Dealing With Money Issues For The Custodial Parent
If you are the custodial parent, you have a lot of financial responsibility on your plate. If you have child support, that is tremendously helpful, but it doesn't cover all the bases. You can find ways to be thrifty without denying your child enjoyment. The following is a list of possible activities that are enjoyable yet inexpensive.
*Take them to the park with their bicycles
*Join a single parents' support group that has family activities
*Go to local historical sites that are free or inexpensive
*Do creative projects at home
*Take them to the library for scheduled story times-almost every library has them.
Buy some of your child's clothing at garage sales, thrift stores or consignment stores. If you visit them frequently you will get an idea of which ones have the best "stuff". Take your kids with you to let them pick out their choices, tell them in advance how much you can spend, and point out what the price is of each item.
You can tell them that if you save money on clothes, there will be more money for treats. Give your children an allowance, no matter how small, and encourage them to save a small portion of it for an activity or an item that they want, and let them know you will match their amount with whatever you can afford. Of course, this is something you would want to research ahead of time so you will know how much you can spend.
The financial challenges of divorce don't have to be overwhelming and negative. If you involve your children in creative ideas it can make the new life seem fun. You can also find ways to save on money for your own needs. The thrift store idea can work for you too. On the weekends that your children are with the other parent, you can take just a couple of hours to browse the ones that you have been in for the kids' clothes to find things for yourself. You'd be surprised what you can find in the way of adult clothes that are up to date fashion and gently worn.
Saving money on food can be easily done if you make a list before you grocery shop, and talk to the kids before you go about not buying anything impulsively. You can allow for a few healthy treats without buying a lot of junk food or sweets. Snacks can be inexpensive if you plan ahead. Involving the kids in the process of saving can go a long way towards enhancing a sense of family cooperation, and can also help them learn valuable lessons in spending money responsibly.
Another idea for coping with the financial challenges of being the custodial parent is negotiating with the other parent about the childrens' special needs for extra-curricular activities. For example, if you child is in sports and needs money for the uniforms negotiate with your ex-spouse to give you a certain amount each week on an installment basis to buy the needed items. This can ease your burden and contribute to the cooperative co-parent relationship between you and your ex. It can also involve your ex spouse in your kids' activities, which is important and necessary for maintaining a sense of continuity in their relationship.
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