Financial Planning Tips for Single Dads

Single fathers typically face several unique financial challenges, including how to control grocery expenses, what to do about the high cost of college, building an emergency fund, making sure not to let credit cards get out of control, and monitoring credit ratings. It’s a lot to think about, but if you use a systematic approach, it is entirely possible to stay on top of your family’s money situation.

Slashing Food Budgets

The fight against soaring inflationary pressures at the grocery store is a two-fold battle. On the one hand, you can save at least $1,000 per year by opting to make all your purchases at a wholesale club. For a small annual fee, you’ll gain access to significantly lower prices on not only food items but many categories of household goods as well.

Careful meal planning is the other tool dads can employ to keep food budgets in line. There’s no need to be a gourmet cook. Instead, simply make a one-week list of dinner meals every Sunday evening, so you’ll know what’s ahead, what you need to buy, and how much prep time you’re facing. Planning helps you avoid adding pricey, last-minute ingredients and foods that can send per-meal prices quite high. Another related benefit is this strategy can help break your kid’s unhealthy eating habits, which is good news for your wallet since things like chips, soda, and candy can be quite costly.

Sending Youngsters to College

Planning for a child’s education is one of those parental responsibilities that you need to tackle wisely. Fortunately, there are several options. Many dads prefer to apply for Private Parent Loans (PPLs) to spare their kids from graduating with excessive debt. PPLs are designed so that the parent, not the child, is the official borrower of record. So, when you work through an institution like Earnest parent student loans, you decide how much or how little of the total college bills you want to pay. It’s a smart technique for preventing your children from graduating with an instant financial obligation over their heads.

Keeping Card Balances Low

It’s essential to keep a close eye on credit card balances. Having one or two cards for emergencies is not a bad idea. Nor is there danger in using cards to make routine purchases when you don’t have cash on hand. But be aware that credit bureau’s view card usage above the 30 percent mark as high and will accordingly reduce your scores downward. In a best-case scenario, try paying all cards down to zero balances at the end of each payment cycle.

Monitoring Your Credit Scores

With a little bit of planning, you need not spend any money on monitoring your credit ratings and scores. That’s because of the law. All three of the major bureaus are required to provide consumers with a free copy of their entire report once per year. With copies of the official documents in hand, use an online resource to learn how to interpret the sometimes-jumbled data presented. And, don’t forget to contact any bureau should you discover an error, which is more common than you think. Expect the wheels of justice to move slowly, as it typically takes between two and three months to correct any mistakes.

 

Jeff Campbell