Separating from a partner can be a difficult time. The last thing anyone going through an acrimonious breakup wants to deal with is financial issues. For many couples, especially those with a new baby or one on the way, one partner is the primary earner. In many cases, it is fathers who are the primary earners and mothers who are reliant upon this income to cover the household and childcare costs. Even with more mothers entering the workplace and pursuing a career, the statistics are still skewed.
However, both mothers and fathers can find themselves raising their children without the financial support of the other parent. For these parents, there may be several difficult choices ahead in the future. There are things that parents can do to manage their money better without a partner to support them. Managing your money better means less stress and an easier life all-round.
Take Control Of Your Finances Before They Start Controlling You
Raising a child is an expensive undertaking, and it is only getting more expensive as time goes on. With mounting costs and more demands than ever on individual and family finances, proper financial planning is essential. Proper budgeting ensures you are always aware of what is going on with your money and where you will spend it.
Covid-19 is only making the situation more difficult for most single parents. The pandemic has eaten into everyone’s budgets, not to mention the emotional toll it has taken on many parents. It looks increasingly like we are going to have to pay for our own Covid tests if or when they are widely available. If there is anyone in your family who is vulnerable to Covid, you might want to consider holding some money back to cover testing.
By setting yourself a proper budget and making sure that you stick to it, you can make managing your money properly as painless as possible. You don’t need any special tools or software to budget, although there are some great budgeting apps out there. Once you have a budget you can stick to, getting into good spending habits becomes a lot easier. Once those habits are in place, you won’t think twice about smart financial decisions.
Rethink Your Recreational Spending
We all need to unwind and relax now and then, making recreational spending essential. You shouldn’t forgo spending money on yourself completely, but you should think more carefully about the kind of recreational activities you spend money on. Prioritise cheaper events that you can enjoy for as little money as possible. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sacrifice your enjoyment to find affordable activities to do in your spare time.
One of the silver linings of Covid for some people is that it has eliminated the need for them to spend money on public transport. Working from home also means that many people no longer have to worry about buying a coffee or lunch when they are at work, further reducing their outgoings. Many popular recreational activities are no longer available or have become less desirable.
Embracing low-cost options for entertaining yourself is a great way of saving money for most people at the best of times. With Covid in full swing, everyone has a good excuse for avoiding expensive pubs and clubs. Instead, a coffee in the garden or an impromptu picnic is much cheaper.
Separating Needs and Wants
Another key principle of good money management is understanding the difference between a need and a want. The things that you need are the absolute essentials that you and your child can’t live without. You don’t have any choice about paying for these things. You need to budget for them irrespective of anything else.
On the other hand, the things that you want are the non-essential purchases that are not necessary for you and your child to be safe and healthy. The distinction between the two isn’t always as clear as you might think. For example, what might be an optional activity for one person might be essential for enabling someone else to ground themselves and stay relaxed.
If you want to stand a chance of managing your money effectively, you need to learn how to set and stick to a strict budget. To do this, you will need to define what your necessary expenditures and optional expenditures are more clearly. The easiest way of doing this is to retain all of your receipts and utility bills for a couple of months. You will then have a record of every purchase you have made and how much it was for.
With this information in hand, it’s easy to see exactly where your money is going. You will also be able to work out how much you are spending and what your income is. Knowing this information is vital to setting a realistic household budget.
Define Your Support System
Raising a child without a partner doesn’t mean that you have to bring the child up alone. Everyone needs a support network. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to assist you if you need it. Only you know which people in your life can be depended upon. Not everyone you know will be in your support network but you should take stock of exactly who is so you know who you can turn to.
Babysitting is just one of the many common costs that parents face and which can drain their finances at an alarming speed. Having someone reliable to call upon who can look after your child now and then will free you up to get out there and enjoy some time to yourself.
Consider Financial Aid
Many parents struggle with their finances and find themselves reaching out for assistance. Whether this assistance comes from friends and family or from a private lender, some parents don’t feel as if they have any good options. But there are numerous options for finance credit for parents. New Horizons has a comprehensive guide to managing money as a parent. New Horizons is a credit broker that can help you find the right loan for your financial needs, regardless of the circumstances you’re in. They offer short term loans and bad credit loans. 90% of applicants will be accepted and the application doesn’t leave a credit fingerprint.
Teach Your Children About Financial Responsibility
Having to manage finances for yourself and your child on your own should give you sufficient motivation to teach your own children about being financially responsible. Money troubles can befall any of us unexpectedly. It doesn’t matter how careful you are with your money and how much of an effort you make to manage your money responsibly, there will always be circumstances beyond your control.
Equipping your child with the skills that they need to survive financially if such an unexpected event does befall them will enable them to minimise the impact low funds have on their life.
Bringing up a child is always challenging, but doing it solo is even harder. Keeping your child happy and healthy requires money and society is set up for two-parent households. The advice above can help you to raise your child on your own without relying on anyone else’s financial support.