Modern Family Finances. The Single Parent

When the whole divorce kind of stuff hit, you know, it was a huge blow—to our familyunit, to my identity, to what I had, you know, envisioned and dreamed my life would be like. I had been married when I was young—I was23. I worked for five or six years until myoldest daughter arrived. But really our financial future in those days was based largely onmy ex-husband’s income. And I had, you know, stopped working to have kids, and to raise A recent survey found that 70% of Americans are currently worried about their personal fin… them, and to be at home, and so that was sort of my job, albeit unpaid.
So after the divorce, I think, like, you know, you finish your sort of pity-party stage and then you realize that, okayOK, no one is going to make this better for me. I’m the onlyone who can do this. And really I think being motivated by wanting to set a really goodexample for my own girls, and I think really thinking back—what did I do for the lasttwo decades? I’m fully capable of managing my own money and knowing what I have and whereI want to be and how I’m going to get there. I think a lot of it is just restoring theself-confidence that you can do that. You just haven’t—it doesn’t mean that youcan’t—but just it wasn’t your purview in the past. How can Cash Flow and Debt Management be profitable?
Many financial advisors feel … Step one was figuring out, like, what do we have? I don’t know what my electric billis per month. I don’t know what my car payment is. I don’t know how much my mortgage is. I have no idea. So just a lot of sort of due diligence in uncovering and finding out, whatcan I do to, sort of, yield some money that we can invest and save for the future? The advice that I would give to someone who was managing their money for the first timeor really taking ownership over that is to not be afraid of it.
Because your situationis not going to change if you ignore it. You’ve really got to dive in, figure out what youhave and figure out where you want it to go. And don’t be afraid to spend some real hardtime pouring over those numbers and really understanding how much you need, how muchyou want to have, and where you want to make that money work for you. I think it’s a valuable lesson for the girls that resilience, I think, is probably themost important thing that I can teach them. You know, everybody’s got something at home,right, that makes them unique. It doesn’t have to make it good or bad; it’s just yoursituation. How you’re going to shape it, is what’s going to make you successful ornot.