Financial planning tips for single parents
Tip No. 5: Save for emergencies
Bad things happen -- the roof needs to be replaced, you lose your job. Deal with these problems not after they happen but through prior planning. "You have to take responsibility," says Ten Haagen. "You have to think about the finances of raising a child."
He recommends sitting down with a financial planner as you go through major life changes and "getting real." This means before marriage, before you have children, before you go through a divorce and after a death. "You have to think the consequences through. A Certified Financial Planner professional can help you sort through the decision-making."
Cullinane suggests that bucket budgeting (see Tip No. 3) can help you reach savings goals. She cites a study showing that when people were asked if they could save 20 percent of their income, most said no, but when people were asked if they could live on 80 percent of their income if they had to, most said yes. "So, be aware of how you frame questions to yourself. You might be surprised how it can change how you think."