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Single Mom Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Single Mom Living Paycheck to Paycheck

February 10, 2023

Single motherhood is a common situation in the United States. About 20% of children live with a solo mom, and around 30% of these single mothers live below the poverty line. Figuring out how to not only make ends meet but to plan proactively for the future is a common desire and one that we can easily serve, as we did in one of our recent client success stories.

The Challenge: Overcoming Debt to Achieve Financial Freedom

We were approached by a young single mom who knew that she needed to plan for the future but wasn't sure where to begin. She was struggling with a significant amount of debt and simply getting her family by from paycheck to paycheck with the income she made working at a bank. She wasn't equipped with the tools or knowledge to make the drastic changes that she needed in order to feel safe and secure.

The Solution: Changing Habits and Building Savings

We helped this solo mom take control of her money and aggressively tackle her debt. By taking a close look at her finances, we were able to identify several places where she could save money. With an actionable plan in place, it was easier for our client to shift her behavior. She said, "I think about money differently now because every time I go to spend money, I think about Dave — what would Dave say, would he be mad about this?"

This new and improved thought process resulted in a noticeable shift in spending. We gave her insightful systems to track her finances so she could see where she was making progress and where she could improve. We checked in periodically to make sure she was doing well, and she was able to call anytime she needed to get advice or answers. These open lines of communication allowed this single mom to focus on her career and family.

The Results: Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Working with our newlyweds, we addressed several important topics including:

As an experienced financial advisor, we're able to answer important questions about which options are the most lucrative and where funds are slipping through the cracks. For example, many couples stay on their independent health plans out of habit, never realizing that they can save a significant amount of money each month by sharing a single health plan. Other couples might make disastrous decisions on their taxes, paying more than they need to by choosing the wrong filing status or selecting deductions that don't serve them.

The Outcome: Financial Stability from Wise Planning

Using our financial plan, this client got almost completely out of debt in a single year. She put 20% of her income into savings and built a sizable emergency fund. This financial cushion was something she'd never enjoyed before, and it proved critically important when her role at the bank changed and her income declined. Thanks to her proactive financial planning, she was able to comfortably manage this change without panicking about how to make ends meet.

At Parkes Financial, we work closely with each client to help them break down the many demands competing for their attention. It's hard for overwhelmed parents to prioritize. We pinpoint the biggest threats and develop actionable plans that will help you tackle major hazards to your financial security so you can enjoy the peace of mind you deserve. With our subscription-based planning, you can get the level of help you need at a price point that makes sense for your budget.

Dave Parkes, CFP®, RICP®


Dave works with hundreds of Bay Area dentists, physicians and their families. He has a deep understanding of the financial needs of the medical/dental practitioner. He makes planning simple and clear by coordinating both business and personal finances for his clients.

He also works with Silicon Valley executives, professionals, and their families.

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