Single Parent: 7 Ways To Manage Your Finances
Long term financial goals for single parents can be tricky sometimes for it requires a thorough planning and consideration.
But no matter how you carefully plan out your future, life always have an uncanny way of turning out exactly the opposite of how we planned it.
If you are a single parent and are working abroad, you may feel like your financial life is coiling out of control because of your kid's demands that need to be taken care of. Demands does not end in being with them, giving them the attention they need or filling up the emotional void that the other parent could not fill. This includes your finances too.
Being a solo parent is one of the toughest job in the world. It's because of the fact that you don't have the suppport of a husband or a wife. The first few months will be very difficult especially if you are going through an annulment or divorce and yet, you can never compromise the needs of your children.
But going through it all alone does not have to be that difficult if you know how to plan out and balance your finances.
Here are our practical tips on how to survive your financial woes when you go solo:
1. KNOW YOUR BUDGET - It is a fact that most people who went abroad to work left a huge financial debt. Everybody spent a significant amount of money for employment processing, placement fee and document authentications. Your first salary year is critical to your future financial planning. You have to know exactly how much your money worth. Be aware of the exchange rates from local currency to US Dollars to your country's currency. You need to calculate the interest rate of the money you owe. Make a streamlined budgeting plan for the entire year base on your income. NEVER go beyond your budget. You can't manage your finances if you first don't know where all your money is and where it is going. Set up a recurring bill payment plan to avoid late fee payments. Track your income, expenses and manage your finances carefully.
2. KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES & CONTROL SPENDING - You know for a fact that you will be working your knuckles off for you are alone to raise your kids. As much as you want to reward yourself for your hard work, you also have to be conscious on how you spend your income. As much as you want to splurge on something that would make your children happy, you also have to consider that there are far more important things that you have to prepare and be ready for like your kid's education. Save a huge portion of your salary then spend the extra. Do not do the opposite. Do not spend and save the extra. Invest on educational plans for your kid's college education. This is far more important than the new gadgets you are planning on giving them for their birthday. Remember, you can't be working forever.
3. EMERGENCY SAVINGS - Private Tier 2 hospital requires a minimum of $100 USD for you to be able to avail their confinement services. Your kids health can greatly affect your finances if you are not ready for these emergencies. Build an emergency fund not just for hospitalization but also for any untoward incidents that may happen. It is possible that you may lose your job in critical situations. Like for example, if you are working as a caregiver in Israel and your employer died. It took you a month to find another. For 2 months, you will not have any income at all. If you have an emergency fund, you can use this for your kids and family's needs.
4. INVEST IN LIFE INSURANCE - This may not be a priority to many but, life insurance is far more important than anything else for people who work abroad. This will give you a financial security upon retirement. You can't be working forever. Although, we usually prioritize the needs of our children or extended family, it is also important to invest in our own security. Determine how you want your investment proceeds to do for you in the future. Whether you want it to sustain your daily needs, you can take it as a pension. Or you want it to pay a bank mortgage or spend it for your kids education. Again, you can never work forever. Eventually, you will retire whether you like it or not.
5. HAVE A CASH FLOW PLAN - invest in good business that could help you with recurring bills or payments. Start small and find a trustworthy person to run it for you while you are abroad. You cannot rely on your salary alone. Beware of pyramid scams, networking and "too good to be true" offers on the internet. Invest in real business. A small grocery store or a distilled water station can be a good business that does not require a huge amount of capital. These businesses can go a long way as long as you are monitoring it even if you are away from home.
6. CONSIDER A NEW CAREER OR A PART TIME JOB - Test your skills on making arts and crafts or simply test your marketing skills. You can work part time as a writer or virtual assistant to some private individuals that may not require much of your time. Another source of income is a great help for your finances and your savings.
7. FIND WAYS TO SAVE MORE - A few cents can be hundreds of dollars if you know how to save it. Most people who are working abroad are sending remittances to their family every month. That includes the solo parents who became bread winners. They are sending huge amount of money not just for their children but also to their extended family back home. Most of them are spending a lot of money on remittance fees, unreasonable exchange rates to US Dollars not to mention the reliability of the remittance centers. Find a remittance center which focuses on the safety, affordability and consistency. Perks and freebies as a member can greatly help you to save a few bucks out of your month's salary.