Adjusting to life as a single parent involves facing numerous changes, with finances being high on your list of priorities to organise and manage. You are likely to have found yourself living on a leaner budget, which will mean keeping a closer eye on where your money is going.

Children are a blessing, but as the cost of raising a child reached an all-time high in 2016, we have put together a few things that will help to ease the stress.

Create a Plan

A spending plan can be great in getting it out of your head and on to paper. Writing down your income and fixed monthly expenses (e.g. rent, bills, food shopping, etc.) can help you work out what you’ll have left at the end of each month. In the process, setting up an emergency fund whilst budgeting can be hugely beneficial in the long run. You can do this by organising a direct debit that comes straight out of your account on the day you get paid- that way, you will hardly notice.

It doesn’t stop there! Plan weekly financial check-ups to update changes, keep track on due dates for bills and to make note of any upcoming expenses you are anticipating. Why not use this time to write a shopping list for the week and meal plans?

Set Financial Goals

Once you are happy with your spending plan, it’s time to look to the future. You need to determine your needs moving forward. As a single parent you need to keep these questions in mind:

  • Do you need to think about getting a higher paid position at work?
  • Do you need to reconsider your living situation? Would it be beneficial to downsize?

These questions are fundamental in your future finances. With these in mind, setting goals can help to boost your positivity in relation to sorting finances out. Goals can include wanting to save for your child’s further education or even as little as going on holiday in the near future.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

As a single parent you can be pulled in all directions, which can lead to high stress and times where you don’t look after yourself and your health. Setting aside some time for yourself is essential for maintaining a good mental health and recharging your batteries. This could even mean taking five minutes to chat to a friend on the phone or going for a run outside; self-care is paramount. This may mean that you need help in caring for your child. You may be reluctant to reach out but taking advantage of your own support networks is great in reducing the stress of managing finances among other things.

If you’re a single parent and need help with your finances, we can help. For more information on our services, you can get in touch with a member of the team by visiting our contact page or by giving us a call on 0118 9571159.