Are you a single parent and need financial help?

Lynn Prins

Nigeria’s current economic climate presents immense financial challenges to all and in particular, single parents who already stretch their budget to the limit each month.

With the Naira falling over 50 percent in the last year alone it weighs even heavier on single parents earnings, as it becomes even more difficult to ensure that their children will be taken care of if anything happens to them.

In Nigeria, single parents often face different challenges with sustenance and child support often not imposed following a fractured relationship or extended family not supporting after the death of a partner or spouse.

Below are four important tips for single parents:

Set short and long-term financial goals.

Since you’re making all the decisions, remember to have clear short, medium and long-term financial goals.

When you have short-term financial goals, this could be used to pay off some debts and help you build up some emergency savings.

The medium and long-term goals may include buying a home for yourself and the children, investing for their education and or investing in your retirement.

Get rid of unnecessary bills on stuff you don’t need.

Do yourself a favour and have a look at your expenses. Are there unnecessary expenses you can no longer afford, such as the gym? If you’ve been to the gym six months ago, perhaps it’s time you cut it off.

Look at your cell phone statements – can you trim down your services?

Do you have an emergency fund?

It’s tough when you don’t have a second income to fall back on and many single mothers can be quite vulnerable when an emergency occurs.

Although it is amazing to receive support from family and friends, you should rather automate your savings and set aside about six months of expenses in an interest-bearing money market account in.

Your family and friends might also have challenges that you are unaware of and it’s best to be prepared for unexpected events such as a broken car or an illness.

Do you know where you will live?

One of your priorities should be to find a secure and affordable place to live. Keep in mind that you have to work sparingly with your money, and it can be tempting to try and maintain an expensive home.

It may be your desire to live in a decent home in a safe environment or keep your children in an expensive school, be sure that you can afford to live where you choose to live.

Sometimes it’s better to “downsize” for the meanwhile than to try to maintain standards at all costs.

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