Regular two-parent households can be hectic enough, but there are additional challenges for families with one primary provider. Single parents have a lot to keep track of. Baby. Bottles. Bibs. Blankets.
And budgets? You bet.
Properly managing your money is one of the best things you can do as a single parent. Your money has to stretch further for regular expenses, and you also have to be ready for the occasional emergency, like car repairs, emergency room visits and more.
Sound like an impossible task? Without a budget it does. But with a disciplined financial oversight plan in place, anything’s possible…in fact, it’s downright probable!
Single Parent, Multi-Faceted Budget: Making Your Money Work for You
Too often, single parents are controlled by their money. But it should be the other way around – you should control your money. Well, it’s time to turn the tables.
Take advantage of tax credits.
- Every April 15th, give your budget a boost with federal tax credits designed to aid single parents. Check the IRS website for the latest credits available.
Don’t forget about retirement
- Kicking back on a beach somewhere 40 years in the future might be the furthest thing on a single parent’s mind when raising a child, and that’s OK. However, financial advisors encourage every parent to invest in their own future, even if it’s as little as $10 or $20 per month. With the power of compound interest, you can have quite a nest egg by the time you reach your golden years.
Pay yourself first
- Always give yourself a small percentage of your take-home pay, and keep an emergency savings fund for those unexpected costs – and as a single parent, there will be more than you think.
Stick to a budget
- As financial guru Dave Ramsey says, every dollar should have a mission. Aim for detail with your budget, so you know exactly where every dollar is going each month.
Stay out of debt, and pay your bills on time
- These two go hand in hand, but they’re absolutely essential for financial freedom.
Turning Point’s counselors offer a wide range of advice and knowledge for single parents, including budget and financial assistance. For more information about all the ways we can help, please visit our main office in Miramar, stop by our Mobile Pregnancy Clinic in Mountain View, or call us at 858-397-1970.