It may be tougher for single parents to secure personal finances – but it is not impossible. It will require a lot of work but if you are determined to build a better life for you and your children, then there is no obstacle that you cannot overcome.
According to statistics, 23% of family arrangements have a single mother. Of course, there are also single fathers out there but the former seems to be more common. In fact, it is the second most prevalent arrangement in families right now.
There are many reasons why some households have this arrangement. Sometimes, divorce or legal separation is the cause. In other cases, people live in a single-parent household because someone passed away. Regardless of how and why it happened, one thing is for certain – this is harder compared to living with two parents.
While a lot of households have this arrangement, one cannot help but wonder if it is a bad thing to grow up in a single parent household. Well, it should not be. However, if you want to secure personal finances, that may not be the easiest goal to meet. Admittedly, it is hard to find financial security regardless if you have one or two parents. But for single parents, it will be significantly more difficult. In fact, it might be hard to find a financial breakthrough in a single parent household compared to having both parents in.
Why is it harder for single parents to find financial security
There are several reasons why it is usually harder for people living in a single-parent household.
People living in a single-parent household is known to experience a lot of difficulties – mostly because there is only one person earning at home. The lower income in the household can be limiting for those who are trying to find a financial breakthrough. This is the main concern for a lot of single parents. If there used to be two incomes coming in, you need to prepare the whole family to start living in a single-income household. To be honest, this is not the easiest thing to do. It will take a lot of getting used to – especially for the children. You need to cut back on a lot of expenses. It even gets harder if the income that was lost is the higher one.
Lower net worth
This is where it becomes difficult to secure personal finances. Single-parent households earn lower and have to shoulder practically the same level of expenses. In fact, it might be harder and more expensive for single parents once the new tax plan has taken effect. The status as head of household will no longer be valid and single parents will be forced to file as individuals. This will increase their tax obligations significantly. This is only one example of how some expenses will be bigger and more burdensome.
As if earning is not hard enough, the burden of being solely responsible for your family will make things even more difficult. The stress and the pressure will surely get to you. It can be distracting and discouraging as you try to meet all the financial obligations back home. Instead of being able to focus on your work or putting in long hours to earn more, you have to take the time to take care of your children. You will be the only one they will rely on when it comes to school work and other extracurricular activities.
All of these make it very difficult for single parents to secure personal finances for the whole family. And even if the parents are bearing the brunt of the difficulties, that does not mean the children are not feeling the effects as well. They will be suffering with you and that makes everything more emotionally difficult.
Tips to help you secure your finances
But like everything else, you cannot let all of these problems keep you from achieving financial security. The fact that you are the sole breadwinner in the house makes it more necessary to secure personal finances. The stress of living in a single-parent household is real. The expectations are the same but fewer people are there to work on meeting them. Keeping up with everything is challenging enough. Making your finances secure is another challenge.
But while it is challenging, it is not impossible. You can follow these tips to help you secure the finances of your family.
Create a budget
Living in a single-income household would mean a lot of changes. You need to revise your budget – or create a new one if you never had one before. This budget will help you identify your income and allow you to create a realistic list of expenses. If your expenses cannot be covered by your income, then you know that you should cut back on your spending.
Analyze your financial position
Using the budget that you created, look at your current financial situation and analyze it. How much are you earning and what are your expenses? You should also look into your emergency fund. Do you have one? If not, then you know what you need to do. Analyzing your finances will help you figure what areas need improvement.
Downsize your life
Whether your income can cover all your expenses, you still need to downsize your life. This will help create extra money on your budget to help you save money even with limited cash flow. You can choose to invest this money, put it aside for your emergency fund or save it in a secure account. These will all take you one step forward in securing your personal finances. Since there is one less person, you might not need too many rooms in your house. You might not need two cars. Consider what you can cut back on so you can free extra money.
Teach your kids financial management
Although single parents feel the burden of taking care of the family, that does not mean they cannot get support from their children. Instead of letting them feel weak or incomplete, you can teach them how to be stronger and more responsible about their own lives. You need help and they can give this to you. Start by teaching them better financial management habits. Instead of shielding them, be honest about the situation – specifically with your finances. They need to do their part and understand that you need their help. You will raise responsible and financially savvy children this way.
Do not let your limitations hold you back
This is probably the most important tip that you can take. While it all may seem discouraging and hard, do not let that deter you. There are so many things that you can do. Even the hardest situation can become you to do better and even be a better version of who you are. As you work on strengthening yourself, you will notice how everything will fall into place and improve.
Consider all of these when you are trying to secure personal finances. This is not an impossible situation to achieve. But you need to be realistic with your solutions to make sure that they can effectively help you improve your financial position.