Being a single parent can introduce monetary challenges into your daily life, making it harder to bounce back from debt and setbacks. It also means that you may have less financial support to work with, which can prove terrifying and stressful. And as for retirement—it’s much harder to save up a substantial nest egg. However, if you employ these financial must-haves for single parents, you can work responsibly on your fiscal gaps.
- Money lessons—for parent and child alike. Consider finding courses or videos online to help you learn how to save better. Even better, many are free. Additionally, start giving your children money lessons once they reach an appropriate age. For instance, you can offer them a modest present for a birthday, as well as a sensible amount of money—but only if they save or invest it. Show them how a bank account works and how to be responsible on a budget. This will set them up to be successful later in life.
- Trusted friends or family. When you’re on your own, you may get called into work suddenly, need affordable daycare, or someone to take your sick child home from school. Find people you truly trust. Then, make sure to have clear conversations with them about the possibility of looking after your child and what you’d both expect. That way, if an emergency happens, you’ve already communicated a plan as to how you’ll both handle the situation. Additionally, while you shouldn’t count on reduced rates for childcare from your selected parties, it’s possible that they may offer to help for a lower amount of money—or for free. You can invest in a set of thank you cards or small gifts, like lotion or a mug, to give them in return.
- A consistent savings plan. Though some parts of your life may be uncertain, don’t let your savings follow the same pattern. Dig deep into your budget—and don’t be afraid to ask for another set of eyes. See just what percentage of your monthly income you can save—then start saving it. Don’t neglect the emergency money as well—you’re going to want to keep a fund of several months’ pay in case a disaster strikes.
- A sense of imagination. One of the biggest financial must-haves for single parents is free! Many of us have strong memories of the gifts we desperately wanted and received as children—or didn’t receive. Unfortunately, no matter how much we may want to give our children a coveted item on their wish lists or a trip somewhere nice, it’s not always fiscally feasible. Consider making your children their presents, finding cost-free playtime ideas, and using what you have at hand. Spending time with your children and encouraging them to use their imaginations will give them great memories, and it will let you show them how much you care. It’s hard, especially when you’re the only one bringing in income, so make sure that you actively show your family how important they are to you.
- A plan for your golden years. Whether you’re banking on a Roth IRA, traditional IRA, or alternative savings plan, you need to start contributing to a nest egg. Even if you can only afford to put in a few dollars at a time, something is better than nothing—especially if you invest wisely.
- A money jar. Want to reward yourself or do something nice for your child? It’s easy to overlook how much loose change we keep around. Consider putting your coins into a money jar. Then, if it comes time for you to celebrate a new milestone in your child’s life, get some rolls from the bank. If your child is working on developing his or her motor skills, learning to roll coins together could give you an opportunity to help him or her progress. Then, take the money to the bank and take your child out on the town. You may have enough for a coveted toy, a good movie, or a nice meal. Make sure to avoid coin machines, as they take a large percentage out of your money.
Though it’s hard to navigate the choppy waters of single parenthood, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re working to give your family the best life possible. Hopefully with these financial must-haves for single parents, you can also take care of yourself—and your retirement—too. After all, like every parent, you deserve to enjoy your golden years in comfort!
Another financial must-have? A knowledgeable investment team! Call Ty J. Young Inc. at 877-912-1919 to learn more about how you can grow your savings, money-protected. Plus, if you want to find out more retirement facts and fiscal advice, continue to read our blog here.