As a single parent, managing your finances is important since you do not have anyone to rely on financially but yourself. Want to know how you can better manage your money? Here are five ways:
- Live frugally and simply. You may easily be able to afford a more expensive home and/or car, however, it is always best to not max out on your expenses. This will help you save more effectively and budget for emergencies.
- Invest in yourself first. Max out your tax-advantaged retirement accounts (401k and Roth IRA) each year (did you know you can shelter up to $56,000 in a 401k if you are self-employed?).
You can also try other investments, including a cash emergency fund and a life and disability insurance. Such investments are wise and advisable, but its biggest advantage is that they make you feel safe and secure. Knowing that your family’s future is secure, frees you from untold stress, and gives you confidence in so many of your choices.
- Live debt-free. Early in your life, you may have struggled with student loans, credit card debt, did the monthly minimum payment and tossed balances around to different 0% balance transfer credit cards. Now you have to master self-discipline and pay the debt down. You must pay down debt in order to effectively save.
- Be always grateful. The secret weapon to happiness is gratitude. The more you focus on what you have and have accomplished, the more likely it is that you reduce your focus on what you lost or what your friends may have.
Here are just a few things you should be grateful for:
- You are alive and well.
- Your kids are healthy, bright, kind, and funny people.
- You have the love you are capable of receiving.
- You have the skills to pay the bills.
- You have endless opportunities that await you.
- Give back. Once you appreciate all your blessings, big or small, and step into a sense of true gratitude, the resulting humility pushes you to a posture of serving others. You may want to offer your time as a volunteer to a charity or house of worship or doing other favors or selfless acts to a friend, family member, or those in your life in need of a hand.