Thursday, December 14, 2017

How Single Parents Can Financially Meet the Needs of Their Children

This post was written by freelance writer, Nancy Evans.

Being a single parent is not for the faint of heart. You become solely responsible for your kids' day-to-day needs, including making all the meals, doing all the laundry, fixing all the boo-boos, and doing all the bed-time fighting. You also become solely responsible for everything they need financially, from their food and medicine to their toys and school supplies.

Being a parent to a child with special needs is not for the faint of heart either, and when you are a single parent to a child with special needs, the job becomes even harder. You love your child and don't consider anything you are doing to be a burden, but that doesn't make the job any easier.

Make What You Can at Home

Maybe you have a child who has special dietary needs -- either because he refuses to eat certain things or because certain ingredients make him excitable and cranky. Or maybe you have a child who needs all-natural soaps and lotions that don't include dyes and other chemicals. Buying these things can be very expensive. However, you can often make these things yourself for a fraction of the cost.

You may feel like you don't have time to make things since you're a single parent who is working hard to provide. However, you can often make things like this in batches that will last you for a long time. You'll put in a small time investment to save a lot of money.

Shop the Right Vendors

You need quality clothing and other goods, but you don't want to spend a lot of money. Unfortunately, a lot of vendors that cater to children with special needs end up charging a premium for their products. However, if you do a little research, you can find brands that give you the quality products you need at a price you can afford.

For example, Smart Knit Kids sells seamless clothing for children that have sensory processing disorder or other sensitivity issues. The company sells socks and undergarments at an affordable price. Shop with vendors like these to help you get what your children need without spending a premium for it.

Plant a Garden

Food can be a significant expense, especially when you have to buy organic. But giving your kids nutrient-dense foods is essential to their overall health and to help manage their conditions. By planting a garden, you can get seasonal, organic produce all year long without having to spend health food prices.

Don't fret about your lack of a green thumb! Starters make it easy to get your garden growing. You can also choose hardy plants that are easy to grow, such as lettuce, cucumbers, and squash. Avoid fickle plants like asparagus or broccoli that can take a lot of maintenance to grow but don't yield a huge harvest.

Buy Second Hand

Plenty of parents try to make a little extra cash by selling their children's clothes, toys, and gear when they are done with it. You can help out another parent and save yourself a little bit of money by buying what you can second hand.

Go to consignment sales and yard sales, look on Craig's list, or join local Facebook groups. You'll find plenty of things you need at a fraction of the price of retail. Many online groups are available for the parents of children with special needs, so you can also look there for specific gear or items that your child would need.

Use Smart Frugal Strategies

There are plenty of ways that you can save money independent of what you have to spend on your children. Maybe you can't find a way to cut down on the cost of that special wheelchair your child needs, but you can cut back on your energy costs and other household expenses, which can help you free up the money.

Study smart frugal strategies and incorporate them into your life. Examples include cutting your cable and using a streaming service like Netflix, getting Energy Star appliances to lower your power bill, and joining a bulk warehouse to shop for household staples. The more you do, the more you will save.

Being a single parent is hard, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Using these and other tips can make it easier for you to provide financially for your children with special needs.

See my disclaimer.