When we become parents, few of us think about going it alone. It’s a possibility no woman should have to face. Of course, men are increasingly becoming single parents as well, and we take our hats off to any guy who is making a go of it. The path isn’t easy, no matter what. But, there’s still no getting around the fact that single fathers only head 13.5% of single families. The rest is down to us women, and that’s what we’re going to focus on here.
Raising a child is a real challenge, let alone when doing it solo. The problems become harder to cope with, and you haven’t got anyone there to talk things through. While having complete parental rein may seem like a dream, the reality is very different. No one will disagree with your methods. But, you also won’t have anyone there to prop you up or help you deal with those stressful decisions.
The good news is that, even if you’re going it alone, there is help out there. To prove the point, we’re going to look at the two main issues single parents are up against, and the best ways to get past each.
Money worries are, inevitably, the first concern. There’s no escaping the fact that we live in a world geared towards couples. As if you didn’t have enough on your plate, you also need to work out how to make your way alone. It’s never easy. So much so that a shocking 47% of single-parent families live in poverty. It’s hard enough working to provide a roof over your heads. You then also have to foot the full extent of bills which would usually be halved. Admittedly, most councils still offer a single person discount of up to 25%. But, there are plenty of expenses besides that. On top of which, achieving a mortgage is near enough impossible when you’re doing it alone. That said, there’s help in this area, too, with charities like Habitat, who offer affordable housing for the exchange of 500 hours volunteer work. If you can leave your child with a family member while you volunteer, this could be a fantastic way to get a roof over your heads. And, you can work out a volunteer rota which fits with your lifestyle.
Emotional stresses Of course, it isn’t only the financial strain which is a worry for many single mothers. Parenting alone can cause extreme amounts of emotional stress, too. The task can feel never-ending, and you may be reluctant to take anyone up on offers of help. But, it’s essential you allow yourself a break now and again. This could be anything from an evening where your mum has the little one, to an hour after school while they take part in hobby clubs. Either way, these small portions of time will make a huge difference. Make the most of them by investing in a little self-care, because every mum deserves pampering sometimes, too.
Is it time to put your best boot forward? Wouldn’t that be a fabulous way to start 2018 and keep the New Year positivity going right throughout the next year?
Do any of these questions resonate with you?
Have you got lost as the individual you are somewhere in the mix of juggling responsibilities?
Do you feel there must be a little more in life for you?
Have you given up on your dreams?
Do you crave just a little time for yourself or perhaps you are the opposite and would like to make new friends?
Do you look in the mirror and an inner voice starts criticising how you look?
Would you just like a little support as you take on new things?
Who can join in with Best boot Forward?
You are welcome to join in with Best Boot Forward if you are a woman who wants to make changes in your life or is actually doing so. Consider it a peer support network or a band of sisters who have your back.
How you can join in?
Read the posts on Indigo Wilderness and Kate on thin ice for inspirational ideas and challenges.
Engage on social media with the hashtag #bestbootforward and don’t forget we love to see you over on Instagram.
If you blog as some of us do, you can link up with our weekly linky which goes live on Wednesdays
Are there any rules?
Look after yourself and have fun with Best Boot Froward.. It is high time you indulged in things you enjoy or take baby steps to shake things up a bit. You are an individual so it might involve hobbies, work, time with friends, volunteering, learning, date nights or whatever floats your particular boat.
Please try your best to visit and comment on one or more of the other posts linked up. We are all busy but you can make a real difference and feel good about yourself too if you support others along the way.
The first linky goes live on Wednesday 3 January 2018.
There’s no getting around the fact that most things to do with moving house can be expensive, and not to mention stressful. Setting aside the cost of the home itself, there’s also the matter of all the other small costs that can mount up; if these are left unchecked, then you might find that you’ve spent the cost of a new kitchen just on transporting your family from one house to another. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen; below, we take a look at the tips and tricks that’ll keep more money in your back pocket.
Sell the Unneeded Possessions
Whether you’re upgrading or downgrading, you’re going to be buying plenty of new furniture and other items for your new property. But what if, instead of packing up all your belongings and taking them with you, you take only the essentials that you need, and sell the rest? A big move is a perfect opportunity to dig through the old drawers and see what you of value that you could use to bring in some much-needed cash. Most homes have thousands of pounds worth of items that are either unused or no longer needed. That’s money that could easily be in your back pocket!
If You’re Freelance
Time, as they say, is money. No matter what your job is, you’re going to be spending a lot of time getting everything ready for your home, and you won’t be able to dedicate much time to your work. No big problem, you might think; just book a few days of holiday, and all is well. However, if you’re a freelance worker, then you won’t have holiday pay to fall back on. If you neglect your work, then you’re not bringing money in! Instead, look at hiring movers like those available at https://www.mybekins.com/location/el-cajon-ca-movers/ to help you. They’ll take care of all the hard work, leaving you free to continue working – and most importantly, keep earning money!
Looking After the Kids
They say that it’s good to have as many hands as possible when you’re moving. Many hands make light work, right? Well, that’s kind of right….your brother? Yeah, get them in. But your children? They’ll likely be more of a hindrance than a help. But of course, paying expensive childcare costs will eat into your budget considerably. Instead, ask friends or family to look after your little ones instead. You’ll be able to move home knowing your kids are well looked after, and won’t have had to part with a small fortune.
Prep Your Meals
You’re not going to be spending too many evenings in the kitchen when you’re trying to move house. The temptation will be to get a takeaway or go out for dinner each night, but that’ll be very expensive if you’re doing it every night until everything is unpacked! Instead, prepare some meals beforehand and set up your microwave. It’s just as convenient as a takeaway, but better for you – and crucially, won’t cost anywhere near as much!
