Single Parenting and Finances: An Introduction

Single Parenting and Finances: An Introduction

Here at MomVesting, we're beginning a new series that focuses on the struggles single parents face in the financial realm. We plan to tackle topics like how to get back on your feet, how to invest time into your kids when time is tight, and how to get ahead in life despite all odds, among many other topics.

These topics may seem like a leap coming from a married work-at-home-momma-to-be, so I wanted to introduce the series by sharing my own experiences as a part of the single mom phenomenon. So here it goes: the intro and my story!

Growing Up in a Single Mom Household

Although I'm not a single mom, I was one of three children raised by a wonderful divorced mother. Dad never (ever!) paid child support, so it was up to my mother to support us all, entirely by herself. She knew she couldn't provide for us in the best way possible with only a high school education, so she used government assistance to get by as she carved out a future for herself, complete with putting herself through college and later landing an excellent job.

By watching her, I learned a lot about the struggles some single parents face, and over the course of my own education, I came to realize that my mother's story is an exception, not a rule. Statistically, many single parents cannot break the poverty line. But this doesn't have to be the case, as we'll prove in this how-to series. Here's a glimpse of what's to come:

How to Break the Poverty Line and Other Single Parenting Topics

Transcending poverty is never easy. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline, but it is entirely possible. Even for single parents. Despite the fact that single parents face so many more challenges than married parents, breaking through to the middle class can be part of their financial journey.

As we move forward in the series, we'll focus on how to break through the poverty line. Here are a few hints about the topics we'll cover: government assistance, making ends meet, finding a trade school/college/career path, and starting a career.

Once beyond poverty, many single parents need to start building a more substantial nest egg. During the poverty years, investing is usually put on the back burner, so as soon as regular income is flowing, many single parents face the task of catching up to peers in their retirement investments. For that reason (and because we're MomVesting!), we'll cover accelerated investing and other financial education topics to round out our Single Parenting and Finances series. Join us for the experience!

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Michelle's picture

Michelle wrote:

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 04:54 Comment #: 1

Being a single mom has got to be the hardest job in the world. I'm a stay-at-home-mom and there are days that I'm pacing by the door waiting for my husband to get home and give me a break! The costs of raising a child are out of this world right now. I feel very, very blessed to be able to stay home with my daughter. Very blessed. (Did I say very?)

Liz's picture

Liz wrote:

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 05:43 Comment #: 2

As one of those single parents in the whole world today I am taking every actions just to finance my children especially when it comes to their education. What I did is I have applied for a loan to finance all my children's educational career which is a good move for what I think because I gained a lot of benefits from it plus the hassle of paying their schools fees is not that horrific.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 21:58 Comment #: 3

Michelle, I agree that single parenting can definitely be rough! I have extreme respect for all parents, but I'm particularly impressed by the balancing act of single parents!

Liz, loans can come in handy for schooling when they aren't overwhelming. Glad your loans are a good fit for you and your kids!