I still believe that love is able to conquer most (or many) issues. If it’s a true, faithful, and selfless kind of love from both partners that is. And since we live in the real world where that type of love is rather rare (I am not a pessimist, I swear), being smart with money when dating is simply a must for a single mother!
Single mothers have all experienced the highs and lows of being a sole financial and care provider for their children. Unless you are independently rich, or have a solid inheritance from your family, being a single mom is a tough financial journey full of trials and errors. Following separation and divorce, single mothers find themselves in a completely new financial territory. Bearing the responsibility of providing safe and comfortable home, clothing, food, and many other essential needs for their children, single mothers learn to make huge personal sacrifices to make that possible. Sacrifices both in time and their own personal needs.
Nearly always, single mothers are some of the most sacrificial people on this planet. Even when things are very difficult, they either work and study more, or learn to budget even more relentlessly. They know how to stretch their budget and “pull the magic” for their children even when things seem impossible. As such, it is only natural for single mothers to apply financial wisdom when and if the thoughts of dating or getting married again start coming to mind. You want to protect your children’s and your future to your best ability. Hence, becoming clear about your financial standards in a potential partner is the essential first step when (or better prior) you begin to date.
It is true that everyone’s personal financial expectations may vary. Yet, common wisdom will help you become more clear about your financial expectations in match. Some good questions to start pondering and stretch your mind around this subject:
- Am I ok with my potential partner having debt? (be specific as to how much debt you are comfortable with and don’t be afraid to say “absolutely not” if that is not something you are comfortable with at all).
- Am I ok with him having other long-term financial obligations (such as substantial spousal and child support?), or would I rather be with someone who has never been married before and does not have children?
- Would I ever be comfortable to become a stay at home mother and depend on my husband financially, or do I want to be financially independent no matter what?
- What are some key financial goals that I would like to meet in my life for myself and my children?
- Am I ok with my match living with roommates or parents, or do I want someone who has already established an ability to live independently and has his own property?
- Would I want to continue living in my house with my children if I get married, or would I rather live in my new husband’s house? Should we buy a home together?
- What are my match’s views on budgeting and investing towards a healthier financial future?
- What are my non-negotiable standards when it comes to finances and the standard of living?
- How would I protect my children in the event of divorce or a tragedy if I re-marry?
- Do I want my match to make the same amount as me, or substantially more? (how much more?)
- Would I be comfortable telling to my future husband about my financial expectations for myself and my children without feeling guilty about it?
- What financial future do I see for my family and how does my match fit this picture with his own abilities and goals?
Some of these questions might be easy to answer for you, but perhaps quite a few of them will make you stop and think. The goal here is for you to be brutally honest as to what you want and not settle on less. Plenty of single mothers are happy to have a good loving husband who provides just enough for the family to meet the needs and leads the family financially.
Many single mothers on the other hand might have different expectations, depending on their personal experiences and ability to be financially independent. Whatever works for you, by thinking of these questions you will become more smart with money when dating and not waste your precious time in the process.
If you have some good questions to share, please post them below in the comments!