Running a home and caring for children can be hard enough when juggling a job on top of everything else, but coming up with a working financial plan can be more difficult when there's only one parent running the show. Single parent homes are becoming increasingly common in the United States, so devising strategies to save money and earn more are crucial for keeping families comfortable, despite going it alone.
Safeguarding the present
Going back to school and getting a degree is a good place to start for single parents who don't have higher education on their resumes. A diploma can help get the kind of jobs that will put parents on the fast track to six-figure positions if they take the right classes, so one strong financial tip would be to review what fields are showing the most growth and find out what qualifications are needed to score those positions.
This is especially important with income disparity leaping to all new heights. NBC News reported that in the nation's capital, the top-earning families are making over $500,000 per year while one-fifth of the city's population earns less than $10,000 annually. The gap represents a more than 50-to-1 spread in income differential, a span that was less than 40-to-1 in the 1990's.
Improvements for the future
To keep money rolling in while looking for better earning options, single parents need to be open with kids about the family's current financial plan. MSNBC wrote that nothing makes a mom or dad feel more guilty than repeatedly denying their kids fun or enriching opportunities with no explanation. This quickly turns that parent into the bad guy if the child doesn't know that money is tight and their parental figure is doing everything in his or her power to remedy the situation.
To further alleviate this stress, single parents should look for financial investment advice. Learning how to make better budgets, opening an account for a child's future education, setting up life insurance and other critical aspects of money management need to happen fast and early in a family's life to ensure ongoing protection and peace of mind. No matter what plans mom or dad may have for the coming years, making sure money isn't always the primary concern can help foster a more balanced home environment.