Are you the breadwinner for your family? A recent study by Pew Research reveals that some are among the 5.1 million (37%) who are married mothers with higher incomes than their husbands, while 8.6 million (63%) others are single parents earning substantially less than their married peers. While a significant dividing line between the two groups exists, there are a range of life experiences that impacts the financial health of each.
The National Foundation for Credit CounselingⓇ (NFCCⓇ) and The Ohio State University (OSU) worked together to survey participants of the NFCC Sharpen Your Financial Focus TM (Sharpen)
Some of the most significant financial challenges include:
- Reduced Income – Managing a household budget is difficult enough for anyone with a stable income, but sudden decreases can cause a damaging ripple effect in a family’s finances. The OSU data revealed that 29% of breadwinner moms participating in the Sharpen program were affected by unemployment or underemployment. Nearly as many (22%) suffered negative financial consequences resulting from domestic conflict, including separation and divorce.
- Increased Expense – Medical costs and increases in the family size are among the top challenges faced in this category. Personal savings is one way to offset the pain of unanticipated increases, but for the majority of single mothers it is often impossible to maintain savings growth on a shoestring budget. The Pew survey revealed that the median household incomes of divorced or single mothers was $57,000 less than their married counterparts who earned more than their husbands.
- Bad Credit – Low credit scores and high levels of credit card debt can pose seemingly insurmountable financial obstacles for women seeking a balance between work and family. Sharpen results showed that revolving debt levels decreased by nearly half (49.5%) from pre-counseling to fourth quarter for wage-earning mothers in the program.
Counseling and education have proven to be significant change factors for breadwinner mothers who are facing tough financial choices.
NFCC member agencies, like LSS Financial Counseling, are able to provide financial counseling in-person, by phone, or online. Give us a call at 888.577.2227 and schedule a financial counseling appointment today. We are here to help.