How a Divorced Single Parent Can Pay off Huge Debts & Rebuild Her Life
For an audio version of this post, please click on the speaker icon (top left).
I received this guest post submission on the topic of divorce via the Contact Me section.
Although this post is directed towards a newly divorced mother, the points the author makes can easily apply to both genders.
[Disclosure: We have no financial relationship]
When you get a divorce and are a single mom, you will face problems concerning money.
However, you must know how to brave the financial challenges and learn from your life experiences.
Though it’s easier said than done, you must learn to save and balance your checkbook all the while paying for the household expenses, your kid’s sports uniform, grocery bills, and trips to your child’s school summer camps.
Life is not easy when you become a single parent after a divorce with huge debts to pay off and little income.
However, do not feel overwhelmed because we are not here to scare you away.
We have some good news for you.
No matter how much debt you have today, you can start paying it off if you know the rules of the game.
And you’re not alone because average US households have more than $16,000 credit card debt.
According to Expertise, out of the single parents who consulted the charity for help, 31 percent of them defaulted with mortgage bills, tax bills, and water bills.
To make your life easy, here are a few proven ways to pay off your debts and rebuild your life.
Make Some Financial Sacrifices
It is not easy to get out of debt, especially when you are a single mom and divorced.
You need to make some financial sacrifices.
However, that does not mean that you have to make emotional sacrifices.
Your kids do not understand the meaning of debt management.
Your children feel happy when they see toys, fast food, computer games, and smartphones.
But when you are in debt, avoid showering your child with expensive gifts.
On the contrary, win their love by creating experiences.
Go for a walk with your kids to the nearest park, visit a zoo or museum, or ask your son or daughter to help you toss up delicious meals instead of eating out in expensive restaurants.
Your children can stay happy with inexpensive things too.
Do Some Freelance Work
A single parent can generate some additional income with some freelance work like writing, teaching students, designing, and things like that.
If you are good at cooking, you can even start a cooking class.
If you know how to create magic with words, you can earn $1,500 with freelance writing.
Did you know there are paid bloggers who earn good money by taking some time out of their busy schedule?
If you have creative writing prowess, you can churn out blogs on a range of topics.
Consider Your Debt as an Emergency
Your insurmountable debt holds you back from many things.
When you owe a lot of money to creditors, it prevents you from saving, makes you financially unstable, and keeps you from attaining financial independence.
Therefore, you must treat your debt as an emergency and start paying off your dues immediately and get rid of it once and for all.
Otherwise, a high debt will affect the quality of your life.
Besides, you can research online and get assistance from platforms like nationaldebtreliefprograms.com when you are in debt.
Such providers will help you deal with your financial crisis so that you can pay off your creditors quickly.
Pay One Debt at a Time
If you have five debts to pay off, pick one at a time and clear the dues as soon as possible.
Start paying off your old debts such as the loan for your kid’s education.
Try to save $100 every month and put aside the money to clear such loans.
When you have paid off one loan, you can start concentrating on the next one with the goal of clearing every debt.
The solution lies in staying focused and being organized.
Change Your Lifestyle
After a divorce, as a single parent, it is time to mull over your lifestyle.
Since mortgage payments/house rents are some of the biggest costs you will face, you must focus on this aspect first.
For example, if you are living in a large house, but need little space to live, move to a smaller place.
By downsizing, you can save thousands of dollars of monthly rent.
Even if you choose to continue living in the same big house, consider renting a room out for additional income.
You can even sell your old house and rent a cheaper place or buy a small house and keep the rest of the money aside as savings.
If you have a mortgage, consider refinancing for a lower rate of interest.
Make sure that you do not increase the term and that the closing expenses do not have a negative impact on your savings.
Sell Your Big/Luxury Car
Paying or maintaining an expensive car is the worst-case scenario when you’re enmeshed in huge debt.
One of the biggest blunders you can make is owning a car that is near the equivalent of your annual salary.
[Sam from Financial Samurai recommends the 1/10th rule for car buying.]
Even if you are fortunate enough to have a paid off luxury car, there are ongoing costs that still may make keeping it an unwise financial decision.
Luxury cars have luxury prices in terms of routine service and maintenance.
If maintaining an expensive car is affecting your budget, a prudent option is to sell it and invest in a smaller, more budget friendly, vehicle.
You can also use shared rides if you do not want to invest in a replacement car when in debt.
You can always buy another car once you pay off all your debts.
Use Only One Credit Card
Credit card debt is among the worst types of debt that you can have.
That is because the rates of interest are astronomical and you will spend years to pay off the balance.
If credit cards are the reason for your financial crisis, it is high time that you start using only one and stop by cutting down on the rest.
Remember that you should not use credit cards as a de facto emergency fund.
Create an actual emergency fund instead.
Stay focused and persistent when paying off your debt as a single parent.
It is all about discipline if you want to clear your dues quickly.
Once you become debt-free, you and your kid(s) can then enjoy a better life.
Rebuild your new life debt-free.
Kelly Wilson is an experienced and skilled Business Consultant and Financial advisor in the USA.
She helps clients both personal and professional in long-term wealth building plans.
During her spare time, she loves to write on Business, Finance, Marketing, Social Media.
She loves to share her knowledge and expert tips with her readers.
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