Single Parents and Money
Well this is putting two challenging things together, single parenting and money. Being a parent has its challenges, but it can be one of the most joyous experiences you can have. There are many challenges you can have as a parent so I will try to help you with the money challenge.
Here is a big revelation, men and women view money differently! I know it’s a shock but we do. Single parents have a lot going on and have a tough assignment. My parents were divorced when I was eight years old; although I did not realize it at the time, I can now see some of the things my mom had to face. Mothers try to nurture and create that loving safe home environment and train up a child in the way they should go. If you throw in bread winner and provider to their duties that makes for one busy day and can lead to a lot of frustration, fear and confusion. Women, as a whole, tend to get fearful when they don’t have the money they feel they need to take care of their household. Whatever is affecting mom is picked up by the rest of the family. Also when you get busy and begin to think you are not doing as good in some areas you may want to compensate for it with money. You may buy them something they want or take them on a vacation you cannot afford. Once you spend that money on those things the bills come around and it puts you in a bind then you panic. It is also easy for dads to overspend because dads feel, as the provider and bread winner, we can convince ourselves that if we provide this or that we can use it to substitute for mom. Now, single dad has money problems because he has spent too much trying to replace mom with cash. I have noticed one thing about kids, they love mom or dad and they forget about the toys and big vacations before they forget the time spent with them daily. Quantity time is quality time! When the kids get older they remember the struggles moms or dads had and appreciate them for the sacrifice. I did!! Don’t buy into the worlds systems of you need to get you child this or that to be a good parent. Being a good parent is saying no when you cannot afford something. Don’t spend the grocery money on a social class or a video game. Sometimes the things you need to do don’t give you the warm fuzzy feelings inside like doing what you think your kids would enjoy and make you feel like a good parent. The best way to solve a problem is to have a plan. Create a budget monthly and use it. When I say use it I mean follow it and set your spending amounts and stick to them. Sometimes you have to adjust the amounts so do it and stick to them. There is nothing wrong with buying your kids something they want or taking them on vacation, just plan for it. Don’t spend the money until you have it saved. Don’t spend it out of guilt. When you save the money for vacation and spend it on vacation don’t feel guilty, enjoy it. Disney has a plan for your grocery money, and it is not food! Have your cash saved and follow your spending plan not theirs. Set down every month spend every dollar on paper, and hey it’s okay to spend some of your money on a vacation or a build a bear! Enjoy your children, and don’t feel guilty because you cannot do everything they want. Children are like us, their wants are unlimited, and a budget gets that in order for your family. You can create a plan to enjoy your children and your money. Knowing what to do with your money before you get it helps you enjoy the time you have with your children more. Let me know if I can help.
Go West Coaching 6/2/2012