There is so much talking going on now about recession and budget cuts and financial disaster. It is easy to get caught up in the concerns and predictions of doom. As single parents, we may already be feeling the reality in our bank accounts and check books (although many of us have been feeling the squeeze for some time now) and it can be scary. I think it is important, however, to keep things in perspective and try not to get too overwhelmed or to panic.
The fact is, many of us single parents are already well-positioned to make adjustments during a recession. I know that I am already quite used to budgeting, making money stretch, paying for things with cash, saving what I can and just generally living frugally. Many of us have already been through a drastic change in income when we went through a separation, divorce, or death of the other parent. Instead of panicking, we can remind ourselves that we already know how to tighten the belt and we have learned how to do it quite well.
Recessions also do not last forever. The economy can be cyclical and often volatile, and we might very well lose some money (my stomach gets a little queasy every time I think of the $100s of dollars that have disappeared out of my personal retirement savings and my kids’ college investments.) I know that I have already been hit hard and that I am working harder than ever now just to try to NOT lose ground. But, there is still a great deal to appreciate as well—starting with the fact that I CAN work and I have several years of complete independence and financial self-support under my belt. Even if we have to tighten that belt, there is still a great deal of experience and frugal budgeting to fall back on for most of us single parents.