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We want the best for our kids. We try to raise them with more than we had as children and give them every opportunity possible to have a good life. That’s why it’s frustrating when financial mistakes from our past get in the way of how we provide for our kids. If we are a single parent, the challenge only amplifies.

Let’s look at a few ways single parents can rise above the odds to beat debt.

Student Loan Deferment

Student loan debt, as much of an epidemic as it’s become in the U.S., isn’t the worst kind of debt to have because of its low interest rates. However, balancing a hefty student loan payment on top of smaller, but high-interest credit card balances can stretch a challenging situation to the breaking point. Thankfully, student loans can be deferred, assuming you have federal, not private, loans.

Under economic hardship, you can defer payments for up to a year, and you can renew for up to three years. Unemployment deferment lasts up to six months, and can be renewed for a maximum of three years. If you’re still in school and need to delay payments until you have more reliable income, discretionary forbearance covers you for 12 months, but can be renewed unlimitedly as long as you’re enrolled as a half-time student.

Zero-Sum Budget

Budgeting ties all your efforts together. It’s the financial bible of how you’ll climb out of the hole. But not just any ole budget will do. With only one source of income, every dollar’s destination is crucial. That’s why you need to adopt a zero-sum budget, meaning your account for every dollar you’ll spend in a month by using last month’s income. You’ll need to track a few months of expenses to start zero-sum budgeting, in addition to having a month-plus cushion in savings. To make a zero-sum budget work, track your spending on a weekly basis, overestimate fluctuating expenses, prepare for setbacks and account for every last spending item.

 Ask for Help from Family

The thought of living with family or borrowing money might hurt your pride, but it’s healthy to ask for help once in a while. Chances are the people in your life would love to help you through a rough patch and get you on your feet. Every family dynamic is different, but if you have someone in your life with the ability to help, asking could prove to be all the difference. Think of the money you could save in interest by setting up a repayment plan with a family member who doesn’t immediately need the money or by moving in with a relative for a short period of time.

Settle Debts for a Lump Sum

If you’ve been struggling with debt for a while and have fallen behind on your credit payments, all may not be lost. Once your payments have lapsed by more than six months, you might be able to settle your debts at a significant reduction. You can do this on your own or through a debt settlement company. If you can save up a reasonable sum to offer a creditor, let’s say $500 for a $1,300 debt, they might cut their losses and accept. Be sure to get the agreement in writing before you pay, though. As far as working with debt relief companies, reviews on Freedom Debt Relief indicate that the process can take as long as four years to resolve, but other debtor experiences detail quicker resolution timelines.

 Minimize Your Possessions

Your items. Not your kids’ items. Maximize the effect of your zero-sum budget by ridding your life of all unnecessary possessions in exchange for progress on your debt. Adopt a capsule wardrobe, learn to love free or inexpensive hobbies, get acquainted with Craigslist and Facebook marketplace to unload your items — whatever you have to do to free up more money while cleansing your life of clutter.

Eating Lean

Food expenses are easily one of the most adjustable budget items. While everybody needs food, the difference between a rice-and-beans dinner four nights a week and eating relatively modestly at McDonalds with your kid ends up being $50–60 a week, aside from the vast disparity in nutrition the two choices provide.

You’re probably thinking, I can’t eat rice and beans four times a week, let alone my kid. You both don’t have to. Significantly reduce your food bill and keep kids happy by meal prepping together. Kids don’t have as big of appetites and they usually prefer simpler meals, which helps keep your grocery bill in line. Check out these 25 meal prep ideas for kids and try a few out.

Focus on Earning Power

Because you’re a single parent, the time you spend at work is vital to the household’s economic health. Even if you follow through with other areas in this article, you’ll have a tough go at paying back your debt without increasing your earning power. Focus on your short-term earning power by getting a part-time job, maybe something you can do while you’re taking care of your kid, like a remote role from home. Even without schooling or prior expertise, you might be able to find an administrative or data entry job. For long-term earning potential, think about how you can heighten your engagement in your role to earn a promotion, or learn a skill set that boosts your salary demand for future positions.

As a single parent, getting ahead can feel impossible. But with the right choices, hard work, and attitude, you can overcome your debt and provide for your children with more freedom.

