“Debt Ceiling Crisis” – impact to single moms
With all this talk in the news about “debt ceiling”, a lot of kids may feel or see mom looking more worried lately. Although the debt ceiling crisis is over, our nation is still in hot water. Now that the S&P has downgraded the United States credit rating, things appear to be becoming worse and world markets are suffering as well. If you are a single mom, you may spend most of your time just trying to keep your head above water, not sure how this will affect your family or what you should do.
The first thing to do is to become as informed as possible. Find out what all financial terms mean and how that could impact your individual situation. For example, What is a debt ceiling? – The maximum borrowing power of a governmental entity. Since the US Government voted to raise the debt ceiling, we avoided going into default. However, the corresponding credit rating downgrade has world wide effects.
Impact to single moms
If not receiving financial support from your former partner, you’re probably feeling more anxious. However, as a single mom, you are in a niche group that affords you opportunities that married or single people without kids do not have. For example, if you live in the United States, SPAOA – Single Parents Alliance of America, is a great resource for financial assistance.
The other impact is loans – interest rates will be higher and loans more difficult to get. This includes student loans. Please don’t let this discourage you or allow it to be a reason not to go to school. Education is a life time investment that will always yield excellent returns.
Impact to kids – emotional
For younger kids (“tweens”) you may see more acting out, due to fear they sense from mom. For older kids, they’ll come to you with their worries or internalize them, maybe finding negative outlets such as alcohol or drugs. The important thing to do is to confront the issue head on, by avoiding talking to your kids, you scare them more. Many parents make the mistake of thinking: “My child won’t understand.” But, how you as a parent present the issues, will determine how a child receives them. Let your children know that moms and kids all over the world are impacted by what is happening in the financial markets and with the credit rating downgrade.
Changing tactics – with business looking at our bumbling government, there has been a stalemate in the hiring market. Worse yet, many businesses are laying off workers or cutting hours in anticipation of things getting worse. What can you do? To start, make a list of your talents and abilities, search the internet for “niche” labor pools that you can fill. Second, BE FLEXIBLE, if your kids are older you may be able to take a night job. If your employer cuts your hours in half, look for ways to cut your expense in half.
Next, see if you can reduce any of your bills. I recently called T-mobile, my mobile carrier, to cancel a particular service on our plan. When I explained my financial reasoning, they went above and beyond and offered to cut my monthly plan by $30 per month. This may not seem like a lot, but with taxes/fees, I figure $35 a month or $420 a year savings.
The worst thing you can do is to let yourself or your kids feel hopeless. Yes, times are hard right now but times are not hopeless. Where there is hope … there are dreams, where there are dreams…there is motivation. Don’t allow yourself to lose hope.
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