Guardianship could happen at any time and with it comes an avalanche of responsibilities you could not have predicted. The following are a few tips that are meant to help you deal with sudden guardianship a little more effectively.
One thing you might lose is time. A child takes up a lot of time, and sometimes, single people aren't prepared for that. The time you used to have to prepare a meal or bargain shop is going to be diminished. This is the reason you should prepare by taking a second look at your schedule. Consolidate some of the tasks you need to do and eliminate others. You can slowly add more things to your schedule as you get a hang of your new parental obligations.
Childcare costs are going to take a good bite out of you if you don't prepare for them. You will need to accept that you need help, and it is okay to look for that help anywhere you can find it. Sure, you can rely on babysitters and childcare centers, but if you rely on these alone, you'll end up spending a lot. See if you can get family members or friends to help you out from time to time. Join parent groups where you can share babysitting responsibilities from time to time to reduce costs.
Emergencies come in many forms with kids, and sometimes, these emergencies could be costly. This is the reason you need to make sure you have a lot in savings now that you are a parent. Creating an emergency savings account is going to take some time if you don't have one, so make sure you have researched alternative options for funding in times of unexpected emergencies. These options might include seeking out direct lenders online or borrowing from family and friends.
Buying clothes as an adult may not be too expensive since you're probably not growing anymore, but children are constantly growing. You might be surprised how often you are going to need to buy clothes. You may want to shop at thrift stores or garage sales sometimes. You can still by new clothes for your child, but now you can decrease some of those costs.
Going out to eat is something you might do often, but you might want to decrease these outings a bit. You are not only going to be getting a bigger bill, but children might not be well-behaved if they are young. This new reality makes it difficult to take your kid out to eat. You are going to have to rely on takeout, or maybe you can start cooking at home more often. Since you do have another mouth to feed, consider learning to expand food by making meals that are a little more filling like chili, flour-rich foods, and other similar food items.
Another thing you might not be ready for is how important holidays are going to be for you. Childless adults sometimes don't do much for the holidays beyond visiting family or friends here or there. This is going to change with kids who are expecting a little more fanfare during the holidays. Since your kid is going to want a true celebration, you are going to have to coordinate, invest, and create these types of experiences for him or her. Try to plan out these sorts of events so that they aren't so stressful for you.
Be sure that you are open to learning as you continue this new journey into parenthood. You may make mistakes, but it is okay because you are just starting and will get better as you go along.