Every single financial advisor tells you that you need to save money but this rarely actually happens. Also, it is possible that the money you saved is just not enough for the financial emergency that you have to deal with right now. Fortunately, you do have access to many different options that you can use whenever emergency money is needed. Some of the best are presented right below.

Personal Loans

This is always the very first option that you want to consider. It is offered by credit unions and banks. Also, they can be secured or unsecured. If you need more, you can get money for your car title but if you just need a little more, you just have to prove that you are employed and you have a stable income. When you just have some days to get the money you need, the personal loan is a fair option to take into account.

You need to know that personal loan terms will greatly vary from one financial institution to the next. Interest rates can also be pretty high in the event that credit score is low. This is why you should always read the contract before you agree to any deal.

Cash Advances

Do you have a credit card? If so, the cash advance is a pretty simple and fast option. Basically, this is a loan that you get against the credit card. All you really need to get the loan is to go to an ATM. Extra money is available, according to a specific limit based on your current income.

The cash advance is really convenient but there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of. The lenders normally limit how much cash advance is offered. Always be aware of how much credit is available. If the credit is $3,000, you can only take out $3,000 from the ATM. You will also have to deal with the cash advance fee, which has a value of a pre-set percentage from the loan. Interest charges also normally apply. They are actually higher than what the regular bank loans give you access to. However, if you need money really fast, the credit card cash advance is a wonderful opportunity.

Payday Loans

These are advances issued against paychecks. You can get them through an online lender or through payday loan shops. You use them because cash is offered as you need it, even if credit score is low. In order to qualify all that is needed is a paycheck and a bank account. When you go for the online option, you just need to answer some questions and money is normally wired in under 24 hours.

Although payday loans can be quite good for fast emergency cash needs, remember that terms will vary a lot when thinking about fees and terms. There are, as an example, payday loans that have origination fees and other payday loans will have very high interest rates but no origination fee. What is particularly important with these loans is to know exactly how much you need to repay and when.

Do you find yourself in thousands of dollars of debt? The challenged of reducing your debt can seem insurmountable. However, it is possible to reduce your debt, with a little planning and dedication.

Here are the 5 steps in how to reduce your debt:

  1. The first step is to evaluate your debts

Do you know where you stand in terms of debt?

This is important to know before you start reducing your debt because the amount of debt and the type of debt you have will impact the options available to you. You can do this by collecting all your financial documents and printing out your annual credit reports.

Organize your debt by writing down the balance, interest rate, and monthly amount due for each of your debts. You need to make sure you include your credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, and other debts.

  1. The second step is to look at your budget

Now that you know where you stand in terms of debt, the second step is to take a look at your monthly budget. You should write down your monthly income after taxes and subtract your bills such as rent or mortgage payment, as well as other monthly expenses such as utilities, groceries, and insurance.

Once you have subtracted all your expenses from your monthly income, you need to calculate how much you have left to pay off your debts. Do you have a little left or a lot left at the end of the month after all your expenses? If you have a little amount left, find ways to reduce your spending. Cut back on certain things you do not need so you can pay more towards your debts each month.

  1. The third step is to make a plan

It is time to create a plan for reducing your debts. You will need to subtract your monthly expenses and your minimum debt payments from your monthly income after taxes. The remaining amount you have left should be used to pay off your debt with the highest balance and interest rate.

Consider adding debt consolidation to your plan. Consolidating all of your high interest debt into one low interest debt can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year in interest charges.

You should avoid adding new charges to your credit cards that will increase your debt. You also need to find a way to increase the amount you pay towards your debt each month.

  1. The fourth step is to start negotiations

You should contact your lenders and creditors to see if you can change the terms on your debts. You can probably negotiate to lower your interest rates or a reduced settlement on some debts.

In this step, you can also look into moving your credit card debts to new accounts with lower interest rates. For example, moving a debt balance to a credit card with 0% rate can help you save a lot of interest.

  1. The fifth step is to follow through on your plan

It is important to follow through on your debt reduction plan. You need to find a way to meet your repayment goals each month. Stay consistent and put as much as possible towards your debts because before you know it you will be debt free.

