For many single-parent families, the struggle-cycle is a constant reality. Often they face unique hurdles that most people are totally unaware of; usually the biggest one is trying to make ends meet.
If you are a single parent and are not sure where to start, here are a few steps to help get things under control:
Talk to Centrelink. A number of single-parent entitlements are available. It’s important that you investigate your eligibility for parenting payments, tax benefits, child care rebates, etc.
Protect your family. Look at insurance options for protecting you and your income. As the only source of income, how would your family survive if you couldn’t provide for them? Life insurance, disability or trauma insurance all offer peace of mind. While you’re at it, think about reviewing your estate plan – is your will current?
Identify needs from wants. Needs are essentials: housing, food, health, etc; while wants are non-essentials like entertainment, eating out, etc. When tempted with a want, ask yourself, “do I really need this?” Identifying a genuine need from a desire for something can be the difference between staying on budget or not.
Stay healthy. Eating well is possible on a tight budget. Fresh fruit and vegetables are GST-free and cheap compared with takeaway meals. Slow-cookers make the most of affordable cuts of meat; consider whether you should invest in one. Have fun researching websites offering recipes and clever ideas for using leftovers.
Get advice. Many people mistakenly believe that financial advice is only for the wealthy. A financial adviser can help get you on track by:
- planning a budget,
- consolidating debts,
- setting up a savings plan (even small amounts add up!),
- identifying your insurance needs,
- planning your estate.
A shoe-string budget doesn’t mean sacrificing your family’s fun, health or security, neither does it mean you have to do without. Small changes can make a big difference.
If you are a single parent, call us on (07) 3040 4840 for some guidance. You don’t have to do everything by yourself.
The advice on this site may not be suitable to you because it contains general information that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information. Please also refer to our general advice warning under contact us tab on our website. The article is based on information available at the time of writing only and therefore care should be taken as to the accuracy of the content.
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