Being a single dad is fulfilling, with trips to the zoo, watching them frolic on a playground and building forts (yes, both boys and girls like them too). Mixed with all that fun and contentment, however, are the usual challenges of raising children and that is the reason for these simple tips for single dads.
When the family has a mother and a father sharing duties, that’s a little easier. When the dad solely has these practical duties, either through the death of a spouse, divorce or simply being an unmarried male with a child to raise, those challenges can be daunting.
For One Thing, Money Can Be Tight
Daddies can be busy dudes. Early evening often comes sooner than expected, and there’s not always much time to cook for a hungry child. A good idea is to buy twice the ingredients for one or two recipes at the grocery store. Freeze the extra batch for the night when there’s not enough time to prepare a full meal. This strategy also saves money on ingredients because you’ll fork out less per pound on meat products when you purchase larger quantities.
What if a single dad has bad credit but still needs a car in which to get around? One option is DriveTime bad credit auto loans, which operates 95 (and growing) dealerships nation-wide with a “OneTrue” philosophy (the price you see is the price you pay). Another option is working with a credit rating agency to review your credit rating and work with community lenders or small banks that are less rigid about bad credit.
Once the transportation issue is settled, there’s still the day-to-day domestic duties. Here are some tips for saving money at home.
- Cut down on laundry costs by using dry-cleaning fabric sheets in the dryer (saving on professional cleaning costs) and using generic detergents.
- Speaking of generics, name brands tend to cost more than their generic store-brand counterparts. But the assumption that higher price means higher quality is no longer true, according to Time.com.
- Instead of buying individually wrapped snacks, they can be handmade and stored in plastic bags. The tailor-made snacks also reduce the use of natural resources by using less packaging.
The Divorced Dad Survival Guide
However, saving money isn’t the only thing to consider when being a single dad. The Divorced Dad Survival Guide has a list of more intrinsic ways to raise a child. They include being gender-neutral, such as letting a son bake a cake and allowing a girl to play football.
Independence is another virtue; children should be taught how to fend for themselves at a young age. Manners count too. Make them write thank-you” notes, and don’t laugh at their potty jokes, even though you secretly find them hilarious.
A suggestion that gets its own entry in the Divorced Dad Survival Guide is saying “no” to your kids. Not only is it a frugal way to live (saving money on not having to buy an iPhone for a 4-year-old, for instance), the kids are taught responsibility, problem-solving and self-reliance.
The most important tip to remember is to let kids be kids once in a while. When they ask if they can play in a mud puddle, unless they’re going to their first communion, let ‘em get dirty. After all, you can just wash their clothes in that generic laundry detergent.