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June 13, 2018
Unbiased Financial Information Provided by Financial Finesse
Single parenting is tough. It's hard to make ends meet when you're trying to provide for two or more on just one income. You make sure everyone is on time for soccer games and music lessons. And, you have to keep up with the weekly household chores. "Money Management?" you might say. "I barely have time to breathe!"
Basic money management techniques are a necessity for a single parent. The more you commit to it, the more you are going to make life a little more manageable. You might even find yourself with a little extra income that can help you enjoy life as a single parent. And you might even find time to breathe.
A Little Budgeting Goes a Long Way
There's no question about it: Good budgeting saves money. Here are some great tips on reducing expenses:
Tips for Easy Savings
When you Really Need to Find More Savings
For some single parents, more significant cost-cutting might be in order. It hurts a little at first, but by eliminating unnecessary spending you can put yourself in better financial shape. And you will be rewarded in the future. After a year or two of frugal living you might be able to splurge on a long summer vacation or move into a nicer home!
Saving on Day Care
Nobody should have to trade quality for cost when it comes to day care for their children. Yet day care is probably one of the biggest financial worries that a single parent deals with. Ask at your church/place of worship, YMCA, or Boys and Girls Clubs about cost-effective and trustworthy childcare.
If your employer offers a "dependent care account", use it. It allows you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for your day care expenses (up to a family maximum of $5,000 per year). Instead of using after-tax dollars to pay for day care (where $1 buys $1 worth of day care) you use pre-tax dollars (where $0.70 buys $1 worth of day care, assuming a 30% tax bracket). Therefore, the same day care costs less.
Manage the Stress
Remember, children are sometimes more in tune with your emotions and feelings than you think. If you constantly worry about money, they will feel that and they'll worry, too. So do what you can to keep things "light."
Tough times don't last forever. Better days are ahead. Keep this in mind when money gets tight and you'll find that you are able to make better financial decisions with a clearer perspective.