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Our Finances

Budgeting Techniques I Wish We Knew Before Having Kids


Being a single parent and having to face off the mountain of bills may come with huge challenges. You don’t have a spouse to give you a lending hand when things seem to be tough or bicker with regarding financial issues. Single parents have a unique set of budgeting challenges, which other families may not even understand. These few tips can help single mothers keep their budgets in shape and foster growth in their financial well being.

Budget, but in your own way
Single parenting demands a mother to have a strong budget strategy. Mothers who are raising their children on their own need to realize that they can make it but they have to work out on their spending patterns. They should ensure they pay bills consistently and on time. Avoiding late payment penalties and charges can allow them to have grip in managing their debts. The late fees could quickly spiral out and become uncontrollable. Automated payments can make the bill payment process to be less painful.

Build an emergency fund
Whether you are a single parent or not, an emergency fund works out for anyone. A family needs to have cushioning cash that can take it at least 3 to 6 months when the unexpected happens such as loss of job or bad times in business. The emergency fund can meet expenses such as medical bills and car repairs.

Don’t over rely on child support
In case you are getting child support from the other parent of your children, you should not rely heavily on it. Something unexpected can happen such as the other parent being laid off from work, sustaining injury, or the support is discontinued. This can put you in a difficult position. While you may get the support, make sure you develop your own way of meeting the expenses and develop a monthly budget that does not draw from the child support payments.

Check your housing expenses
After divorce, a single mother may consider staying in the same home and continue taking care of the kids. While it may work out; you need to know that most likely, the household’s cash flow has been trimmed. You need to ensure the housing expenses remain below 30 percent.

While it can be stressful for single parents to manage their bills and children, especially when working on low earnings, there are ways they can do it. The above tips can help single parents to remain on track in their finances.

About the author / 

Julie Murphy