Most parents understand the high costs of raising children. However, many parents don’t anticipate the additional financial burden divorce creates, along with raising their kids.
Luckily, single parents could save money and still teach their children about the value of a dollar if they look past these three common myths surrounding parenthood and money.
Myth: All budgeting systems work the same
As a single parent, it’s critical to understand the importance of budgeting. But not all budgeting methods work for each family. You must find a way that fits your personality and your family’s needs. A significant first step is to look at your monthly expenses and determine what you spend on essentials (like rent, food, utilities) and nonessentials (entertainment and restaurants).
You can use this information to create regulations for your nonessential spending and how to adjust for child support – whether you make or receive payments. Make sure you clearly understand all aspects of the orders or agreements regarding how to split the financial responsibility for your child. This should include not just child support but also additional items like sports or activity fees, education costs and other expenses.
Myth: Do not discuss money with your kid
Talking about money is a taboo subject for most adults. It makes sense that you wouldn’t want to expose your children to your new financial situation, especially as a newly single parent. However, children rely on their parents as teachers. As their teacher, you need to expose them to life lessons, such as how to budget your money correctly.
You can start with little discussions such as allowance or the purpose of work. And as your child grows, encourage them to ask questions and learn why it’s crucial to have a savings account or how they may cover college expenses. Just don’t use this as an occasion to discuss the financial details of your divorce.
Myth: It’s always better to buy than rent
After a divorce, many parents can’t purchase a new house. They may need time to transition from their previous residence into a permanent home. Oftentimes, single parents rush to buy a home in the mistaken belief that homes offer children stability and a steady place to grow up. However, if is the parent and not the house or apartment that gives the child stability.
Often, it’s better to rent and save money to buy the right home instead of rushing the process. You need to make the right decision for you and your family.
It’s easy to buy into the money myths as a single parent, but you need to take a step back and remember it’s up to you to decide how to budget for your children and make a bright future for everyone involved.