provide the things that don’t actually make a difference to their wellbeing.
3- Know Your Rights
If you are not getting the financial support that you should get from the mother or father of your child, perhaps you could look into your rights to get it. The process can be complicated, and nothing is guaranteed, but there are ways to legally request a contribution from the second parent of your child. Even if the amount of support provided is small, it could make all the difference in your ability to cope with monthly financial demands.
4- Take Some Extra Work
A second job would be handy to increase income, but sometimes the childcare needed to get that isn’t affordable. A solution to that is to take on extra work that you can do at home. Some extra jobs you can do from home are:
- Product testing
- Paid product reviews
- Running an online shop
- Running paid ads on social media
The internet has a broad number of opportunities for single parents at home to make some extra cash.
5- Clear-Up Any Existing Debt
If you already have existing debt, it may be that you find you are always falling short of financial demands every month. If this is the case, seek advice on how you can clear-up your existing debt. Maybe you’ll have to speak to lenders about a repayment plan, or you may have to sacrifice a few luxuries for a few months. The sooner you’re out of debt, the sooner you can relax more on a monthly basis, and maybe even start to save money to protect yourself from unexpected costs in the future.
Being a single parent is no easy feat and the first step to better finances is taking an honest look at your current situation. If you are savvy and creative with your financial situation, you can avoid debt for a better future for you and your children.