Parenthood is a pleasant and an incredible journey and is one that is full of pride and joy. However, it can soon turn out to be full of frustration and angst and may make you wonder why you took this bold and brave step. This is especially true for single parents who have a single income and a couple of ongoing debts.
Becoming a single parent needs a special kind of courage. Though friends and family members may help you as much as they can, you will have no dedicated partner to rely, share and discuss your financial and other serious responsibilities.
A planned single parent wins
Well, it is not gloomy always provided that you are a bit meticulous, strategic and planned in your life and especially with your finance. In short you must prepare yourself well for taking on single parenthood.
· You have to be focused so that you can make sure that you as well as your children are healthy and that you are well set up to meet with the challenges that will come in your life ahead.
· If you are into business you will have the added responsibility to make sure that it does not take a financial hit when you make arrangements for daily childcare.
· There will be several changes that single parenthood will bring that you will hardly anticipate. You will have to be extremely and always financially conscientious.
· There are so many concerns and a lot of money will be required to go ahead.
· You will have to weigh the pros and cons of every steps and financial decisions that you take down the road.
· You will have to make arrangements for saving for an emergency fund as well as for your retirement right from the age of twenty.
· You will have to max out your contributions annually and at the same time keep your mortgage debt low.
Your ultimate goal should be to repay every debt that you take and that too on time and hence it is required to keep it as low as possible and required. You should be high-achieving single parent and smart enough to be rigorous to secure your child’s futures.
Key issues to ensure
There are a few key issues to consider and ensure if you want to secure the future and be successful in your finance and debt management. These are:
· Setting up a college fund: You will need to save money for the college education of your child right from the birth and make sure that every year you make some significant contribution to it. Ideally, this should be the first check that you should write every time.
· Make a smart move: You must be smart enough to start the better at the earliest. As a single parent money will be tight as you are the only earning member. Therefore, even if you make a very small contribution to a 529 plan it will be a smart move and a good practice. You will be surprised to know that as a part of their financial aid considerations, colleges often see whether a family of a child has made any effort to save for the school.
· Look into disability insurance: Instead of looking for benefits and grants only for your child’s education and look up in https://www.nationaldebtreliefprograms.com and others it is better to be prepared for exigencies, childcare and for your debts as well. Look into all types of insurance and coverage before you buy or upgrade. Disability insurance is something that is essential for a single parent or any self-employed person.
· Factor in necessary expenses: You must consider all necessary expenses such as existing mortgage, health insurance, child care, and everyday living costs so that you can decide on the coverage amount. You must know that most carriers will insure only 60% of your income.
· Cover any uncertainties: Another smarty move is to cover all your uncertainties as the best first line of defense. Create an emergency fund that will cover all expenses for at least six months.
· Name a guardian: Do not take the fact for granted that you are alone and therefore there is no need for naming a guardian. As for couples it can be assumed that one of them will be there to care for the child if something happens to one of them but there is no such liberty for a single parent. Therefore, complete a will, legal guardian and trust documents and even meet an estate lawyer for seamless transition of ownership of your home if you are not there.
· Power of attorney: Apart from naming a guardian, also make a power of attorney to lay out your wishes for life support, medical emergency and lots more.
· Buy life insurance: This will see your child through maturity and beyond. While buying insurance, consider the annual income, outstanding debts and future college funding so that you can determine the exact amount of life insurance.
· Supplemental expenses: You will also have to calculate all supplemental expenses and include music lessons and sports activities so that your plan will not only cover the college expenses but will also help you to launch your child into adulthood in the most confident and safe manner. Make investments that are cost effective in the long run and not in the short term basis.
· Stay healthy: You will need to stay healthy at all times to support your child. The most significant part of being a single parent is to imagine the ‘what-ifs’ and this is not an easy task at all. You must do whatever you can so that you do not leave your child vulnerable especially when you will not be around. It is primarily important that you are physically healthy and mentally balanced so that you can enjoy the good times with your child.
Create your plan considering your child only and yours will fall into place. Remember, the most important thing for a single parent is love.