If a relationship ever comes to an end, whether it is through a separation, a divorce or even through the death of your partner, in many cases money will now start to become your biggest concern. So here is a little help with doing the sums and getting some much needed help.
Money Issues for a Single Parent
It is rather alarming that one third of all households in the UK are a one parent environment, with these households normally trying to survive on a lower income. Whilst it is a highly emotional time when you either lose a loved one or a relationship comes to an end, you should never stop thinking about your financial affairs; otherwise the situation can escalate and get worse.
It can be an arduous task trying to sort out all of your financial practicalities on your own, so speak to friends and family to see if they can help you sort through it all. You will also be able to find a whole host of organizations and charities that will be able to offer you some good advice.
The key factor is to make sure you ask for help as soon as you feel that you need it, not at a stage where it has become a massive problem. By asking early, you can help to stop things from getting any worse.
Know Your Benefits
There are benefits put in place by the government that can give you a little bit of help, so the first thing that you need to do is find out which benefits you actually qualify for.
- Speak to the HM Revenue & Customs, they will be able to advise you on what you are entitled to and how much. Make sure that you tell them all of your details, especially the change of circumstances regarding being a single parent.
- If you have separated from your partner and you now no longer live in the same household, you can look into applying for child maintenance.
- If you do find yourself in a situation where you are trying to raise a family all on your own, there is help out there, with help available in the form of income support and housing. Speak with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
- Speak to your local government; they will be able to advise you on whether or not you are eligible for any form of council tax benefit and housing benefit.
- If you ever find that you cannot meet any short term needs, you can sometimes get help in the form of crisis loans, which will be paid back out of your future benefits.
Create a Monthly Budget!
If you have never done this before, now would be a very good time to start. It may sound like quite a basic step; however you would be surprised at just how much a budget can help you to keep a lid on your finances.
Make Savings on Your Bills!
You may find that if you switch your energy bills, mobile phone bills and telephone bills you could save a lot of money. You can find some of these saving by using online comparison sites to search out the cheapest deals.
Always Try to Save!
You may think that saving money is impossible in your situation; however if you manage to put aside even the smallest of amounts each week, occasions such as birthdays and Christmas’ will become much easier to deal with. To keep these savings out of your reach by opening a special savings account and pay into it on a weekly or monthly basis.
Learn to Say No!
It may be difficult to not back down under pressure to your children’s every wants, especially if they have only just recently lost a parent. However, you have to put all of that guilt to one side and make sure you don’t give in to all of their demands.
You should also try and teach them about what money is and the value of it, a good way to do this would be to ask them what they really want. Then make a little list and tell them to save a little bit of their pocket money each week to save up for it.
Sarah Fox is a blogger who socializes with many single parents at the weekend. She listens to their financial concerns and so in her blogs often tries to include debt advice for struggling single parents.