Single parents


As a single parent, finance management can be both good and bad. The good news is that you no longer have to argue with your partner about money or purchases, and you are free to make all financial decisions for the household. The bad news is that you may be facing a considerably reduced household budget, and you will be solely responsible. Without understanding how to survive financial crisis in single parent households, sole parents can quickly run into troubles.

How Single Parents can Survive Financial Crisis

Not surprising given that raising a child today costs approximately a quarter of a million dollars. This excludes unique conditions such as significant medical costs or private schools! That’s why money management is crucial for a single parent. Many couples with kids work in order to make ends meet. When a two-income family unexpectedly becomes a one-income household, both the remaining parent and child may be taken aback, especially if the loss is due to death. Let’s look at numerous money management tactics for single parent households.

Financial planning

Money, organizing, coins
Single parents financial planning

When you become a single parent, you must budget on your own. Even if you were in charge of budgeting and bill-paying prior to the split, you will need to create a new budgeting strategy. Even if your past budgeting tactics were successful, your financial and money management circumstance won’t remain the same. So, too, should your budgeting procedure. If your former partner was in charge of budgeting and bill-paying, you would be better off devising your own new ideas rather than attempting to replicate his or her methods to avoid running into a financial crisis. Another great method is to organize your bill-paying. It is critical to plan when and how much to pay your expenses, especially if you are on a limited budget.

Missed payments due to oversight or a lack of preparedness can not only harm your credit report but can also set you behind in a way that makes it impossible to catch up. This can be dangerous if the unpaid expenses affect essential necessities like shelter, power, or water. You'll need your stack of bills (or a list with amounts and due dates), a current calendar, your income dates and amounts for the month, and a simple budget sheet to organize your bill-paying. Printable budget sheets (for both short-term and long-term planning) are freely available on the Internet.

Options for the Lower Working-class

Many people, whether they are married or not, are classified as ‘working poor.’ A working poor person is someone who spends 27 weeks or more in the labor force (either working or actively seeking employment) yet still earns less than the poverty line. In 2020, there were 37.2 million people in poverty in the United States. Unsurprisingly, a large number of single parents fall into this category. Divorce frequently implies that a parent's income is reduced from two to one. If the single parent earns a poor income, the outcome can be much more shocking – so, will the psychological effects.

Many working-class people receive some form of aid. There is no guilt in seeking or accepting assistance. Many people take satisfaction in "taking care of their own" without the assistance of others. However, doing everything without support is not worth the impact of financial hardship on single parents.

It is far better to seek for and accept assistance than to let circumstances overwhelm you. Consider this: the less stressed you are, the better you will be able to care for your children. That said, food banks are available in many community centers and churches, as well as organizations such as the Salvation Army. Some require an application, while others are available to the public. Check your neighborhood for food banks or distribution facilities' hours, days, and locations. Based on income and other criteria, resources such as food assistance programs, healthcare for children, and welfare are also accessible.

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Child Support Payments

Kids in class, education support
Single parents Child Support

Child support is usually awarded to the custodial parent in divorce situations. Child support payments are computed in accordance with statutory criteria . Income, the number of children, and the amount of time the kids spend with the non-custodial parent are all common calculation criteria. If a couple's income is equal and custody is divided equally, neither parent may get child support. If the situation changes, the problem can be reviewed and fresh computations are done. For computing child support payments, each state has its own set of statutory criteria. Child support payment worksheets for each state are available on websites such as the legal portal

For example, Florida considers the number of children, both parents' net monthly wages, daycare expenditures, and monthly cost of healthcare premiums, but California also considers payments made for (or revenue from) any court-ordered child support or alimony payments from past relationships. Being awarded alimony does not always guarantee that you wil l receive it. Non-custodial parents may abandon their children or refuse to pay. In such instances, the custodial parent has a legal remedy and should pursue it. However, as the adage goes, you can't extract blood from a stone, thus if no income is attached, no payments will be made. If the non-custodial parent declares bankruptcy, they are still obligated to pay child support.

  • Financial strategizing is key for single parent households
  • It is okay to seek help as a single parent
  • The chances of sole parents facing a financial crisis are high
  • There are numerous government and non-government aids for single parents
  • The psychological effects of single parenting get worse when there are financial issues.


The loss of a partner is exacerbated by financial difficulties. As a result, unless one has a substantial savings account, it is critical that parents get final expense insurance or life insurance. Life insurance is recommended at a minimum for any parent whose income contributes to the family's well-being; hence, if both parents work, both parents should be on insurance. Nonetheless, couples may prefer to insure the stay-at-home parent as well. The unexpected death of a family caregiver can be financially devastating.

