Kids are expensive, especially if you’re on your own. Here are some tips to help you raise your children and stay out of debt
Raising a child can be extremely expensive. This task becomes even more daunting if you are a single parent. It can be overwhelming to juggle the needs of parenthood and your work-life without someone else to lend a helping hand.
For those reasons, Consolidated Credit has created this page of financial strategies for single parents. There are many unique aspects of being a single parent when it comes to personal finance. Hopefully, our advice will help you avoid any financial missteps as you take care of your children.
Financial tips for single parents
- Planning and budgeting – The best way to make sure you stay on the right financial track is to have a detailed budget. A small amount of planning will pay off dividends by helping you avoid overspending and the financial headaches that come with debt.
- You and your kids are on the same team – As a single parent, you are always struggling to make sure you spend enough time with your children while you maintain a household. A great way to spend time with them, and teach them a little bit about personal finance, is to include them in your budgeting process. Let them help with making a grocery list and clipping coupons. Additionally, your kids are smart enough to know when finances are tight around the house so don’t shield them from the truth. Keeping them informed about what is going on will make them more financially prudent in the future.
- Focus on debts – Whether you are a single parent or not, getting out of debt is always a wise financial decision. Eliminating your monthly debt payments will free up more money to help you take care of your children. If you have more questions about paying off your debt, you can call Consolidated Credit at 1-888-294-3130.
- Do a self-credit check – Are you one of the millions of Canadians who have no idea what their credit report looks like? It’s a good idea to check it once a year to make sure there are no mistakes that could be affecting your ability to get an apartment, a mortgage, car or even a job. The sooner you find a mistake, the easier it is to fix.
- Affordable childcare – As a single parent, you may find yourself needing someone to take care of your children while you are at work. This can be an enormous expense in Canada that can put a strain on your budget. Be sure to look around for the best option that combines excellent care for your children at an affordable price. You may want to consider touching base with your friends, family and/or neighbours to see if there is anyone else in a similar situation as you. You could start a babysitting rotation that will give you the peace of mind you crave without breaking the bank.
- Talk to your boss – More and more employers are giving the option of working at home to their employees. Talk with you boss and see if you could benefit from working from home for a few days a week. This could allow you to spend more time with your kids and cut down on your childcare costs.
- Get help from your ex – If you are a single parent due to divorce, you may be owed child support from your former spouse. This money is to be used for your children’s wellbeing so make sure you are receiving the full amount that you are owed.
- Hope for the best, prepare for the worst – In this day and age, you can never be sure when a sudden job loss or reduction in income could occur. These major changes can seriously affect you, but you can limit the consequences if you are prepared. Start by building up an emergency fund in your savings account. You should try to save around 4-6 months of living expenses so you will have a buffer if you find yourself in between jobs.
- Don’t neglect yourself – You can’t take care of your children if you don’t take care of yourself first. A healthy mother or father is going to have more energy to spend time with their kids in a meaningful way. For starters, take care of your body by regularly exercising and eating properly. But, don’t forget about your mental health. Taking the time to treat yourself every once in a while will do wonders for your overall mental wellbeing.
Raising children is hard enough with two parents, let alone doing it solo. If you are running into financial difficulties because of your situation, or you just need some financial advice, don’t hesitate to call Consolidated Credit at 1-888-294-3130.