Single parents often face financial insecurity. Finding a place of stability takes time, especially after divorce or other unforeseen circumstances. In today’s podcast, Robert Beeson and Kimberley Mitchell talk about ways solo parents can find financial stability. For solo parents around the country, finances are a huge stressor. Paying the rent and bills is a struggle complicated by child support or the lack of it. Sometimes we rob Peter to pay Paul and the unknowns can be terrifying. Our security isn’t found in money, but money issues can cause us to feel insecure. Ultimately, God is our Provider but being wise about money is essential. So how can we, as solo parents, move toward greater financial stability?
There are three ways.
You can’t spend what you don’t have. The principles from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University are a terrific framework for greater financial health. Creating a zero-based budget is the first step. A zero-based budget means you only spend what you earn so start by calculating your total income each month. Then, write down everything you spend money on. This is eye-opening and can help you find hidden areas of expense. Putting it down in black and white is an empowering exercise. Knowing what you earn and what you spend gives you a sense of control. Budgeting doesn’t limit what you spend; it tells you what you can spend! Spending more than you earn isn’t freedom. It’s bondage. Getting into debt is a trap. Having a clear written budget gives you freedom because you can move ahead and spend with confidence.
2. Create an Emergency Fund:
For solo parents, building an emergency fund is crucial because unforeseen expenses can be especially devastating for those on limited incomes. Saving money for emergencies can seem overwhelming when you are barely making enough to cover macaroni and cheese and gasoline, but it’s a key to financial health. If you don’t have a fund to lean on, you will find yourself using a credit card. So how can we create an emergency fund? One tip is to look for things you have around your home that you can sell on eBay, Buy Sell Trade, or at a yard sale. Get creative because this step is so important!
It can be scary to disclose your budget to another person, but it’s important to find someone to share this with. While difficult, it’s important to know that you are not doing this alone. It’s helpful to have another person you share honestly with about what you choose to spend on. Making responsible choices is important for our financial stability, but it’s also important because we are teaching our kids how to handle money too. Finally, part of honoring God is honoring him with our finances. As we are faithful with our budget, being generous is also important. It reveals trust in God and His provision.
While these principles aren’t easy to apply, especially on a limited and sometimes inconsistent income, they are valuable. Even if you need to take baby steps, move toward these principles, one step at a time. God is our Provider and our source of security, but, over time, these steps will lead to greater stability for you and your kids. The effort and commitment are worth it.
For more financial health resources, check out Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
To connect with other solo parents, find us on Facebook, Instagram, and at www.soloparentsociety.com.