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If you are a single parent, you already have a lot on your plate, from meeting work obligations, to doing chores around the house, to raising your kids right. You are likely the only income earner in the household as well, so financial burdens may fall on you.
Managing your money well can give you peace of mind and make sure your kids will be provided for if anything happens to you. There are a few areas you might want to focus on first.
Increase Your Income
If you already live below your means, you are doing better than most. But if you want to build wealth, you’ll need to find ways of increasing your income. You have likely heard the idea of adding more sources of income, but you may already be doing this to make ends meet.
If you aren’t, you may already be stretched to the max by taking care of your kids. One option might be to increase your marketable skills, which can help you land a better-paying job.
You can get certifications, take courses, or even get your degree to put yourself in a better financial position. Also, you can take out a student loan to pay for your degree, as Earnest private student loans make the costs of your education much more affordable.
You can then ask for a raise or even look for another job after completion.
Think About the Future
If you get your finances in order for right now, you can start thinking about the long-term future, such as your retirement and your kids’ education. If you can’t contribute to both of these things, you can still focus on your retirement.
While your child will be able to receive scholarships or take out loans as necessary, you won’t have these options for your retirement. Plus, if you aren’t able to financially support yourself during retirement, that burden may fall on your child, and they may not be prepared for that expense.
If you have a 401(k) plan, try to contribute as much as you need to get any company-sponsored match. If you don’t have that option, you can look into getting an IRA instead. Even if you can’t put aside much, a little is better than nothing.
Once you have started regularly setting aside retirement funds, it’s a good idea to look into education fund options for your kids. There may be state-sponsored plans that allow you to receive certain tax benefits from contributing.
The funds can then be used for various education-related expenses, such as private school or college.
It’s tempting to want to share moments of you and your kids with family members and friends. Social media is an easy to way to do so. While there is nothing wrong with connecting with others on social media, you may want to reduce how much time you spend online.
Spending too much time online can cause you to spend more money and waste time that you could put into a remote side hustle. Many social media channels run targeted ads, which can tempt you to buy products you are interested in but hadn’t otherwise planned on spending money on.
Spending too much time on social media can also reduce your self-control, whether it’s online or offline. You might want to consider setting app timers so you are mindful of how much time you spend scrolling.
Protect Your Kids
You are likely already required to carry insurance for things like your car or home. But it’s also a good idea to look into coverage that might not be required but is a good idea to have. Life insurance and disability insurance can protect your kids if anything happens to you.
It is easy to understand why you might feel the need to skip this optional coverage. It is just another expense to many people, and your budget may already be tight. Plus, many don’t like to think about themselves dying, so they don’t like to think about end-of-life decisions.
However, when you do not have a partner to care for them, it becomes even more important to make sure they would be provided for.