Bravo to all the hardworking, single moms who juggle their careers and home. You are an inspiration, trying harder in bringing up these mini-humans with great courage and strength! As a single parent, you are doing a lot to manage all your responsibilities. Nurturing the children, managing a job, enduring lots of challenges, financial management, and what not! Best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver said, “Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.”
Single mothers have to pivot big time in managing the household budget and financial literacy is one of the best gifts that they can give to their children. Saving for a rainy day is the essential part of parenting and you can empower the next generation by teaching the value of money at an early age. Today’s kids are quick learners and tech-savvy, so it’s easy for you to teach them financial discipline.
Single Mothers Can Teach Financial Literacy: Here are some easy tips for single moms that can help them in teaching financial literacy to kids:
Start telling your kids about the money and budget basics at a young age. Introducing piggy banks to the toddlers is a great way to start with small money moves. Encourage them to put money in two pockets, one for spending, and the second for saving. The age 7-10 is known to be the best age to develop saving habits. Teach them a simple habit that if they save more money, it will grow more. You can invest in long-term health and life insurance policies for securing the financial future of your kids. Doing this will ensure a good life for your kids even in your absence.
Indian Women and Financial Freedom
It’s very critical for women in India to explore and learn ways to become financially smart and independent. This will not just happen when women seek to earn by themselves or get jobs, it will happen when the environment around them doesn’t consider women less smart with financial decisions and money.
Budgeting is a great skill that can help you in controlling your expenses. Have a budgeting strategy in place and make sure you stick to it. If you don’t pay attention to how you spend your money, your finances may suffer. With a budget strategy, you can track your monthly cash flow and can reduce unnecessary expenses. You may find it challenging to stick to the tight budgets in the early years of your child’s life but this will help you in the long run. A practical piece of advice is to set aside money for all your bill payments, grocery, school fees, and some other important expenses, and plan to invest in long-term policies for your kids.
Any unexpected financial blow can put you in debt. Emergency not only refers to any medical urgency but it could be any diversion in your routine life. So you need to keep aside a small portion of your income to meet any such unforeseen circumstances in your life. Emergency fund feels like a financial buffet that will help you in your tough days. You can have the confidence of managing any unplanned situation without relying on credit cards or a high-interest loan.
Allocating a small percentage of your income to an emergency fund is an excellent idea that is only meant to touch in an hour of crisis and not for regular expenditures.
Avoid falling into debt-traps
If you stick to your monthly budget and save a decent part of your income, you will not be pressurized to borrow any loans to fulfill your financial obligations. Borrowing a loan can surely help you access the funds at the time of need but a debt burden can impact the financial future of your kids. The best budgeting tip for single moms is to set up a small savings account in your child’s name and safeguard them from any potential risk.
Why Should The Gender Gap in Financial Literacy Concern Us?
Park some funds aside for your retirement plan so that your children feel no burden in the future. Retirement planning provides peace of mind and eases your money journey. You can start investing in a retirement plan with a small amount of money and can increase it gradually. As your children become independent, you can use some extra amount in this investment and reap great benefits in the future.
It’s important to educate your kids about finances and teach them saving habits. Your goal should be to focus on buying what’s necessary and important. This will help you in raising financially literate children with solid money management skills which will help them in the future.
As a single mom, you first need to discipline your finances so that your children can learn this skill from you. You can lead by example and make them future-ready with strong money management skills. The money habits that your kids will learn from you will prepare them to meet any challenge or unforeseen situation in life.
Ankit Gera is the Co-Founder of Junio. The views expressed are the author’s own.