4 Ways Single Parents Can Look Out for Family Finances

Looking out for the financial well-being of your family can be tough, and it’s an even harder task to take on if you’re going at it by yourself. When money is tight, it’s easy to spend in the moment and difficult to plan long-term, and for many single parents, creating a stable financial environment for their family seems like an unattainable feat.  If you’re stuck in this mindset but want to improve your monetary state of being, here are a few steps you can take to relieve some stress and create a brighter outlook for you and your family.

Insure to Be Sure

No one is quite sure what tomorrow will bring, and while it’s great to have an optimistic demeanour, it’s important to be sure your family could handle a worst case scenario. If your family is living off of your income, it’s vital to take the measures to be certain that if something unfortunate were to happen to you, your family could recuperate financially.

As much of a dent that another monthly payment might make in your budget, insurance really is worth investing for when looking out for your family’s future, and while there are many types of insurance on the market, income protection and life insurance are two of the most practical options for a single parent to consider. Income protection insurance is there to help keep your source of cash flow coming in if you were to suffer from a serious illness or accident that prevented you from being able to work, and life insurance helps provide your family with some monetary security if you were to pass away.

Address the Important Issues First

It’s easy to want to spend the weekend taking your kids out on the town or enjoying a road trip to the beach, but make sure you have the important considerations worked out first. As the sole source of income to a household, you have to shoulder the responsibility of planning for the future, so make a list of the monthly expenses that cannot be put off of or pushed back to a later date.

Rent, groceries, and bills are the easy choices to put on that list, but make a note of other things that are just as important to save for even if you won’t necessarily be paying them off right away; for example, retirement and education funding are easy to neglect because you don’t see the pay-off from the start, but it’s still important to start a savings pool for those items as soon as you can. To help keep you on track, establish a minimum amount that will go into your savings account every month, and treat that payment just as serious as you would any other bills.

Start a Finance Journal

To really help you stretch your dollar further, it helps to get an accurate representation of where all your funding is actually going, and starting a finance journal is the easiest and simplest way to do this. By logging every purchase you make, you’ll be able to see where each dollar of your income has gone, and analysing your spending habits will make it much easier to see where you can cut back and improve. It’s usually the little things that add up the most, and if you’re spending five dollars on a coffee every morning, you’ll see how much you can save simply by brewing your own at home; the point is to figure out where you’re doing well with your finances along with what areas you can benefit from changing.

Look Realistically at Your Current Job Situation

When you’ve been employed with a company for a long period of time, it’s easy to accept that your current job is where you’re at, but it’ s important to never stop shooting for something better. Whether it’s occasionally sending your resume off to other employers or asking your current boss about raises, promotions, or benefits, it’s necessary for the well-being of your family to keep pursuing more lucrative opportunities. Even if you’re earning enough to make ends meet, be realistic when considering what your time and skills are really worth, and if you feel that you could be earning more, step out of your comfort zone and strive for a more stable opportunity.

It can be easy to feel a lot of pressure when you’re looking out for your family by yourself, but it’s a rewarding feeling getting your finances on the right track. It takes some careful planning, budgeting, and analysing, and while it’s normal to feel scattered and stressed from time to time, try to keep in mind that you’re doing it all for your family’s sake; if your actions can help your family have a better life both today and tomorrow, the initial frustration and anxiety is always worth the payout.

Thanks to Arlene Chandler – a freelance writer who enjoys helping people overcome their financial obstacles. She currently writes about finance advice and insurance for Suncorp.

This post is not meant to endorse, promote, or recommend any specific financial service or company.

One comment

  1. Amanda Bevilacqua

    A good advise from financial groups, professionals and financial institutions can help a lot to avoid making big mistakes in your finances.

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