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Financing and Budgeting for the Single Parent

Updated on September 7, 2011

Coping with money worries

According to a government study in 2009 the cost of raising a child was up to $221,000 through the age of 17. With the cost of food, daycare, healthcare and clothing not to include college the cost of raising one child is steep and can be overwhelming with only one  parent there to foot the bill. As a single mom of one it's hard to hold down a decent job, let alone breathe. Despite those everyday struggles there are resources available to help single parents cope with those money worries. 


Day Care costs can be expensive especially if you are working at a low income paying job. The Department of Children and Family Services offer the (CCAP) Child care assistance program which helps low-income families working or attending school/training. The assistance is based on the amount of hours worked and or attending school/training as well as the amount that is being charged at the day care facility. The National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center is an informative center that offers you useful information that can help you find the right facility to care for your child's needs. Choosing a quality childcare facility is essential. You can also find local agencies in your area that offers a wide range of care assistance that fits your needs.  http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/Statedata/dirs/display.cfm?title=ccdf

Finding and keeping affordable health care insurance is job all on its own. As a single parent, you have to think about yourself and your kids health. Health insurance is costly, with most of us we only consider health insurance when we are sick. Checkups, immunizations, school physicals are expenses we rarely think of when we are bombarded with other debts we occur on a daily to monthly basis. Just to keep your head above water try utilizing local agencies that offers affordable healthcare,  such as medicaid and healhty kids. Through these agencies you can apply and based on your income and family size affordable healthcare could be attainable. Insurekidsnow.gov offers you and your family the resources to locate affordable healthcare. Through sites and toll free numbers you can locate agencies offering these services. CHIP is a nationwide service (available in every state) The Children's Health Insurance Program provides free or low cost health insurance to low-income families. Healthykids.org is another agency offering local residents in Florida easily and cost effective insurance for kids. 

Food is another hefty bill consuming our savings and income on a yearly bases. Families can generally spend up to $500-600 plus a month on food.  How to lower your budget on food depends on you. Bargains, and coupons are a great way to help you and your family cut back on what you spend on average at the grocery store. First make a plan. Keep a list of items you have, items you are running low on and what you need. This will keep you from buying items you already have, especially  If there's enough to last you for the rest of the month.  

When you make a list, you get what's on that list and nothing more. This will stop you from over thinking your  buying needs. Think of replacing name brand food items with generic food items. This could save you dollars and not cents when grocery shopping. Some of us will only shop at one store based on the popularity of that store. Rethink your shopping needs and compare prices at your favorite grocery store to other stores and begin saving by switching up the stores you shop at. Again this could save you dollars over cents. 

Overall single parents can become overwhelmed with the cost of raising a family.  There are resources available to assist you with your money worries. Utilize all resources that are available. Cut back on what you can't afford and what you don't need. As time goes on you will begin to see the dramatic difference in your budget and savings. 


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