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Financial tips for single mothers


single-motherManaging your finances, generally, can be a challenge. With parenthood, however, the challenge could be overwhelming. It therefore becomes imperative where there is only a parent – mother – be it a widow, a divorcee, or a spinster. Where there is no “joint venture” between two parents, the woman is made to take along the other challenges of womanhood with single parenthood.

Not that every single mum is struggling financially, but you do not need to wait till the “rainy day” before you start planning. The following tips come handy and may be useful to ladies who are single mothers in managing their finances:

1. Take charge of the financial processes:
This is especially important for single mothers who were previously involved with a partner and such a partner took charge of issues (the school fees, rents, hospital bills, etc). It is time to take charge. Get to know the various accounts into which the payments are made, learn the art of negotiations for deferred payments, discounts, reductions, rebates, etc, visit the kid’s school, dressmaker, barber, etc. Just take charge.

2. Succession/Inheritance:
The reality of life is that there is Mr. Death. and you do not want your loved ones to be so wrecked, especially if there are assets you could have left for them. Make a will, or a trust, or just acquire investments in the names of your children such that they are provided for when you are no more.

3. Cash flow plan:
It is not every mum that has the convenience of regular income. Even for the fixed salary earner, you still need a cash flow plan to ensure that you do not spend wrongly. Drawing a list is not a bad idea, from the groceries to transportations, have a broad picture of your anticipated cash flow.

4. Savings:
Yes, the good old savings. Have a savings account and, where practicable, children’s savings account. You can also explore other hybrid savings facilities like investment accounts and stocks.

5. Explore available facilities:
Take advantage of available loan facilities in the workplace or Co-operative or by Government. But this should be upon full investigation to confirm that there are no shylocks locked in the facilities.

6. Retirement plans:
Prepare for the inevitable. In addition to any other retirement/pension provisions available at your workplace, make your own plans. This could be by investing in real properties, shares and stocks. The services of an investment advisor may help show you the real potentials.

7. Loans:
You should borrow money to augment in the face of huge financial demands. Just be guided by the ageless rules of borrowing. Do not borrow above your means, do not borrow for a purpose that will not yield returns, and do not borrow under unreasonable terms/conditions.

8. Stock up food items:
The point here is to prioritize, so you do not spend too much on consumables. A personal and realistic budget should be made and adhered to.

9. Partner with the kid(s):
The kids often catch up faster than we ever thought. Share your plans and challenges with them and seek their comments, inputs and understanding. Teach them how to be financially responsible.

10. Keep the money guzzlers in check:
The big cars, big house and private jets should be within budget. In short, as much as possible avoid them, even if you can afford them for now!

Truth is that single mum sucks at times, but with the above tips, you can actually reverse things and have a pleasurable experience.

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