Four Strategies for Overcoming Financial Stress for Single Working-Devoted Dads.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Single-dads are fast becoming the unsung heroes of parenting. Whether raising a child alone or co-parenting, the challenges faced by this fast-growing sector of American society are huge. In fact, the last fifty years has seen a veritable explosion of single-dads in American society. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of households headed by a father has increased dramatically – from 300,000 in 1960 to 2.5 million in 2011. Some of these men are sharing custody but a sizable number of them have sole custody.

The toughest challenge I hear from single-dads, by far, has to do with finances, especially if a single-dad is living paycheck to paycheck. From childcare to buying groceries to paying for extracurricular school activities to Christmas gifts, the pressure is on for single-dads to ante up.

Money does not have to become the root of our failure as single-dads, but our willingness to think differently about money can become the beginning point of our brand-new future.

Here are four strategies for saving money and keeping one’s head above financial water in difficult times.

Strategy#One: Develop a Good Relationship with Money B.C. Forbes once said: The real riches are the ones possessed inside. No truer words have ever been spoken.

 

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The first strategy is more attitudinal: if we don’t have the right attitude toward money, the job of parenting becomes that much more difficult for any parent – let alone a single-dad. Too many people – including single-dads – take on self-defeating attitudes toward money. If ‘I’m broke’ is part of your daily vocabulary, turn that around by realizing that money is like a river – it may not be flowing at the ebb you like, but it’s always flowing. Your job is to get in the flow! Don’t say ‘I’m broke’; instead, say ‘I’m solving a cash-flow problem!’

Strategy#Two: Think ‘Economically’

 

This means frugality is the name of the game. Thomas Jefferson once admonished: Never spend your money before you’ve earned it. I try to keep that adage in mind in my own journey and so should you. Always come up with an economical game-plan according to your budget. Look for free events in town such as art shows, kids concerts and park activities. Get your dvd movies at the local library or use Redbox instead of buying movies (besides, if there are more dvd movies than books in your home, you are devaluing your kids intellectual growth). Set a limit on the amount of money you want to spend on groceries. Plenty of meals can be prepared for under five dollars. Don’t be afraid to cut out coupons from the Sunday paper.

Strategy#Three: Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

 

The previously mentioned Pew poll also revealed that 1 in 4 single-dads live at or below the poverty line compared to 1 in 10 married dads. One of the biggest challenges I have to overcome in my single-dad coaching practice is the overwhelming sense of pride and bravado that most men suffer from. There is this feeling that one has failed as a dad and man if one cannot provide for one’s offspring.

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Milton Friedman once joked: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Perhaps that is true. There are, though, a host of church and community-based services that can help you in difficult times – from groceries to utility bills to rent. There are also online venues that support single-fathers, if only offering encouragement and providing direction to resources. The challenge is to seek out these services and don’t be afraid to ask. Put aside pride.

Strategy#Four: Don’t Try to Over Impress Your Kids

 

Kids are simple; they don’t really need a big buck to make a big bang. Children have natural creative tendencies that just need pruning. Get out in the backyard. Go to the park. Have water-ballon fights. Take a hike in nature. Spend a day at the library. You don’t always have to spend money to make kids happy. I love the words of Mother Teresa:

Money is not enough. Money can be got, but they need your heart to love them.

Besides, after an afternoon of any or all of the above, they’ll be out like lights the rest of the night!

Money does not have to become the root of our failure as single-dads, but our willingness to think differently about money can become the beginning point of our brand-new future.

Staff Writer; W. Eric Croomes

This talented brother is a holistic lifestyle exercise expert and founder and executive coach of Infinite Strategies LLC, a multi-level coaching firm that develops and executes strategies for fitness training, youth achievement and lifestyle management. Eric is an author, fitness professional, holistic life coach and motivational speaker.

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