Having an idea of how you will and won't spend money is a good start.
I also recommend getting some financial counseling.
There are a ton of books and resources on how to manage your money.
If you learn to do it early, it can change your world.
Looking back over the years, I often mourn the money I wasted along the way.
Once Angel became a toddler, it became harder to have time to devote to budgeting the right way.
I didn't take a financial course until I was in my 30s.
I truly wish I had taken it early on.
I would have done a lot differently and it would have helped us get ahead a lot sooner.
So I would highly suggest that early on in your parenting journey you take a good course on finances and begin to try and work what parts you can into your spending habits.
If they don't like it, let them spend their money on it Decisions.
They are unique to each of us.
How you spend your money is going to be a huge one.
There are going to be people who don't like it.
My personal rule is: if they don't like it, let them spend their money on it.
As a single parent, you have extremely limited resources.
Most of the people who are telling you how to spend your money aren't in the financial position you're in.
Your choices affect your child.
Buying them something because people are pressuring you doesn't help a lot when you can't pay the bills in a week.
You will have many people giving you input into what you should or shouldn't get your child.
Dance classes, petting zoos, field trips, school pictures, fund raisers, soccer, swimming, football, daycare, school, the list goes on and on.
For me personally, I put education first.
So I would pay for a better daycare, one that was in line with my attitudes, one that was willing to work with my financial situation, or one that was more conveniently located.
I would pay the fee for withdrawing my child early if they didn't meet my standards for some reason.
Education was something I was willing to spend money on.
But there were people who wanted me to spend money on soccer, dance, and petting zoos.
To me personally, they weren't an important enough activity for me to be willing to spend money on them.
So if those people wanted Angel in those activities, then they had to pay for it.
Sound harsh? Selfish? Not really.
You're job is to provide for your child's needs: food, clothing, shelter, daycare, education, toys, health.
You can't provide everything and there's nothing wrong with having others help if they are willing.
Dance class wasn't important to me.
It was to people who loved Angel.
So they paid for dance class, I paid for Angel's needs, and Angel went to dance class.
Don't be unwilling to accept the help of others when it doesn't go against your standards.
You can't do it on your own.
It's just too much.
So make your choices of what you will pay for, what you won't pay for, and if other's around you offer to help with some expenses that you can't do - go ahead and let them.