An important step to adapting your family to a changing situation is creating a budget that suits your new circumstances. For some of you, this will mean operating as a single-income household. For others, it'll mean sharing the costs with your ex-partner. Either way, it’s sure to be a change from how it was.
Sitting down with a financial expert to draw up a budget is a great opportunity to review your spending habits. Figure out the pillars in your children’s life that you don’t want to change - for example, the neighbourhood you live in, or the school they attend - and focus on managing other costs.
Living with less won’t have to always mean saying ‘no’. It can just mean saying, ‘not that one’ or ‘not right now’. Creating a detailed budget is going to make you feel in control of your life as a single parent, and aware of your new financial boundaries.
Changing schools may not be an ideal scenario for your children - in fact, school can offer structure and support during this time of transition for them. But with school fees on the rise, what happens if you can't afford it alone?
You can speak with a financial advisor about how you might be able to find the funds to pay for fees. This could mean cashing in investments, or borrowing against your assets or your mortgage. If these aren’t options for you, speak with the school about financial hardship options. They might be able to assist with an instalment program or postponed fees.
You'll have to review your earning capacity to see if you'll be able to keep your children at their current school. Remember, there are other costs to consider when it comes to their schooling as well, like uniforms, excursions, camp, and more. You don’t want to sign up for years of fees if it’s going to cause you significant financial strain.