How to Take Your Financial Challenges and Turn Them Into Life Goals

It is very hard to stare down financial hardships and see a light at the end of the tunnel, unless you make a plan. Truly, having no financial plan in general, is dangerous. Even if you are scraping by for now and can’t be strategic, you can take these financial challenges you are dealing with, and turn them into life goals that will help serve you. Here are a few ways you can turn your financial hardships into something fruitful!

CREDIT ISSUES

Do you have a bad credit score or maybe a lot of credit debt? This is a common issue after divorce. Perhaps your ex racked up debt or you racked up some yourself. Whatever the case is, take credit issues as a journey towards smarter spending.
Some tips I have learned from the advisors I met through Savvy Ladies:

Read More: How to Take Your Financial Challenges and Turn Them Into Life Goals

Challenge is On!

Laura

Advertisements

Broke Single Parent Holiday

The buzz is on. Everyone is chatting about their awesome holiday vacations. The presents they’re buying for their spouses. The gift list they have made for their kiddos. The smashing New Year’s Eve reservations they’ve got in store. It sounds so thrilling and wonderful, but to you, it feels pretty god darn awful. This is the part in which your “Fa-la-la-la-la” is completely flat:

The part in which you realize you’re flat broke and there’s no awesome holiday getaway or hot spousal date or worse, an amazing list of gifts you’re dying to buy your kids.

Sure. Those things exist in your head but they’re not reality. Instead, you sit down and look at your budget. You look at how much money you have coming in and how much you can use to contribute towards the holidays, whether that be taking any days off or buying gifts for your children. You don’t feel so “Fa-la-la-la-la,” when you look at the bottom line that money is tight and that you’re going to be lucky if you can take vacation days because guess what? As a single parent, you probably used up quite a bit already.

It’s enough to make you Bah- humbug and honestly, feel inferior and sad that the holidays in your head aren’t living up to the ones you’ll have in reality. Does it suck? Sure, but is it the end of the world? No. No, damnit it’s not. Instead of feeling bad that you can’t make the holidays some huge smash, remember that your kids don’t need huge gifts and getaways to be happy. That being a broke single parent at the holidays is hard, but it’s not awful. Being a homeless single parent on the holidays IS awful. And even still—it doesn’t make you a bad parent. Being an unloving and unresponsive or absent parent makes you a bad parent. Not buying your kid every one of his or her whims and fancy does not qualify you as a bad parent. Having to work Christmas- New Year’s Eve vacation does not make you a bad parent.

Read More: Broke Single Parent Holiday

Jingle Bell Broke,

Laura

10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Ex For Being a Good Dad This Fathers Day

Father’s Day is almost here, but you’re not living with the father of your child/children anymore. If your kids are older, they can certainly figure out a way to tell dad how much they love him, but for those of you with younger children…isn’t it up to you to do something?

Sure, a stepmother or new partner may hold the helm with these duties, but as mom of those children, if you’ve got an ex who is an active and good dad, you should step up and do something. You don’t have to drop cash on him or go all out like you used to because you’re not his wife…but they’re still his kids. If your ex is a good father, step up and show him your appreciation. It could be so much worse. Even if you’re still feeling the sting over the divorce, think of the many divorced parents who watch as the dad walks out on the kids’ lives. If your ex is in it for the long haul, show him how important he is on Father’s Day with these ideas.

1- Plan a Breakfast

If the kids are dying to make him breakfast, ask if he wouldn’t mind if you help the littles make breakfast for him. If his new partner is not happy with the idea, try inviting the new partner too.

What will an hour together hurt?

If the two of you can’t get along but he’s still an awesome dad, give the kids money and let them treat him to breakfast!

Read More: 10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Ex For Being a Good Dad This Fathers Day

Be Grateful If He’s Good,

Laura

A Single Mom’s Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep…except for, I am still awake.

Awake thinking of the many things I meant to do, but couldn’t get done today.

Awake thinking of the things I said that I second guess—

In my mind, I go over these conversations with my child and wonder if something could have been said differently or if perhaps, there was something I might have missed in her words.

Or if perhaps, my strong love came through with each sentence, word and syllable

As she lays down to sleep,

I pray she doesn’t feel the difference between us and “them:”

As we walk our neighborhood on crisp days, she points to houses and says, “I want us to have our own home.”

As she lays down to sleep,

I hope she knows how amazing, creative, smart, strong and bright her light already is.

I sit and hope.

Hope that each day in every way,

my child knows I love her.

Read More: A Single Mom’s Prayer

 

Amen,

Laura

Broke Single Parent Holiday

The buzz is on. Everyone is chatting about their awesome holiday vacations. The presents they’re buying for their spouses. The gift list they have made for their kiddos. The smashing New Year’s Eve reservations they’ve got in store. It sounds so thrilling and wonderful, but to you it feels pretty god darn awful. This is the part in which your “Fa-la-la-la-la” is completely flat:

The part in which you realize you’re flat broke and there’s no awesome holiday getaway or hot spousal date or worse, amazing list of gifts you’re dying to buy your kids.

Sure. Those things exist in your head but they’re not reality. Instead, you sit down and look at your budget. You look at how much money you have coming in and how much you can use to contribute towards the holidays, whether that be taking any days off or buying gifts for your children. You don’t feel so “Fa-la-la-la-la,” when you look at the bottom line that money is tight and that you’re going to be lucky if you can take vacation days because guess what? As a single parent you probably used up quite a bit already.

