For single parents struggling to manage every day expenses, money is always a challenge whether they're purchasing a car, a home, clothes, or food.
Sadly, jobs don't always provide enough of an income to allow single parents to handle emergency expenses when they arise. And they do arise.
In 1995 my refrigerator went out a couple of months after my transmission AND engine fell apart (different cars – a couple of months apart). Within one year I needed $3,000. My salary was $7,000.
Obviously my job paid less than I needed to survive WITHOUT catastrophes hitting me, and when that refrigerator went, I felt myself sink into depths of poverty so dark I hoped the only way out was up until I felt the bottom drop even more. I fell from one financial crisis into another into another...
With no bank account from which to draw, I had no money to buy a new refrigerator. So I purchased a couple of coolers and some ice, filled them with all of the items from my refrigerator, and then realized, after several days, that, after a month, the cost of ice would equal a monthly payment for a new refrigerator.
I was trapped in a Catch 22 situation; I couldn't afford a new refrigerator, but I also couldn't afford not to have one. So I decided I had to figure out a way to get one.
Would my credit score allow stores to trust me to buy their merchandise on credit? From feeding the kids to providing a roof over their heads, to clothing their growing bodies, and fitting them with new shoes each year, I just couldn't handle the day to day expenses AND all of the disasters that occurred time and time again.
Fortunately my credit was in good standing and I was able to get the refrigerator. As time went on, though, expenses increased and my credit score dropped when I co-signed for a couple of cars for my kids.
The overwhelming cost of raising kids, borrowing first from one credit card to make a payment on another credit card, eventually caught up with me. When I had to claim bankruptcy, my credit score took a nose dive, and it took me years to catch up.
Today I'm surviving. I'm not wealthy, and without help, I would be in bad shape, but I'm not living on the streets either. I no longer use credit cards, but to exist in this world, I have to have credit, so I keep an unused credit card in my purse – just in case.
Knowing my credit score helps me decide if I can afford to get a new car when my 2002 Saturn finally gives out or if I need to get a new refrigerator when this one breaks down.
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Find Scholarships for Single Parents *** Meet Other Single Parents *** Government Grants for Single Parents *** The U.S. Department of Education
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