An increase in the number of annual divorce cases across the globe has ended up a lot of children to be brought up in families with single parents. As a single parent, a person is supposed to play both the role of a father as well as mother and that too effectively. Apart from the usual affectionate nurturing, this also takes in to account the financial obligations and other educational dealings such as the graduate schemes of the child. This is when most of the single parents feel the crunch. Due to hectic work schedules and increased parenting responsibilities, single parents usually miss on to keeping a track and hence check on their personal expenses. Here are some smart and easy tips that will help in doing so.
1. Prepare a budget
Whenever it comes to finance, the first and foremost thing that comes in to picture is the budget. As a general rule of thumb, any financial plan begins with deciding on the budget and finishes with sticking to it. Especially when you are a single parent, it becomes all the more important for you have a clear budget for yourself. As you are deemed with the responsibility of looking after your own child all by yourself, therefore, you must ensure that all his or her expenses have also been incurred in the budget you set yourself. On a beginning front, you can try to set a necessary budge which takes in to consideration all your basic as well as unavoidable expenditures and most importantly your salary. Once the budget has been prepared, you must value it by sticking to it honestly and most of the times. Keep a check on your expenses as well. Do not forget that money saved is actually the money earned.
2. Anticipate the upcoming
Planning for your future in terms of financial security and otherwise becomes extremely crucial when you are a parent. The single folks who are supposed to and are expected to take care of your child independently can never miss on future planning. Therefore, try foreseeing the future. Always have a plan B. Find answers to horrifying but necessary questions as who is going to take care of your child at sudden times when you would be ill or might face an untimely death. Keeping this in view, make sure that you possess an adequate as well as a credible insurance cover for the child. Plan about the different economical graduate schemes you can admit your child into. You can even try indulging in child care proxies as well as health insurances for the child. This will guarantee the security of your child in case something happens to you.
3. Save for yourself as well
It is really important as well as necessary to have an emergency fund which is based on at least six months of your salary if not above this. Even if your daily lifestyle gets crunched, you must always keep saving on the top of your priority list. Do not forget that you are surrounded by child responsibilities and financial liabilities. Your retirement savings should then be next on your financial priority list. Never ever compromise all your retirement savings so as to provide your child with a luxurious as well as an elevated lifestyle. Do not overlook the fact that if you are able to save some money for your retirement, then you will not be a baggage on your child in times to come. Therefore, think from your brain and not from your heart when it comes to financial dealings and child care.
Rikkie Anderson is a financial advisor at the University of California. She deals with students and their parents and counsels them on the different graduate schemes offered by the university. She also writes for an international financial blog.