Single-income parents have numerous financial commitments on their plate beyond trying to manage all other responsibilities during a crisis. If you’ve hit your breaking point when it comes to reaching financial goals while still staying on top of the bills, it’s probably time to reevaluate your bank account and your current subscriptions. Use the guide below to help you realign your current budget to fit within your means while still maintaining your future monetary aspirations.
Outline New Goals
First and foremost, it’s vital to outline your financial goals in light of the current state of the world and set aside other goals you know you probably won’t be able to achieve. For some single parents, this might be finally making the transition from renting to buying, while for others it could be affording that new car you had your eye on or simply reaching a savings goal. Whatever your new goals may be, make them realistic for your circumstances, and be sure to have a clear picture of how you’ll be able to hit them. Begin by creating a budget for yourself and strive to stick to it as much as possible. If you’re budgeting for something on the smaller side, try using a savings jar as it will give you a visual of your goal, and it’s a great way to get the kids involved as well.
Manage Your Credit
Managing your credit during a global pandemic might seem impossible, but many providers are offering relief during this time. If you don’t know what your credit union might be offering in terms of help, be sure to give them a quick call or to check out any online updates they may have made to their website. Most banks are offering zero interest on late payments and have waived late fees to support those who are struggling financially. Aside from discussing this with your bank, you should also identify any other consistent payments you’re worried about in order to assess how they may affect your credit score. Re-evaluate how you’ve been paying high profile expenses like a mortgage payment and any student loans you may have, as these tend to affect your score more than other payments. Should you also be tied down to other loans with stable rates like home equity, be sure to check on relief options for these expenses as well. If you have the means to dedicate even a small amount of extra funds to boost your credit score, now is the time to do so.
Being creative with how you spend your money is half the battle for single parents because let’s face it, kids are expensive. Beyond streaming subscriptions your kids may use, extracurricular activity costs and even simple expenses like groceries can add up significantly. In the next few weeks, dedicate some time to tracking what you’re paying for that your children are actually using. Has your Hulu streaming service been logged into recently or has it been untouched? Are there summer activity costs that your kids won’t be able to participate in in light of the current state of things? If you do find that you’re going to save on certain cancelled events you’d normally have to pay for, look for creative ways to recreate summer activities at home for a smaller cost. Discussing more affordable alternatives is a great way to feel more on top of your finances as the summer approaches.
Know When to Ask For Help
If you’re at the point where you feel as though your financial options are running dry, one thing every single parent should keep in mind is that it’s okay to ask for help. Try engaging online with local single parent support groups in order to make connections and get advice from individuals in similar situations. Ask local family members for their financial tips or simply for help in regard to child care in general to save on such costs. Be sure to research financial resources for single parents online along with unemployment support should you be experiencing uncertainty when it comes to work.