Read More:Broke Single Parent Holiday

You’re Rich In Love,

Laura

Why Single Parenthood Helped Me Face My Anxiety

I have never been a shy or introverted person. I was always comfortable being “me” even at a young age. Still, I have always been a sensitive soul and as I got older, I was anxious—a high energy, anxious, Type A sort of woman. When my ex and I separated, the anxiety ebbed and flowed. Sometimes, it was fine. There was a happiness and peace in finally deciding to divorce once and for all, as well as a joy in not being with the wrong person: i.e., not fighting every day and night anymore. But with separation and divorce, there came major uncertainty and with those changes and “new territory,” came anxiety.

Dating. Losing a home. Moving out on my own. Becoming financially independent. Navigating the divorce process. Sharing our child. Coparenting.

All of these things brought some very real fears and others, imagined. One of the greatest fears I would wager to bet most divorced people fear is failure.

Will I be able to make it on my own?

Did I make the right choice?

Will my daughter be fine?

Will I go broke?

Will I meet someone?

I want to tell you that two years later all my fears have subsided, but life has changed since we went our separate ways and in some ways, things are easier and other ways, things are much harder.

Single parenthood though, made me face my fears to the highest level.

Read More: Why Single Parenthood Helped Me Face My Anxiety

You Can Do It,

Laura

The 1 Thing to Never Say to Your Child After Divorce

I learned something very important in court parenting class. Something I didn’t expect.

I was sitting in a large nondescript room that looked something like a school cafeteria or a VFW, about to listen to a court parenting class. They offered cheap snacks like peanuts and granola bars, along with water bottles. I grabbed some snacks and looked around. As I scanned the crowd I saw newly separated people with the mark of divorce on their faces. The exhaustion, fear and defeat showed on almost everyone. I had already been separated for 2 years at this point so it wasn’t new to me. Yet as “old” as it was to me, sitting in that class taught me a lot.

I learned a lot about what the court deals with in regards to children and divorce. I learned a lot about what the court expects from me and other divorced parents.

But the one thing that stuck with me was when the court social worker told us we should never call our “ex” our “ex” in front of our children or to other people we are speaking to in front of the kids.

“Ex has a bad connotation. Ex is something that is no longer part of you. Ex is the past. But to your kids, your “ex” is their father or mother. A good person. A part of them. Their present and future.”

Read More: The 1 Thing to Never Say to Your Child After Divorce

One Small Habit to Make,

Laura

What I Do For My Child of Divorce

Divorce can be very hard and also very joyful if you move on to a better life afterwards. No matter how your experience with divorce goes, the fact is there is no single rule book that explains what you should or shouldn’t do in divorce. Even further still, there is no single rule book to explain how your children might react to a divorce. I have friends whose children have taken divorce very easily, whereas my child has not.

Knowing this, there are a few things I do as a parent to help get my little one through the process for her sake . . . and mine.

1. The Time Check 

I kept asking myself, “It’s been X amount of months or years, so why is it still so hard for my child? What can I do differently?”

Read More: What I Do For My Child of Divorce

It Takes Time,

Laura

How to make the most of a long weekend alone without the kids— Divorce Style

In all truth, ever since splitting from my former husband, the hardest times for me have been holidays…and summer weekends alone. It’s easy to understand why adjusting to sharing holidays has been hard. Thankfully, my ex and I split almost every single holiday day in half since we live close. But why have I found summer weekends alone to be hard in particular? Well, I suppose it’s one thing to be alone on a frigid cold winter night. Is everyone else going out and having a good time? Most likely not. Most likely they’re Netflixing and “chilling” or literally watching Netflix alone like any other single gal home at night on a Saturday in January. But in the summer there are a lot of family vacations, hot summer romances, trips away…and as a single person who hasn’t been too impressed yet with the dating pool, the nights I found myself struggling to find something to do felt pretty awkward and sad in the past. I was, in theory, supposed to have “fun” on my free nights and be out like everyone else, so why wasn’t I? I mean, I was having fun sometimes, but it was hard to find other single people ready to go out. It seemed like more of a chore to find something to do than I had expected, but most of my friends were home with their partners, like other married folks.

 

Read More: How to make the most of a long weekend alone without the kids— Divorce Style

Enjoy It,

Laura

 

 

5 Things Children of Divorce Don’t Want to Deal With

Growing up with two married parents, I really didn’t have a framework for what my daughter, a child of divorce, would go through when her dad and I split up. Although I hate the expression “child of divorce,” as we didn’t make her from divorce, the fact is she has a rather different experience than I did as a child. I wanted to understand what it might be like to go through her shoes. So I interviewed my friends, at least 10 who were all children of divorce, and over time as a parent undergoing the divorce process, I learned a lot about what things a kid doesn’t need to hear or deal with about divorce or from his or her divorced parents.

1. Negative Comments About the Other Parent

I don’t really care if your ex was a deadbeat dad or if your ex-wife was a royal b*tch. The bottom line is your child most likely loves the both of you so much that your negative comments or a family member’s comments, like a grandparent or aunt or uncle, are detrimental to your child. When someone else goes to say something bad about a child’s parent during or after the divorce process, it injures the child severely.

Read More: 5 Things Children of Divorce Don’t Want to Deal With

Be the Adult,

Laura