The typical day for a single parent consists of going to work, rushing home to supervise homework, attend sports or after school activities, get the house in order, and turn around and do it all over again the following day. Weekends become the days for completing heavy housework and running errands that there isn't time for during the week.

There are over 13 million single parents living in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Approximately 26% of United States children under the age of 21 are being raised by single parents. In these single-parent households, a high level of stress over the daily routine and finances is often a way of life.

In addition to trying to keep up with the daily routine, single parents often have anxiety or stress over the finances. Single mothers with residential custody of the children make up 84% of all single parents and earn an average of just $26,500 per year. For those who do receive child support, the average amount is $5,800 per year. Even single parents who are not living on such modest financial means often experience higher levels of stress than parents in dual-parent households — there just isn't another parent to lean on when times are difficult or during particularly challenging parenting moments.

Here are some tips for easing the transition into single parenting:

Let Go of the Family Home

Finding a suitable yet affordable home is often one of the biggest challenges a single parent faces. Many times, a woman will try to keep the family home after the divorce because it seems like an easier transition for the children. Financially, though, many of these women can't reasonably afford to maintain that house and should look for other, more affordable options. As many memories as you may have with the home, or as much as you and your children may want to keep your house for any reason — it's just a house. Detach from the emotional connection with the house and make a home in a more affordable place. Your stress level and lifestyle will thank you for making that decision!

If the rent prices in the school district and neighborhood you want to live in are too high for your new single-income budget, consider sharing a home with another single mom. Sharing rent and utilities can really help stretch both single parents' budgets. making it possible for each family to start building up their savings to purchase a home or move into their own place at some point in the future. It's recommended that you share with another single mom, since they are going through similar experiences as you — but any roommate would help alleviate some of the living expenses if they were shared.

Insurance Is Essential

As the primary caregiver of your children and the source of almost all incoming money to the family, your ability to work is essential to your family's survival. What happens if you become unable to work through illness or disability? Your employer-paid disability coverage will replace about 60% of your pretax income, but would you comfortably be able to live on 60% of what you earn now, particularly considering you are likely to have increased medical bills if you're claiming disability benefits? You can look for an additional disability policy which will replace more of your income. The average price is $1,000 per year, but it could add about $1,000 a month to your disability income.

Term-life insurance policies are ideal for single parents. Many financial experts recommend you have life insurance close to 10 times your annual salary to ensure your children's needs are met should you pass away before they're financially self-sufficient. A healthy adult in his or her 40s can get a $500,000 term-life insurance policy for around $500 per year. An insurance and tax professional should be able to help you figure out how much insurance you need and how to set up beneficiary information to ensure your children receive the funds from any policy you purchase.

Increase Your Income

There are many ways to reduce your living expenses by cutting back anything that's not absolutely unnecessary to your survival, but a better method may be to concentrate on increasing your income. Instead of looking for ways to save a dollar here or there to make your current income stretch further, look for opportunities within your current place of employment for a promotion or bonus. Consider moonlighting a few evenings a week or on weekends; or start a consulting or freelance business from home. If your experiences and skill sets allow you to offer services to customers via the internet or by phone, you have a good opportunity for increasing income without leaving your house.

If you have teenagers, consider letting them contribute to their living expenses with a part time job or babysitting in the neighborhood. They can help save for their car, pay their own car insurance and gas, and any extras beyond their essential needs. Starting a teenager out with real-world responsibilities will help them learn to budget their money better as adults, too.

Do what you can to start saving money. Your priorities should first be establishing an emergency fund, followed by retirement, followed by possible college savings for your children. Look for high interest savings accounts to maximize your earnings.

Set Up a Support Network: Ask for Help

Everyone needs time off or you'll burn out. Can you imagine working seven days a week for the rest of your life? People look forward to the "weekend" because it's a change from their daily routine. Parenting is no different — and for single parents, burn out can occur much faster because you're trying to be everything to everyone all the time! Working to pay the bills and parenting 24/7 can take a toll, and it's important that you ask for help regularly to avoid burn out and complete exhaustion.

If your children are still young and require constant supervision, enlist a friend or family member to take them for a few hours every other week or so. You can return the favor with their kids or in other ways. Don't use your kid-free break to run errands or do housework — all of that will wait! Give yourself some much needed downtime to read a book, watch a movie, take a walk, or any other enjoyable activity you regularly put off because you don't have time to do it.

If you don't have a support network nearby, join a divorced- or single-parenting group, or become active in your children's school or sporting activities. This will allow you to meet new people and eventually build up a network of friends and support when you need it.

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