When first becoming a single parent, you go through all sorts of emotions. It doesn’t matter if you become a single parent because you were left when you got pregnant, which happened to me, through divorce or having the unfortunate experience of losing you’re their spouse.
Everyone handles their emotions in different ways, but a very important coalition has been made between emotions and bad financial habits. We less cognitive when it comes to our finances, hence we have become familiar with the term, “Emotional Spending”. For a single parent, this is especially detrimental to our future. When I first realized, I was going to become a single mom, it scared me. Not only about not being financially prepared, even though I was working in banking; I was so emotional, I just could not make clear decisions.
Action you can take:
Single Woman and Pregnant:
I can’t see in your pocket book, but even if you can pay for new items, it may be best to look around the internet or thrift shops to find good items such as cribs, lamps, commodore… etc for the arrival of your baby.
You don’t know how your pregnancy will end up being and if you have a difficult pregnancy like I did and can’t work for a while, you will be happier to have that extra money in the bank than in a new crib.
Divorce or Widowed:
Directly stop spending and don’t make any big purchases! Get a good overview of your household expense and trim away anything you deem unnecessary. Thereafter, create a detailed overview with all your income and try as much as possible try to save 10% of your income monthly. For the first 6 month adjust your monthly budget to where you are comfortable that you can manage without looking back at your old life.
You may ask, why stop spending? I’m not saying don’t buy your daily necessities, but it is most likely any big purchases made, could be based on an emotional decision and as I said in my introduction, you can end up go on an emotional spending spree. Okay, that is understandable for divorcees, but for widows; most times they get insurance pay-out and this mean there is extra money. True, but most people are taken advantage of when they are most vulnerable. Especially by people who know you will be coming into money.
TIP #1: Keep spending to a minimum until you feel comfortable in your new situation!