How To Navigate The Single Parent Financial Struggles
Being a single parent can often be very overwhelming, whether that be emotionally or financially. This can mainly be due to having to raise a child alone without extra support from a partner. Finding your feet and navigating parenthood effectively enough to give your child a happy and healthy upbringing can be difficult when you’re struggling yourself. However, you are not alone, the concerns you have are nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. In fact, according to Statista, in the UK alone there are approximately 2.86 million single parent families, despite the number being high, it has decreased since 2015. Therefore proving that there could be millions of others who are having extremely similar issues navigating financially for their families.
Each person will have different struggles throughout their parenting paths, however, there will definitely be overlapping similarities. One of which may include financial aspects. Many single parents are at a relatively high risk of poverty compared to nuclear families. To make matters worse, countless single parents don’t receive any kind of child maintenance from the other parent. Therefore, getting ahold of your finances and managing them to the highest potential will help to benefit you massively.
After all, everyone makes money mistakes, but not everybody has backup to help stabilise the situation. In this case, many people will find themselves struggling and scrambling elsewhere for money to help, leading them to payday loans or short term loans. But, these should only be used in emergencies when they are the only option available.
Budgeting As A Single Parent
Budgeting as a single parent is a lot hard than budgeting in a nuclear family. This is because you only have the income of one person. Therefore, money could potentially be tighter than usual and you will have to strongly finalise amounts in order to keep on top of your finances. With this being mentioned, just because you may be a single parent does not mean that your capabilities to budget are any less than others. However, if you are finding it difficult there are plenty of online resources which can help you get your budgeting into place.
When creating your budget you should consider every aspect. This includes those items or bills which are not purchased and paid regularly. This could be school uniforms, school activities, Christmas and birthday gifts, yearly subscriptions and more. Those one-off payments always seem to be more expensive than our daily purchases therefore, forgetting to incorporate them could cause financial issues in the future.
Looking For Support
As a single parent, if you haven’t got the support of a partner, it can be difficult to find it elsewhere. Not everybody has the support that they need which can lead to extended problems as a parent. However, with single-parent families being so common in today’s society there’s plenty of help and support around. The only downside when considering support, help or childcare is the cost. According to Money Helper, on average, the cost of full-time nursey in the UK is roughly £263 weekly, and £138 part-time. But, if you have multiple children it can quickly overtake the median UK weekly salary.
We advise you to try and seek help from those around you whether that be family or friends. This way, you will save a large sum of money which will help the financial aspects of being a single parent. However, if this is not an option, searching around and finding a lower-priced nursery or seeking help elsewhere could offer more answers. For more information on childcare costs in the UK click here.
Boosting Your Income
Taking those extra steps to provide for your child is something every parent wants to focus on. However, we all understand that it is definitely easier said than done. If the bills and payments seem like they are forever ongoing, finding a second income and saving for the future is definitely something you should contemplate. Having a small cash flow on the side means all of your extra time doesn’t has to be taken up, in fact, there are thousands of ways you can easily make money whether it be online or in person.
Over the course of creating and reviewing your finances, you will find yourself discovering improvements. If a second job is not something you can fit into your schedule, why don’t you consider cutting down in other areas? Seeing your bank statements with all of the transactions could potentially influence your habits and usual purchases. Therefore, helping you to swap them for something else or even replace them completely. Cutting down your spending and replacing some of your favourite guilty pleasures can be stressful. So, here are some questions you can ask yourself to speed up the process.
- What could you purchase cheaper?
- What are you not using?
- How is the transaction benefitting you in the long term?
Saving For The Future
After you’ve made your decision, you can begin to think about your future. Saving for the future ensures that you will always have some sort of ‘safety net’ if needed. Not only this, but you could also use the saved money to boost your children in the future. Regardless of studies online, being a single parent doesn’t have to hold your child back from achieving their maximum potential. Therefore, making the necessary changes and providing as much as possible is enough.