5 Financial Tips for Single Parents (That Everyone Should Follow)

financial tips, single mothers money, single fathers tips, how to budget, how to save money

Don't let financial worries get the best of you.

According to the US Census Bureau, there are almost 10 million single mothers and nearly 2 million single fathers in this country. Samantha Fraelich, Vice-President of financial firm Bernard R. Wolfe & Associates, notes that “single parents often have no other person or income source that they can fall back on, which can create challenges.” One of the most important things that single parents can do, according to Fraelich, is to take charge of their finances. “Often times, one parent paid the bills, while the other made the money,” she says. “Single parents must do all they can to get educated regarding their finances and develop a plan that can help create a safety net for both them and their children.”

I can certainly relate. I have been divorced for nearly three years now, and I am still in the process of really taking charge of my financial life. It’s not just single parents or single people that need to worry about their long-term financial strategy, however. Many married couples are struggling with debt and feel like their financial futures are uncertain, as well. Here are five things each of us, whether living single or married, with children or without, should start doing as soon as possible in order to gain control over our finances:

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  • BUDGET 1 of 5
    BUDGET
    It's a good idea for everyone to budget their money and expenses, but this is especially true for those who are single parents. Create a realistic budget and discuss it openly with the children, so they understand why they can't get money for everything they want.
    Photo via Flickr
  • SAVE 2 of 5
    SAVE
    This may seem obvious, but there are a variety of things that single parents need to save for, such as retirement, an emergency fund, and their child's college education. Many parents don't know which goal to save up for first, so after talking with an advisor, automatically saving a small portion each month can come in handy and add up over time.
    Photo via Flickr
  • INSURE 3 of 5
    INSURE
    It is crucial that single parents have the right insurance policies in place. The two most important types are life insurance, so that there is financial support for the care of their children if something happens to them, and disability insurance, in case something happens and they are unable to work.
    Photo via Flickr
  • PLAN 4 of 5
    PLAN
    Estate planning is a task that many people want to put off or not think about at all, but it's critical to make sure that single parents have created a will detailing exactly what should be done for the children if something happens to them. A power of attorney and medical directive are important as well.
    Photo via Flickr
  • CONSULT 5 of 5
    CONSULT
    It can be helpful for a single parent to seek out the services of a professional financial planner to help them get all their financial plans in order. A planner will be able to help determine what is needed and give you options on how to allocate funds that can help make it happen. They can help create the roadmap that a single-parent striving for financial success can follow.
    Photo via Flickr

Main photo via Flickr

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