Single Parents Face Special Pressures In Managing Finances

By Pamela Knudson
Grand Forks Herald.

GRAND FORKS, N.D.

As a single parent for 10 years, Megan Bosh was always on the lookout for ways to cut expenses and try to stick to a budget.

It wasn’t easy. She was 18 when her daughter, Eva, was born. But the experience taught her to face financial problems head-on.

“It’s really hard to manage your money and hold onto the rent (money) ’til the next paycheck,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help in certain ways, it doesn’t hurt to try.”

With her landlord, she negotiated to pay half her rent twice a month, rather than in full each month, said Bosh, of Grand Forks, N.D.

She also reached out to creditors, she said. “Food comes before bills, so call if you can’t make a full payment, most companies will work with you.”

She used coupons and asked for discounts on things like automotive services.

“I’d say, ‘I can get my oil changed over there for $19,'” she said. “I don’t think I ever paid $20 for an oil change.”

When you’re single and raising one or more children, finances can be difficult to manage, said Richard Bechhold, financial counselor with The Village Family Service Center, Grand Forks.

“You have rent, groceries and gas prices rising,” he said.

Add to that the feeling that you don’t want to deny your children things they want, he said, and you have the ingredients for financial stress.

“As a single parent, you don’t have an additional income coming in,” Bechhold said. “You may be collecting child support (or) the other (parent) may not be working, is unemployed or chooses not to pay.”

Married couples have more options, he said. “If you need extra money, your partner could get a part-time job without adding a day care expense.”

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