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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Are you single parent? Does being BROKE give you a headache?

Finances frequently provoke headaches for single parents. Typically the disposable income of the single parent with custody of the children goes down each year. Single parents find they must provide for many more expenses for the children than child support will cover, while at the same time that they are paying for the household expenses by themselves. To top it off, they have less time to earn money and care for themselves because they are not only the sole breadwinner, but also the main caregiver for their children. And children need extra attention during and after divorce or breakup, moving to a new home, or changing schools.
Feeling Guilty
Often single parents feel guilty about not providing the same level of material wealth or opportunities to their children that their peers in two-parent families may have. They may worry about the bills nearly every month. Whether single parents talk about money worries in front of their children or not, the children feel the stress as they watch parents become anxious, or snap when they ask for more expensive items at the store.
The good news is that you can reduce the stress for yourself and your children with some simple monthly planning, and a readjustment to your vision of what is necessary for good parenting. Wherever you are financially, whether earning less than $1000 per month or more than $4000, you can stabilize your finances and become happier with how you manage money through a method that gets your children involved as positive contributors to planning and management. Surprisingly, people with lower incomes often rank their happiness at the same levels that much wealthier people do – and women turn out to be happiest when they know they can pay their bills during the current month, even if the next month looks uncertain. When you are happier, your children have a better chance of feeling better, too.EVERY CONSUMER CAN QUALIFY FOR THIS CREDIT CARD.
Step One: Reduce Guilt!
The first step is to reduce your guilt about not being able to spend more on the children. Although your children may try to tell you differently, healthy family systems that create happy and well-adjusted children do not depend on the amount of money a parent spends on the children. Interviews with mental health staff at schools and camps for troubled children reveal that one of the most frequent problems today’s teens have is a sense of entitlement, and having parents who do too much for them. Healthy families provide care, support, love, and respect for family members in an environment with clear, consistent communication and rules, boundaries based on appropriate hierarchy and roles, and freedom of expression and opportunity for individual change and growth (see the Family Systems course).See your Credit Score for $0 at  It’s Free and available in seconds.
 You can create this kind of family without extra money; in fact the lack of money can provide an opportunity for you to help your family become a team that works to solve problems together.
Step Two: Assess the Situation
The second step is to make a commitment to assess your financial situation and discover which bills and expenses you can reduce or eliminate. There are many personal financial planning tools available; some of the best books will be available at the local library. Several are listed below. But you really only need one – whichever one works for you. And it is not necessary to wait until you have completed the program to bring your children into the picture.The Best Credit Card for Bad Credit.  APPLY TODAY!
Step Three: Creating the Team Approach
The third step is to level with your children, those elementary school-age and older, through a regular family meeting that includes budgeting. This meeting should not be a time to share all your financial worries – those are adult concerns. It is also not a time to complain or criticize. Instead, tell your children that you have a budgeting plan that will let them see how much the family spends on electricity, groceries, clothes, gas, entertainment, and other regular costs that vary month to month. Let them know that you value their ideas and input on how the family can manage the budget better as a team.Take 50% off any "Fun Stuff" item, use promo code 23017 at checkout for instant savings!
Incentives for joining the team are important. For example, offering ice cream at the meeting helps to get everyone to the table in a good mood. Letting them know that some of the money saved in one category could be applied in another category empowers them and gains their participation in decision-making. For example, one mother said that every time the electric bill fell below a certain level, the difference would be added to the month’s entertainment budget. Her nine-year-old immediately created labels for every light switch in the house so that no one would waste electricity flipping switches on and off. The children began reminding each other to turn off lights, the bill went down, and they chose extra family movies together.$1000 in your bank account in 24 hours!!  Find Out How!!
Encourage the children to offer their ideas about how to save money. Write them down, even the more outrageous ones, and post them where everyone can see them. You may be surprised at what changes your children make easily, without feeling deprived. For instance, the teenage daughter whose new clothes have been costing you a fortune may tell you that she would rather shop at the retro second-hand shop – with her friends.Get Great Tickets on!
Finally, reassure the children that you will be able to continue to pay the big expenses, transportation, the house or apartment, and basic food and medical bills. If you are having trouble keeping up with these expenses, make sure to seek outside help, rather than sharing these problems with the children. Children’s basic notions of safety and security can be negatively affected when they hear a parent worrying about these fundamental necessities.
And when your team is working together, remember to give yourself credit: a child’s knowledge that he or she is an important part of the family team helps create a sense of self-worth and belonging that is worth more than all the money in the world.In debt? You have options. Find out more at

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