Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saving as a single parent

How easy is it to save money as a single parent? It's almost impossible, but, in my opinion, you should do everything you can to save.

So, how do you tuck away money when you're a single guy who has to take a woman out now and then? By the time you're finished paying child support and picking up your half of soccer, and any other activity your child's involved in, your rent is due. And then, well, there isn't even enough to take yourself out for a bite. The problem is, though, without a little bit of savings, sudden emergencies can leave you in a panic. Your car breaks down or your prescription changes on your glasses. Or, if you're an older parent, your child comes to you and wants help paying for a wedding.

Let me tell you my story. I lost everything in the divorce... just like many single parents. Well, I shouldn't say everything. I have a few nice pieces of jewelry. Having those few nice things helped me not crave anything material. I didn't need to get a new pair of pants every few months, or new shoes, or a coat. I shopped at thrift stores. And yes, you can find some incredible things there! Half the woman in my offices look like a million bucks dressed in thrift store finds! If I wanted to take my children on an outing, it would be somewhere free.

The point is, don't think for a second that those lattes and biscottis every afternoon aren't adding up. Do the math. Keep a bag in your car and get a receipt for every item you buy. Add up those receipts at the end of the month, and see how much it comes out to. Cut back on spending those dollars, and voila, you can pay for an oil change, a brake job, and, if you keep at it, even your daughter's wedding. It's a matter of discipline and sacrifice. Forgo the frivolous for the valuable. That's my two cents.

I understand how tough things can be, believe me. And I know how important it is to treat yourself. It's just that it is the greatest feeling not stressing when that big ticket item comes knocking at your door.

If you have any questions, I'd be delighted to elaborate or help.

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