Hospital or funeral fees, emergency travel, child care, counseling, and home assistance are all examples of unexpected costs (temporary or permanent). At the absolute least, parents, particularly single parents, should get end-of-life insurance. This low-cost insurance often provides coverage amounts as low as $2,500 and is available without a medical checkup. The goal of this insurance is to cover funeral costs and other expenses in the event of the carrier's death. With cremation charges ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 and traditional funerals with embalming and caskets costing an average of $6,000 (2013), single parents must carry this insurance for the benefit of their children, even if the money is limited.

When you're a parent in a two-parent household, having life or final costs insurance is a great idea. It's especially important if you're a single parent. If you rent your home, renter's insurance is a fantastic option to consider (homeowners take homeowner's insurance, which varies in that it covers the house structure itself and is frequently mandated by the mortgage holder). This low-cost insurance (especially if added to your vehicle or life insurance coverage) is sometimes neglected yet extremely beneficial in the event of a calamity. Think about what might happen if a fire raced through your home: would you be able to afford to rebuild all your family owns? Toiletries, blankets, pillows, food, clothing, beds, computers, kitchenware, shoes, school materials, furniture, and so on.

Without financial assistance, very few can afford to replace all they possess immediately, let alone pay for temporary accommodation. Renter's insurance comes in handy in this situation. Most basic policies cover losses caused by fire or theft, but many also cover accidental breakage or destruction (for example, your child knocks over and breaks your big screen TV). It is simple to shop for coverage that matches you using the Internet, or you can ask your current insurance agent. Of course, the "risk" with insurance is that you may never need it. However, it is preferable to be prepared, especially if you are a single parent.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

This federal block grant program, abbreviated as TANF, offers supplementary funding for up to two years to working parents who fulfill financial conditions. It had not received new federal financing in more than a decade, but the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 included $1 billion in emergency relief monies. To be eligible for TANF, single parents with children under the age of six must work or attend employment training for at least 20 hours each week. Parents with children over the age of six are required to work or train for at least 30 hours each week. This is a federally sponsored, state-managed medical care program for low-income persons. The standards for eligibility vary by state, though several states expanded Medicaid eligibility as part of the Affordable Care Act. Children are more likely than adults to be qualified. The initiative assists pregnant mothers with prenatal and delivery expenses.

Food Assistance Programs

Food Market fir Single parents
Single parents Food Support

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, assists people who are eligible for other forms of government assistance in paying for food. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase most foods, but not alcohol. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is another option for pregnant and nursing moms, as well as children under the age of five, and gives financial assistance to purchase nutritious foods such as dairy products, peanut butter, and cereal. In the first COVID-19 relief bill passed in 2020, SNAP benefits were boosted by around $25 per person per month. This increase is in effect until September 2021.

Child Care and Vocational Training

A variety of organizations help single parents with job training and child care. The goal is to assist them in obtaining jobs and providing child care while they are at work. Head Start and Early Head Start are two programs offered to families with incomes below the poverty line. Both aim to prepare young children for school and offer a variety of services such as medical and dental care, early education, and nutritional assistance.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD provides housing assistance through Section 8 housing vouchers, a low-income housing program. The vouchers are distributed by local public housing authorities and are used to assist pay rent on residences that fulfill minimal health and safety criteria. Applicants' incomes must not exceed 50% of the median household income in the area where they want to live, while 75% of those who receive aid have incomes that are less than 30% of the area median. For further information, contact your local public housing authority or a HUD office.

Single Parent Housing Assistance

The pandemic devastated housing budgets. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, around 13.5 million Americans were late on their rent in 2021. Housing assistance totaled $50 billion as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Along with COVID-related programs, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 8 housing program assists low-income families and single parent households, many of whom are single-parent households, with rental assistance. Section 8 subsidizes landlords that construct or remodel homes and set aside a percentage of the rental units for low-income families. The other component gives qualified low-income tenants direct support. To check if you qualify for Section 8 help, you must show that your income is below specified limits. You can check the HUD website to see if your income qualifies you for the Section 8 program.

The website includes income limit figures that change depending on where you live, as well as references to properties that have Section 8 set-asides. Section 8 also gives rental assistance vouchers to qualified people who choose to find their own apartments, as discussed earlier in this article. For more information, you should contact your local HUD office. Individual states also run their own programs, some of which are subsidized in part by federal monies.

Contact information for these programs can be found on the HUD website in the United States. Finally, public housing is offered throughout the country, primarily in urban areas. HUD authorities oversee this housing, which is frequently concentrated in developments. You should look into what HUD or a state public housing agency has to offer. In many places, public housing has a bad reputation for crime and poor maintenance, so do your homework before applying for a unit.

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