Singles, I have not forgotten you. If you a single parent, a young adult just starting out, a recent college graduate, a divorcee, or just a single individual who never married, we will now address your situation. Singles have it tough. They don’t have someone to come home to. They don’t have someone with whom they can sit down with and have their meeting of the minds.
If you’re a single parent, it is even tougher. You have to come home tired or exhausted from work and still be a parent to your child or children. You have to fix dinner, help them with homework and/or ensure their homework is done, make sure they get their baths, and finally get them ready for bed. It’s tough. When you get done, you are ready to just crawl in bed. Unfortunately, there’s still dishes to do. Maybe even laundry or picking up toys from around the house. You don’t have the time or energy to sit down and do a budget.
Unfortunately, when you don’t take the time to do your plan, you won’t have any idea of where your money is going. You’re simply setting yourself up for failure. You’ll be spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need. Maybe you’ll stop by a fast food restaurant on your way home from picking up the kids because you just don’t have the energy to cook that night. However, when it comes time to the bills, you find that the trip to the fast food restaurant just made you come up short on paying one of your bills. You see, you didn’t have a plan for your money.
This situation happens not only to single parents, but to others. You get home and you find yourself staring at your four walls, so you decide to go out and eat.
Or maybe, your other single friends invite you out to dinner or the bar, so off you go because it’s more fun to be your friends than home by yourself. Before you know it you’ve gone out to eat all week for lunch and dinner. Then, by the time you get to paying your bills you find that you’ve “eaten” your utilities, rent, or other expense. In other words, you spent money on going out to eat or party rather than on your bills. The bottom-line is you failed to have a plan for your income and expenses and you ended up lost.
So what do you do when you’re single and don’t have a spouse with whom to have a meeting of the minds? You need to sit down by yourself and do a budget every month. Ask someone whom you trust, a friend, a sibling, or one of your parents and ask them to be your partner and hold you accountable, an accountability partner (AP).
A word of caution is in order. DO NOT GET SOMEONE AS YOUR AP WHO IS NOT GOOD WITH MONEY. If they aren’t good with money, they won’t be good for you. They are to check with you each month and make sure you have done your budget for the month. You need to show them the budget with its amount filled-in and equaling zero. You should be able to comfortably discuss your expenses and purchases with them. They are to be your guide. Trust them enough to have them hurt your feelings. Let’s say you want to buy a new car even though your current car is in great shape. Your AP should tell you that is not a wise thing to do.
They might say something like, “Are you crazy? You don’t need a new car. Your car is running great.” Yes, they hurt your feelings, but they kept you from making a big mistake. Your AP needs to tell you that you should not be spending that much money on this category or other. They should help you adjust your budget when needed and as needed.