Unfortunately, it doesn't take much for a single parent family living paycheck to paycheck to slip into the danger zone. For some, it starts with an unexpected expense, like a car repair or a series of medical bills. For others, it's when the child support payments they had counted on begin to drop off that they find themselves suddenly unable to get by.
For many, the root cause is something either out of their control, or completely unexpected.
And the tough reality is that the only way you can prepare yourself for such an event is to put a little bit of money aside each month until you've built up an emergency savings fund that you can tap into when the need arises.
The question, though, is how do you do that and still stay current on all of your existing bills and responsibilities? Well, there are two ways to go about it: earn more or spend less.
At first glance, earning more may sound impossible, especially if you're already working full time. But what if you took on something part-time, on the weekends, that you could do alongside your kids, such as pet sitting or babysitting for another single parent whose work schedule is different from yours?
When it comes to taking on something like this, that will take up even more of your time and energy, it helps to look not just at the goal itself (earning more money), but also at how it would make you feel. For example, if you were able to put away $1,000 toward an emergency savings fund, little by little, how would that make you feel the next time you faced an unexpected expense? Empowered? In control? Capable?
Envisioning that outcome might turn out be even more motivating to you, personally, than the fear of not being able to get by.