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Bankruptcy is the worst nightmare that every business owner fears. If you do not have an effective debt management strategy or plan for your company, you are vulnerable to the threats of insolvency. It is crucial for you to ensure that you take the appropriate steps and measures to avert bankruptcy and never allow your business to drive onto that path. Large organizations have departments and trained staff that deal with business debt management.

However, small to medium scale businesses often lack the experienced and skilled manpower to manage their debts of activities and cash flow. Most of the time the owners of the firm are not financial experts themselves, and so they make hasty decisions that can be detrimental to the financial health of the business.

How debt settlement companies and experts can help you?

Debt settlement businesses and experts have the experience and the skills to help you negotiate with your creditors and reduce the payments owed. In fact, if you hire them, you will find that they can reduce 50% of your existing debts. Now, if you are in a bad debt situation and think about bankruptcy often, it is time for you to examine all the possible options that are left for you before you take the step. There are two feasible and efficient solutions for avoiding bankruptcy. Debt settlement and business reconstructing.

With the aid of debt settlement professionals, you can examine the volume of debts that you have. When you call in experts, you can give a second chance to your business to build up. It will also protect all the personal assets that you have when you are facing a tough financial situation. Your creditors with these factors will be willing to enter into an agreement where your monthly payments will be less.

They will enter into an agreement that will not hit you. With the aid of these experienced and trained professionals, you can now bid adieu to the regular collection calls that plague you. You do not have to worry if you fall behind on payments anymore. The agreement or strategy that these experts give you is secure in the pocket and will not cause any inconvenience to you in any way.

Consultation and guidance

Now, the first step towards getting rid of debts and the subsequent fear of bankruptcy is choosing the right experts. Take time and choose an esteemed and reliable company that has good reviews and testimonials in the market. The experts here often give you free consultation advice and guidance. With the aid of them, you can analyze the current scenario of your business and take the necessary steps when it comes to getting rid of debts.

Many business owners fear that business debt settlement companies are expensive however this is not true. These companies ensure that you get the best when it comes to services and advice. The packages are not expensive, and they are pocket-friendly. This means you do not have to fear for costs at all. They will talk with your creditors and arrange better credit terms for you. This means you can focus on the core functions of the business and ease the burden of worries. Your debts are being managed effectively without hassles.

The importance of having a plan for payment of business debts

If you wish to get rid of your business debts, it is important for you to ensure that you have a plan. This plan should be devised carefully by experts that have years of invaluable knowledge in the field. It is prudent to turn to professionals for the management of business debts over doing it yourself. This is the first step that you can take to avert the woes of bankruptcy. Every plan will have a target for debt settlement, and so with the passage of time, you will find that the volume of debts you owe will start reducing. With the aid of debt settlement companies, you will also have lawyers who will help you with the process. They will explain to you the legal implications and also speak with your creditors. This means you are safeguarded and protected from all angles.

Managing debts and cash flow wisely

Many business owners do not realize that they are wasting money when it comes to buying resources for the company. This is how they get into massive debts. It is crucial for you to understand the fact that business debts need to be managed with prudence. This is why hiring the right professionals for cash flow, and debt management is a smart choice. With the aid of these companies, you will get proven strategies that will unburden the business debts from your business with success.

Review your business with the experts

When it comes to managing debts and taking them off from your shoulders, you should reconsider your business practices. Some practices might be costing your company very high and incurring many debts. Analyze them and try to change them to reduce costs and improve cash flow. Debt settlement companies have financial experts that understand the mode of business operations, and with the aid of them, you can make some wise changes to the business practices of your organization.

With debt settlement companies, you do not have to worry about the details being leaked out in public. It is not as these companies maintain high standards of privacy and confidentiality. All you need is a good company, and they will take over your debt settlement woes.

Therefore, if you have many business debts to clear and wish to be in charge of the operations of your company sans bankruptcy, you should invest in a good debt settlement company today. The professionals will take charge and guide you back to survival without tensions at all. They will ensure that all your debts are paid without stress with plans that are not only feasible but highly effective as well!

