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Old 12-28-2016, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Illinois USA
291 posts, read 147,761 times
Reputation: 211

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Can anyone share their experiences how they manage it ?
I have 1 toddler 2 yr I have 3 days a week

Beinng a single dad in a stressful job I struggle with organization and tend to overspend

1-late bill payments
2-eating out
3-not having enough time to excercise leading to potential health issues
4-I also am spending too much on rent as I want to be close to his moms house
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:54 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,179 posts, read 11,349,748 times
Reputation: 19278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad01 View Post
Can anyone share their experiences how they manage it ?
I have 1 toddler 2 yr I have 3 days a week

Beinng a single dad in a stressful job I struggle with organization and tend to overspend

1-late bill payments
2-eating out
3-not having enough time to excercise leading to potential health issues
4-I also am spending too much on rent as I want to be close to his moms house
Unless the court requires you to live close to mom, I would look at moving to a lower cost rental. My son is a single dad of a 4 year old, he now has full custody but when he had shared custody he had a stipulation in the order that either parent could move 30 miles from the other and that transportation for custody exchange would be shared, with one parent picking the child up, the other dropping him off. If either parent moved more than 30 miles that parent would be responsible for pick up and drop off. At two your child can't walk to mom's house alone anyway, so why pay more rent than you need to in order to stay close to her house?

Late bill payments? Set them up on bill pay and have them sent out by your bank automatically on the date they are due. I don't know if you are eating out because you don't know how to cook, or if it's because you are just too busy, but you might look into buying nutritionally balanced frozen food that doesn't require more than sticking it in the oven.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:58 PM
 
Location: The middle
468 posts, read 225,998 times
Reputation: 1634
Exercise: get a good stroller, take the child for walks or runs, you are getting exercise and are an example of healthy behavior. Make time to go to the park and play.

Food prep: on your day off, cook some chicken , brown some burger or ground turkey. Buy pre prepped fresh veggies or frozen veggies. At meal time microwave a regular or sweet potato, or make some pasta or rice. Keep some fruit on hand for a snack or healthy dessert option. Pb and j, grilled cheese or a scrambled egg is still better than eating out imo

bills: as suggested above, set up automatic bill pay

rent: if you are renting a house, switch to an apartment.

The exercise and food prep are an important, though often overlooked aspect of parenting. You do not want your child growing up to think take out is the norm or that exercise isn't necessary. I understand that you are busy and stressed. Being a single parent is rough, but you can do this.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:31 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,860 posts, read 18,883,731 times
Reputation: 25110
Automatic bill payments only work if you know you'll have the money in the account on that date. I was reading it as the OP overspending and not having the money to pay the bills, then having to pay late fees which makes it more difficult to have the money for the bill the next month.

The first thing to do is get rid of the things you don't need. Switch to a prepaid cell phone instead of one with a ton of data and a big bill. Get rid of cable. Shop around for less expensive car insurance.

Next, stop eating out. Just completely stop until you're caught up on your bills and not getting stuck with more late fees. Figure out some things you can cook at home. You should learn to cook some simple meals even if it's not something you enjoy doing, because it's a good skill to have. If all you can cook are tv dinners, they're probably still cheaper than eating out. If your friends or coworkers pressure you to go out to eat, say you're eating clean (assuming they don't see the tv dinners) or you're following a strict diet, or whatever you need to say. Once you're not late on bills anymore, tell yourself you can go out a couple times a month, but don't have a bunch of drinks with dinner because that adds up.

Exercise...take your kid to the park. Let him run and play while you run and play too. You're not too old to climb play structures and go down slides. In the summer, find out where the free city pools are and take him to the pool. Get a bike and ride trails in your area...you can get a bike trailer for him for the days he's with you or a trail-a-bike if he's old enough and big enough to sit on it and pedal. Or go hiking together.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:54 PM
 
Location: NNJ
8,451 posts, read 4,655,936 times
Reputation: 9098
* We have restricted diet twins that requires us to make everything from scratch (lots of time/effort). On Sundays, we cook all their food for the entire week and store them in individual containers. We have a compact fridge just for their prep'd food. It helps manage the effort, time, and cost. You should consider it for the three days the toddler is with you.

* Exercise when you take the kid out in a stroller or the park. You would be surprise how much exercise you get keeping up with a toddler/little.

* Don't eat out. Period. One nice dinner for two can equivalent of the cost of food for our entire family for the work week.

* Create a budget and keep all expenses in front of you. I use mint.com. Its not perfect but it is free. Setup automatic pay (I prefer not to but I'm religious when it comes to bills). You need to figure out where the money is going to.

* Consider reducing/elimination reoccurring bills. Cell phones for example can be as low as $7/month with a purchase of a dummy phone for $10 (tracfone). We eliminated subscribed TV for a while until my wife returned to work. We borrowed movies from the local library for free.

* Consider renting in a cheaper area. House? go to apartment? Apartment? consider a studio?

I cannot stress how important it is to have your expenses in front of you (avoiding out of sight out of mind) and having a budget written up. It helps you identify areas of improvement or bills to eliminate as well as track your expenses. I even withdraw a fixed amount for spending cash every week to avoid blinding swapping my debt card.

Last edited by usayit; 12-29-2016 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,706 posts, read 21,750,727 times
Reputation: 27757
...potential health issues. In what? 30 years from now? Vacuuming and mopping are a sport. Who needs a gym?

No one needs to eat out. I once caught my husband feeding a spam, peanut butter and jelly sandwich to my kid. Guess what? Neither of them died.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Illinois USA
291 posts, read 147,761 times
Reputation: 211
Belatedly but I want to thank everyone for the responses
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:35 PM
 
Location: At the Lake (in Texas)
2,073 posts, read 1,943,030 times
Reputation: 5003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad01 View Post
Belatedly but I want to thank everyone for the responses
Good to hear back from you -- how are things going for you now? Update please? Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:52 PM
 
3,263 posts, read 2,839,361 times
Reputation: 4655
I agree that if a person doesn't have $$ in an account, then auto-pay isn't going to work very well. For me, I don't use auto-pay, because I don't like that others have access/control of some of my money.

What I do is use a plain, old-fashioned pen and paper as well as a calendar. I put the name of the bill and the $$ due on the date that it's due. (When life is hectic, I back that date up about a week and write down when the bill should be mailed so that I don't forget it.) I use the paper & pen to figure out how much money I have as the bills get paid.

Of course, I can do this with the computer, but I look at one all day. I prefer not to do it at night. AND, I tend to remember them if I write it all out in "long hand".
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:05 AM
 
3,263 posts, read 2,839,361 times
Reputation: 4655
Use your local library, too. You can get money-saving ideas there; they provide storytime for children; loan out current, popular movies; and they have movie nights. All for free.

The very first thing that you need to do is get your bills paid on time whenever possible, so that you can save the $$ that would otherwise be spent needlessly. If part of the problem is organization, set aside a time each week to get and keep organized.
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