A two-parent home is already a challenge, but handling all the family responsibilities singlehandedly is even tougher. Single parenting is a host of several trying moments, especially when it comes to finances. Here are financial tips that will help ease the burden of being a single parent:
Know how much you can afford
As all working parents, single parents need to understand the value of budgeting. Money may be hard to come when you are working alone, so make sure that every dime is spent wisely. You have a responsibility to take care of and you have a child (or children) to raise. Spend only the amount you can afford, even if it is too little. Debt adds stress, avoid this whenever possible.
Get additional income
The income of most single parents working full time may not be enough. If this basically sums up your situation, consider finding a part-time job or other sources of income. Some require basic computer skills like typing, writing, proofreading, editing, transcribing, and telecommuting. You can also become a virtual assistant. Some sources of extra income involve selling differing products or offering different services on- and offline.
Never apply for a salary loan
Salary loan is a slow killer. The system is designed to make you dependent on loans rather than staying within your financial limit. If you are short of cash but the paycheck will arrive soon, go for other alternatives. Borrow money from your friends or relatives.
Do not rely on credit cards
Credit cards are not plastic cash; credit cards are your easy access to bigger financial problems. Remember that every time you use these cards, you are spending money you don’t have. And the worst part is, if you are not able to pay the bills on time, your credit will pile up very soon. Everyone knows this very well, but it seems that all still need to be reminded about the evils of the card. Use cash instead of card. Spend what is in your wallet and not what is left out of your credit limit.
Ask help from the government
If you are really in dire need of emergency money, the government offers financial assistance on certain criteria and qualifications. There are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, and child support programs to help you get by. There are also several community and religious organizations that are especially formed to give help to single parents.