Being a single parent can be tough on finances because almost everything depends on your income. You have to take care of bills, tuition, groceries, rent, etc. However, that doesn’t spare you from the need to provide a secure future for your children.
How do you achieve financial freedom in the middle of all these?
Define your goals
As a single parent, you should always have your end goal in mind. Otherwise, it will be easy for you to fall off the rail. What you want to do is have a bigger picture of where you want to be or what you want to own in the next few years. A definite goal will not just motivate you to save; it will also give you a sense of purpose and nudge you to work harder.
For instance, if you want to buy a home in the next three years, you would need to start saving right now. With the house as your goal, it is easy for you to forfeit your wants to ensure that you realise your dreams when that time comes. However, when you have nothing to pin you down, it will be easy for you misuse finances on things that you do not even need.
And don’t just define your goals in your mind – that will be as good as not having a goal at all. Instead, put it down on paper. What do you and your children need? Write that down. Where do you want to be in the next five years? Write that down too. If you have more than one goal, make a list, and prioritise in order of importance.
Set a budget
You have probably heard about this one too many times, but we’ll repeat it, set a budget. It is difficult to handle your finances as a single parent without a feasible budget. You’ll only realise your goals with proper planning and budgeting.
So, how do you save when your finances are tight?
Write down all your expenses and compare them against your income. By doing this, you’ll know where your money is going. You’ll also find out whether or not you’re living beyond your means. Check for expenses that you can cut back on, and those that you need to avoid. With proper planning, you’ll be able to spare some money.
It is a good idea to involve your children in the budgeting process – this way, they will understand why you have to limit the holiday trips, toys, and expensive foods.
Sometimes, savings alone will not cut it – you may realise that what you save won’t be enough to get you your dream home, car or lifestyle. The best way to have extra money in your hands is through investing wisely – which is often easier said than done.
Start small. If you are employed, you can think of ways to make money without the need of you being there the whole time. You can even have more than one businesses running concurrently. But in whatever you do, keep off of get-rich-quick-schemes.
Have a positive outlook on life
The right attitude is everything; it will determine your decisions, your steps, your lifestyle, and your relations. It also has a direct impact on how you will handle your money. With that in mind, it’s beneficial to have a positive outlook on life. It might be easy for you to sit there, and blame everything for not working out in your favour. You can also choose to become bitter about everyone around you. But all these will only weigh you down.
The right attitude is for you to accept your position as a single parent, and figure out ways that both you and the children will have a better life. When you clear your mind from negative thoughts, hurt, hatred, or even anger, then you open up space for better things. Remember, the wise always say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Don’t throw them away, that’s a waste.
The power to achieve financial freedom lies in your hands. Follow the tips above, and you are headed in the right direction.