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Dec 12, 2008

Parenting in a recession

Tight Times

Parenting-Button(2)As a single parent, I know what it means to live within a tight budget, to sacrifice and become rigid in what is considered a need over what is considered a want. Now as times get tough and money gets tighter; many single parents find themselves in dire times. Since the United States lost over a half million jobs in November alone this year, I am sure many of those included were single parents (just like Gary from yesterday’s guest post). So it is no secret that we are in a recession.

What We Can Do During a Recession

As we face these tough times, what can we do as single parents?

  1. Start now putting yourself on a budget. I try to live on a budget and have been able to get out of debt completely over the last couple years with that goal in mind (other than a mortgage). I had set that goal before this recession but I do think with sacrificial disciplined living and determination, it can be done. There is a great budget guideline found on Real Simple.
  2. Take advantage of resources:
    • One that has just recently come available for single parents is the new website, http://current.pic.tv, part of the Public Internet Channel network which is specifically dedicated to helping you make sense of current issues and events.
    • Another resource for helpful information on finances and dealing with 'singlehood' is www.singleedition.com.
  3. Track your spending. This goes along with getting on a budget but I think it is worth reiterating that as singles, we don’t have a spouse keeping us in check regularly about what we ‘want’ and what we ‘need.’ So to be able to handle tight times financially, we have to be our own “eyes of a hawk” and look at the checkbook or bank statement at the end of the month and take a minute to notice where the “bulk” of our money is going.
  4. Decide what expenses you can cut.  If we take time to evaluate our true needs there may be some areas that we can cut back on or cut out entirely... just to get through these next 6 to 12 months, especially.
  5. Share babysitting by partnering with another single parent and switching out watching each other’s children to save on this expense for a night out.
  6. Make a list of items your children “need” to give to aunts, uncles and grandparents so they can assist with some of the necessary items your children need when purchasing gifts for Christmas instead of giving duplicate toys or more “stuff” for the sake of another gift.

Please Add Your Tips in Comments

These are just a few tips and I sure hope you will leave a comment below to help me out with a few more I am missing that will help us single parents or even parents in general as we deal with the current recession we are facing. 

Find yourself... keeping it real.


Colin said...

Thanks for posting on this! It can be very trying for us parents. I especially like your advice on #6. It's been hard to convince my relatives to give presents my kids need instead of "fun" toys they think the kids want. I can be a real struggle and a list of items can certainly help.

Christy said...

Greetings SOLO dot MOM, thanks for your note on my Mommy-Muse.com Blog. It's great to hear form another musing mom :-)
You and your readers might be interested in some of the free giveaways on "The Mommy-Muse is In: Empowering Your Journey into Motherhood" on the VoiceAmerica.com Health & Wellness Network. Next week Bella Materna is giving away a $75 gift certificate to whoever writes in to me at mommymuselive@gmail.com with a question that gets read first on the air. There'll be more giveaways every week, to make great gifts for some wonderful mamas.

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