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Know what debt settlement is and how to use it without hurting your business interests

Managing debt is an important business function because unless you can keep debts manageable, you can never pay attention to your business. To run a business you have to depend on debts, often too many of them, whereas you may not have the skills and expertise to manage debts efficiently or the business situation does not permit. Debts could turn quite overwhelming at times and affect business operations.

At such times, when debts become a headache for you that you would feel the need to come out of the mess by taking the route of debt settlement. You turn to debt settlement reviews to look for the best options and gain some knowledge about the process.  In this article, you will know what debt settlement is and how to proceed with it without hurting your business interests.

Settling debts – what is it?

Going by the literal meaning of the phrase, you can make out that putting an end to debts or getting rid of debts is what debt settlement is. It is applicable for any number of debts that you carry, but usually lesser the better. The idea behind the process is to negotiate with a creditor to make them agree settle the debt for an amount less than what you actually owe to them. However, this process is applicable only for unsecured loans and you can either do it on your own or use the services of a debt settlement company that acts as a mediator between the consumer and creditor.

How the process works

To make lenders agree for a debt settlement, it requires hard negotiations that professional debt settlement companies are well conversant with in doing on behalf of their clients.  The goals of the debt settlement company become clear after reviewing the financial status of the borrower as they chart out a plan for settlement. The process entails, painting a grim picture of the borrower’s financial situation so that it appears convincing to lenders and arranging to create a lump sum fund that helps to pay off the debt.

For achieving the first goal, the debt settlement company advises its client to stop making all payments to the lender immediately to signal the poor financial state. At the same time, the debt settlement company asks you to make regular deposits to them that help to build a fund for repayment of debt. Finally, the debt settlement company convinces the lender to agree for settlement at a lower value than what you actually owe.

Act with caution

Borrowers who take up the debt settlement process take some calculated risks in creating a financial situation that apparently looks quite dismal but it could make you lose control on your finances. However, the way to succeed is to choose a reliable debt settlement company that does not have any hidden agenda and works truly for its clients by protecting their interests.

Take a final call in debt settlement only when you are convinced that you do not land paying up more than what you envisaged and that the debt is really settled.

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Before proceeding towards debt consolidation, the concept of debt has to be understood clearly.

Debt is the amount given to one party by the second party.  The person giving the amount is known as creditor and person receiving the amount is a debtor.  There are two types of debts – secured and unsecured.  Debt can also term as a liability.

Business is an activity done to earn profits. Normally a business has the following forms:

  • Sole proprietorship: Here, the owner is everything- the only decision maker. He is the person who is responsible for all business obligations. At the same time, all the assets belonging to the company also belong to the owner.  If the decision regarding debt consolidation has to be taken, it will be done immediately as there is only one person to decide.
  • Partnership:This is the sort of business where two or more people contribute towards the operation of the firm.  They share all profits and losses by profit sharing ratio which can be derived by capital invested.  In the same way, the liabilities of the business are also shared by partners. If the decision regarding debt consolidation has to be taken, it can be done only after all partners agree to do so.  To some extent, the time taken to decide may extend and invite more problems.
  • Corporation:In this type of business, the owners are considered separate from the business entity.  Legally, owners have limited liability.  To increase the funds of the corporation, the shares of the company are made use of.  In this case dealing with debt consolidation is a very lengthy process.  A lot of things have to be considered before taking any action.  As the corporation has shareholders, it is bound to answer every shareholder regarding usage of funds in the operation of the business.  Getting funds is not an issue in the case of a corporation.  The business here itself can gain the funding source from its goodwill.

Debt consolidation can be referred to a situation where some debts are summed up, and a new loan is taken to repay the present debts.  For instance, if a business has to repay10 debts and has a lack of funds then the debt amounts are consolidated, and a new loan equivalent or more than the ten small debt amount is taken, and all the ten debts are cleared.  Only the new loan amount is left to be cleared.

This gives the businessman additional time to improvise the business and earn the sufficient profits to repay the new amount. One more benefit from data consolidation is that all the debts are cleared without facing harassment from creditors.

The businessman can either do the process of acquiring a new loan or approach professional services to get better advice to solve the problems encountered by the business. Debt relief is one such company which gives quality advice and helps you to restore the prestige of the firm through repayment of debts in time.