Being a single parent is arguably the hardest job in the world. Not only are you a full-time caretaker of your children, but you also have to work to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. More than half of working Americans are categorized as being in the middle-class, and many single middle-class single parents in America need to work more than one job just to make ends meet. Even if you are part of the ⅕ of Americans in the upper class, for single parents the job of parenthood is exponentially harder than with a partner.
During this COVID-19 crisis, many sectors of society have had to either change the way they do business or shut down completely for the foreseeable future. The areas that are the most affected have been dining, hospitality, domestic help, and entertainment. Many of these industries have female employees, many of whom are single parents with children to care for. These hard-working women exist under the strictest of budgets in order to keep their families afloat. A major setback like a national shutdown that encourages families to dip into their savings is just not an option for them.
There are some steps to take to improve your situation. The first is to rewrite a new budget immediately. Remind yourself that it’s temporary, but certain things must be prioritized for the time being. Stop using your credit card immediately. All the experts agree that now is the worst time to rack up credit card debt, especially since most single parents already have existing debt. Do any work you can on the side. Some people have even become entrepreneurs by starting their own business. There are websites dedicated to helping you find your side hustle that you can do at home. Look around and sell the unneeded and unnecessary things that just clutter your house and life. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are free to list your items. Improve your skillset by enrolling in courses that are available online. There are websites to enable you to add certifications in many different organizations. Ultimately, it comes to evaluating your situation, prioritizing, making a pathway for yourself, and then executing your plan. If you need help, seek it out through charities, religious organizations, philanthropic organizations or state, local, and/or federal government programs.