Without wanting to sound overly dramatic, a business that isn’t in good financial health is rapidly edging towards an unenviable end. The commercial graveyard is home to thousands of SMEs that failed to cure recover their financial health. So if yours is struggling, finding a return to profitable activities is the only cure.
Many failed businesses have been in your current predicament. Then again, it’s important to remember that many successful ventures have also been there. So, how do they manage to turn things around? Let’s take a closer look.
The first step to recovering the financial situation is to start reducing the wasted cash. There’s nothing wrong with spending money in business, but every dollar wasted is another lost opportunity. Given that many of those upgrades can be incorporated almost immediately, this should be the first item on your to-do list.
Take the time to research different options for telephone service providers, web hosts, and insurances. Even if it’s only a few dollars per month, it can make a noticeable difference to those overheads. Just remember that taking the long-term contracts can often secure a better deal. In the worst case scenario where the business folds, those agreements will become void.
Another top trick is to use outsourced IT services. Not only does this save you a huge initial outlay, but it also ensures your systems remain up to date. For the immediate and long-term financial issues, this can be highly rewarding.
Often in business, cash flow is the main issue. The company might be moving in the right direction, but it still requires capital to make this progress happen. Borrowing money can feel daunting. In truth, though, it’s often a necessity to unlock the door to future growth and profits. The key, however, is to access those funds in the right manner.
Traditional bank agreements can be difficult to find, not least when the business is still in its infancy. The smartest entrepreneurs get through this issue with unsecured finance lending. Whether it’s to buy equipment or other essentials, the short-term boost can make all the difference. When this option is taken, though, timely repayments are essential.
Even the biggest companies often take out loans to enable growth and expansion. If it’s good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for you.
If money is leaving the business faster than you’d like, it’s also worth encouraging it to arrive a lot quicker too. A short-term sales boost can get you out of a tight situation, and may also work wonders in the war for new clients that can be turned into loyal customers. It can also be the perfect way to get rid of stock that isn’t selling while also creating space in the warehouses.
Hosting a special promotion day can enhance the presence of the company as well as its immediate sales figures. This in itself can be hugely rewarding as the brand identity will influence ongoing consumer trends. Timed offers presented through email streams can be very effective as they force readers to make a decision.
Your marketing strategies are one thing, but the advice of other consumers is what will truly win the battle for new customers. Referral schemes can revolutionise your strategies forever, boosting sales figures greatly. Given that the payments come directly from sales too, it’s a very cost-efficient answer.
A business that fails to keep track of its activities will always be more vulnerable to errors. As such, learning to monitor everything at all times could be one of the greatest moves you’ll ever make. Not only will it reduce the likelihood of making future mistakes, but it’ll also enable you to rectify issues far quicker.
Monitoring doesn’t just mean tracking income and expenditure. Modern accounting facilities enable you to gain a deeper insight into taxes and similar issues throughout the year. Working blindly until the annual reports are completed can now be a thing of the past, even for an SME. This increased sense of control can only have a positive impact.
Above all else, taking extra responsibility in this aspect of the venture is sure to encourage better habits elsewhere. Even without those indirect benefits, though, taking this action is a must.
If money feels tight, you simply need to make it work harder. From a business perspective, this usually involves seeking increased effort levels. Those sentiments can extend to technology, machines, and various elements. Ultimately, though, the initial concerns should be with the staff.
Employees can be the greatest asset at your disposal, but can also drain your finances too. A successful recruitment drive is important. Perhaps more importantly, you need to maintain a good sense of motivation. This can be achieved with great communication, regular perks, and better staff facilities. Those simple gestures truly do make all the difference.
Streamlining your time is equally vital. Cut team briefings and meetings to 20 minutes, and embrace tech communications where possible. With more time at their disposal, the team will achieve far more. In turn, this can reduce costs and increase revenue.
As a business, the basic formula for success revolves around low costs and high revenue. In reality, though, the sale price minus the production costs only tells half the story. Money can slip through the net in many different ways. Tighten your grip on those aspects, and you should see a very noticeable impact.
When selling items, you may let clients complete purchases on credit. When this happens, you trust them to make timely repayments. Not all customers will do this, which is why running credit checks can reduce the threat of bad debts. Once that money has been written off, you’ve essentially lost it forever. Sadly, this will hit profits hard.
Another danger that can hit you hard comes from theft or personal injury claims. A well protected and safe work environment should be the aim for all business owners. Aside from the financial benefits, it should provide a sense of emotional security too. If that doesn’t allow you to focus on the other jobs needed to restore stability, nothing will.
I know I do as my hair is not at its best at the moment. When your children start saying that your hair has every colour in it and you know the roots are rocking 50 shades of grey, it is time for a change.
We have moved recently and when my son went to the local hairdressers, he was really disappointed with the results. We had tears and everything. That put me off going and then suddenly the Christmas rush takes over.
So on Friday I am going to get an appointment made to sort myself out in the hair department.
As I get older, I am aware that I consider different options. Should I keep colouring and then not booking a cut on time so the grey roots show up? Should I just let it go grey but then you have that awful in between look like when you are growing your hair from short to long.
Whilst I am reinventing my look, perhaps I should consider human hair wigs for the first time. I think it is great that the stigma around wearing a wig has largely disappeared and rightly so. Gone are the days when wigs were ugly and so obviously fake. Nowadays they are made of human hair and come in a selection of styles that can match your particular taste and attitude.
I could fancy something like the one in the image. I have tried to get hairdressers to dye my hair this colour so many times but they never believe I really do want this vibrant shade and so it ends up more subtle but not what I wanted.
Do you fancy a new hair do as part of a new image for 2018?