NEW YORK, March 2, 2023 (Newswire.com) - iQuanti: The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2022, 10.9 million children under 18 in the United States lived in single-parent households. That's roughly 25% of all kids in the country growing up with just one parent to care for them and support them financially. It's so common that since 1984, the nation has been observing National Single Parent Day on March 21 every year.
Raising children is a blessing, but it's also expensive, especially when you include college tuition, should your kids choose that route. Parents spend sleepless nights with a loan payment calculator trying to figure that out.
If you're a single parent, you probably already know how to stretch a dollar to make sure your children are provided for. That's not easy. If you're looking for a few extra pointers, we're sharing some simple actions that single parents are taking now to get through the current tough economic circumstances.
1. Take a fresh look at your budget
Budgets should be used in any household. Unfortunately, yesterday's budget may not work in today's economy. Prices have gone up at the supermarket and the gas pump. Utilities are more expensive. Clothing for you and the kids is more costly. Take a fresh look at your budget, and you may find that you need to cut back on a few things to save money.
2. Find a side hustle or online second job
The onset of the 2020 pandemic taught us that raising children while working from home is possible. In addition to becoming homeschooling educators, many parents became entrepreneurs and online workers while the world was in lockdown. Those are all still options in 2023. If possible, taking on a side hustle or online second job might relieve some of the financial pressure. Just be sure to confirm that if you have a full-time job, your employer's consent might be needed to take on another job,
3. Save small amounts whenever you can
It's difficult to think about savings when every dollar goes to support your household. That doesn't mean you can't start saving. For instance, you can add apps to your smartphone that can help you accumulate spare change by rounding up your debit or credit card transactions. Savings deposits don't need to be large amounts. You can watch it add up to a nice rainy-day fund by putting away even $5 or $10 a week.
4. Ask for help
This is the most important tip of all. You are not alone. Millions of Americans are under financial pressure, and there are hundreds of programs out there where you can get assistance. Don't let pride get in the way of giving your children a better life. WIC, Head Start, CCAP, and other agencies have solid support programs.
Asking for help extends to your creditors too. If you're struggling to pay bills, contact the people you owe money to and explain your situation. Credit card companies may lower interest rates. Lenders can defer payments. Don't get stuck in a debt trap thinking there's no relief in sight. There is. You just need to ask for it.
The Bottom Line
Providing for children as a single parent can be difficult, but making a few wise financial decisions can make the load a little lighter over time. Start by looking at your current budget to see where you can adjust. You can also start saving small amounts of money for a rainy day and look into a second job or side hustle to bring in more income. One of the wisest decisions you can make is to ask for help when needed. You can do a lot alone, but you don't have to do everything alone. There is help when you need it if you look in the right place.
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Original Source: How to Make Wise Financial Decisions as a Single Parent