More often than not, it’s harder to be a single mother than to have a partner in raising kids. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that a single mom can never be the best parent she can be, especially in financial matters.
As a single mom, you will have to make decisions on your own without second opinions from a partner. You will also have to act in a snap because you can’t expect anyone to decide for you when you’re lagging. Finances are one matter a single mom can successfully prepare for and if this is accomplished, it can remove a huge burden off your shoulders for a long, long time. Here are five things single moms should prepare for.
At the moment of your child’s birth, a parent is obliged to start loading up a college fund for the baby. It’s always better to start early when we’re talking about raising funds for college because college is not cheap at all and higher education is one the costs that dramatically rise when inflation hits.
You can either save or invest or both but the point is it’s better to start early so that compound interest can do its work on your child’s college fund. College education will make a massive difference in your child’s job hunt.
Once you give birth, you will start truly living for another person. To be a responsible parent, you may have to cut down your pre-motherhood lifestyle to a minimum so that your child can have the best childhood he/she can get.
Having a baby is pretty expensive and you may have to find ways to earn more money without being an absent parent. If not, having a tight saving regimen is the immediate alternative. You will have to cut not only your spending but also your time for personal activities. This does not mean that you won’t have a life beyond motherhood. You will just have to adjust and align new goals with your motherly responsibilities.
You don’t have to find another partner if you just need some degree of assistance in the household. One of the expenses you need to take into account is hiring and paying for a helper. The helper can either take care of your child or take care of the house or both. The amount of money you will have to pay depends on the amount of work the helper will do and of course, the efficiency and effectiveness of the helper.
You must choose a helper that’s compassionate, cooperative, reliable, and responsible. Please take note that having a domestic helper is not really a strict requirement if you have relatives who can assist you in household matters. Nonetheless, paying for a domestic helper that directly works for you and is present inside the house will still be the preferable choice if you don’t want to depend on your relatives for help.
Health fund (for you and your child)
You are shouldering the world for your beloved child. Can you imagine what may happen if child’s health takes a hit despite all your hard work? Your child may need more than financial assistance for his recovery, which may require you to be beside him all the time. But this compromises your status in your workplace.
How about if your health takes a hit? You won’t be able to work and your child is won’t be old enough to work and earn money. This is where your health fund comes in. Your health fund will shoulder, at least, the financial aspect of the issue. The goal of your health fund is to speed up your kid’s recovery and yours so that health issues won’t grow serious enough to take over your family’s everyday life.
This is a sensitive topic. People tend to feel uneasy when we talk about life insurance because we inevitably talk about death and loss. Responsible parents don’t shy away from this because they know the true value of life insurance, especially if they are single parents themselves. If you’re a single parent, you will know that when you get taken out of the picture, no one will shoulder the financial loss your child will face. Life insurance will shoulder that risk in exchange for a premium. You don’t buy life insurance so that you can have the money for yourself. You buy life insurance because you don’t want to bring your child’s future with you when you pass away.
The burden of single parenthood is not to be taken lightly, but single parents have the power to give their children a bright future and fulfil their roles as responsible individuals. People just have to choose to do the right thing and act urgently for great things to happen.
She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen).
Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).
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