Managing money

Talking about finances may cause some parents anxiety, but in fact, when you deal with financial issues rather than ignoring them, you are actually reducing stress. Here are some tips for getting a grip on financial issues:

• Change the way you think about money. If your partner handled most of the finances, don't assume someone else can fix your problems. It's important not to let anyone else have control over you, your credit, or your life.

• Create a budget and stick to it. A budget helps you see where you are and where you need to be going.

• Track all of your expenses for one to three months. This can help you see where you may be spending too much and where you may not be spending enough.

• Keep credit cards for emergencies, if possible. Use cash when you can so you don't create unmanageable debt.

• Pay yourself first. This means taking $10, $20, $50, or whatever you can to put into a savings or investment fund. Do this when you get paid, or have your employer take out a certain amount of pretax dollars and invest this money for your future. Rather than feel you're being shortchanged now, know that you are building a nest egg for the future.

• Seek advice from the organization that provided this publication. It can provide lots of information on how to help manage your finances, budget and save, reduce debt, and live on one income.

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