Single parenting

Tips for Starting a Savings Plan for Your Child’s Future as a Single Parent

Jun 12, 2023

As a single parent, you are likely juggling multiple responsibilities, including raising your child and managing your household finances. One of the most important financial decisions you can make as a single parent is to start saving for your child’s future. Whether it’s for their education, their first car, or their future home, starting a savings plan early can help ensure that your child has the resources they need to achieve their goals.

The Challenges of Saving as a Single Parent

As a single parent, there are unique challenges you may face when it comes to saving for your child’s future. These challenges include:

  • Tight Budgets: It can be challenging to save money when you are living on a tight budget. As a single parent, you may have limited income and face higher expenses such as childcare costs.
  • Time Constraints: Single parents often have limited time to dedicate to financial planning and saving. Between work, household chores, and parenting responsibilities, finding time to research investment options and create a savings plan can be difficult.
  • Limited Resources: Without the support of a partner or spouse, single parents may have limited resources available for savings. This can make it challenging to set aside money each month for long-term goals such as college savings or retirement.

Tips for Starting Your Child’s Savings Plan

Create a Budget

The first step in starting a savings plan for your child’s future is creating a budget. A budget will help you understand where your money is going each month and identify areas where you can cut back on expenses. To create a budget:

  1. List all of your monthly income sources
  2. List all of your monthly expenses including fixed expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and car payments, and variable expenses such as groceries, entertainment, and clothing.
  3. Identify areas where you can cut back on expenses to free up more money for savings.
  4. Set a savings goal based on your budget and prioritize saving for your child’s future.

Explore Investment Options

Once you have created a budget and identified how much money you can set aside each month for savings, it’s time to explore investment options. There are several different types of investment vehicles that can be used to save for your child’s future including:

  • 529 College Savings Plans: A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed specifically for college expenses. These plans offer tax-free growth on investments and tax-free withdrawals when used for qualified higher education expenses.
  • Custodial Accounts: A custodial account is an account that is set up in the child’s name but managed by an adult until the child reaches the age of majority. These accounts can be used for any purpose and offer tax advantages.
  • Roth IRA: A Roth IRA is a retirement savings account that offers tax-free growth on investments. While these accounts are designed for retirement savings, they can also be used to save for your child’s future since contributions can be withdrawn penalty-free at any time.

Start Small and Be Consistent

The key to successful long-term savings is starting small and being consistent. Even if you can only set aside a small amount each month, over time those small contributions will add up. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account or investment account so that you don’t have to remember to make the transfer each month.

Build an Emergency Fund

In addition to saving for your child’s future, it’s important to build an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a savings account that is used to cover unexpected expenses such as car repairs, medical bills, or job loss. As a single parent, having an emergency fund can provide peace of mind and help you avoid taking on debt in the event of an unexpected expense.

Get Professional Advice

If you are unsure about how to get started with saving for your child’s future, consider seeking professional advice. A financial advisor can help you create a savings plan that takes into account your unique circumstances and goals. They can also provide guidance on investment options and strategies for maximizing your savings.


Starting a savings plan for your child’s future as a single parent may seem daunting, but it is an important step in securing their financial well-being. By creating a budget, exploring investment options, starting small and being consistent, building an emergency fund, and seeking professional advice when needed, you can set your child up for success. Remember that every dollar saved today is an investment in your child’s future tomorrow.