Single parents are especially vulnerable to financial difficulties than their married counterparts. A single-parent family will most likely demand form the single parent to play a double role in their daily lives, but also in their financial efforts. And while the struggles of a single parent are undoubtedly high, there are certain resources that can be successfully used to overcome financial difficulties and close the gaps that appear in such families. There are plenty of approaches that will help you stay afloat, some of the most effective being presented in this article. Keep reading to find out more.
#1. Have several backup plans
As a single parent, you may be faced at one point in time with lost opportunities to advance in career, but also with numerous work hours lost. You have to care all by yourself for a child, and this might mean that you will underperform at your job on multiple occasions. Well, this means that you have to have several backup plans to stabilize your income. For instance, instead of losing another day at the job because your child is sick and needs an adult’s surveillance, you could make a list of people to call in such circumstances. Maybe a close relative or another parent will be willing to help when needed. Make sure that everybody on your list is comfortable with helping with these matters. These simple approaches will not only help you meet your workplace duties but also save somewhere up to $50 on each daycare “pickup” that you would have to do.
#2. Consider downsizing
In most of the cases, single-parent families appear as a result of a divorce or death of a spouse. Unless you can easily afford to pay a mortgage on your current house, as well as paying the other bills, you must consider downsizing. Move into a smaller house or find an apartment building near your workplace and your child’s school or nursery. This will help you save money on mortgage, but also on transportation. Moving to a smaller property will also reduce the monthly energy costs, as well as the daily living costs. Only think of this matter in simple terms: you will have to heat, clean and supply water for a smaller property, which translates into diminished overall costs. While losing your big, generous home may be challenging after becoming a single parent, this is one of the best solutions to cut down some of your monthly expenses.
#3. Consider an IVA
If you simply can’t afford to pay off your debt, consider the services of a dedicated company. In most of the cases, debt settlement agencies can offer IVA deals. What is an IVA? This is an abbreviation for Individual Voluntary Agreement. These debt settlement strategies work on a simple philosophy. They act as a settlement between you and your debt creditor and will help you set the monthly payment at affordable rates, so the living standard of your family won’t be affected in the long run. These settlements are available for approximately 5 or 6 years, and if the total value of your debt isn’t covered in that interval, they will be simply written off.
Keep in mind that you should work with a licensed practitioner. Only these experts will be able to truly help you. If you do choose to collaborate with an expert, there will be some advantages you may want to know about:
- The settlement will be specifically designed to meet your own needs and financial situation;
- All interests and charges will disappear after the date of the settlement;
- Creditors won’t be able anymore to take legal action against you;
- You will receive continuous guidance and advice from your Insolvency Practitioner.
The advantages will surely make single-parent families who find themselves unable to juggle with all the monthly expenses in an efficient manner consider this option as the most reliable and affordable solution.
#4. Learn how to live frugally
Variable expenses will allow you to save some important amounts of money. Grocery shopping can be a deal maker or breaker, depending on your ability to shop and cook frugally. There are plenty of online resources that teach the reader how to shop and cook on a budget and not only: also, healthy! Try to reduce grocery bills by creating a weekly meal plan and only shop once a week. Try to find calorie dense foods that can also be cooked in a variety of ways. Beans of all kinds, even green ones, rice and pasta can be combined into a variety of courses and will allow you to cook on a budget. Learn how to shop smartly. For instance, shop all your meat while on discounts and purchase larger amounts. When you get home, divide it into smaller portions and freeze what you are not cooking with during that day. Do the same with your vegetables. While there is a common misconception that fruits and vegetables are expensive, if you purchase those on discounts and freeze them, you will have fresh produce for longer intervals. Also, if you plan your meals and shop in advance, you will be more likely to avoid spending unnecessarily when grocery shopping.
#5. Search for child care co-ops
Childcare costs can accumulate quite fast and if you’re able to find alternatives, then the overall monthly expenses will decrease. As childcare isn’t an option for you, as a single parent, if you find a childcare co-op, you will decrease the monthly costs. A babysitting co-op is formed out of parents that rotate to offer babysitting services to others in the same area if they can’t afford to pay for those. If you consider this option, you could easily save up to $100 monthly on childcare services.
These are some important considerations for all those single parents that struggle financially. Keep in mind that for every issue and challenge that you face, there is a solution. Keep a cool mind and try to adopt a more frugal living style.