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The almighty dollar. Let's face it, we all need it and when faced with rearing your children alone, it can be one of the most important factors. We here at The Single Parent Bible have compiled a list of 'must knows'. From what benefits are available from Centrelink, to where your pension card is accepted for discount, to how to make that last dollar stretch into next week. Read on, we promise, by the end of the article, the whole process of being financially stable won't seem nearly quite so daunting.

What's available from the Government (and how do I access it)?

The What, Why and How of Family Assistance is a booklet to inform you about the extra support you can receive from the Australian Government through the Family Assistance Office, to help with the cost of raising children and to help balance work and family needs. It includes information explaining Family Assistance, including details on payments, eligibility and what you need to do to make sure you get the Family Assistance you
deserve. For a free copy, ring the Telemarketing Line on 1300 367 676.

Where can I get a discount now that I have a blue pension card?
  • Most local councils will give you a pensioner discount on your rates.
  • Telstra and some other phone companies give a pensioner discount on line rental.
  • The Transport Department (in your state) give a pensioner discount on car registration renewals, as do some insurance companies and roadside assist firms.
  • Most electricity companies give a discount to pension card holders.
  • Numerous amusement parks, zoos, cinemas, holiday accommodation venues & travel companies, entertainment and sporting venues etc., all give discounts on presentation of a pension card. Swallow your pride and ask for the discount, you will save many $ by being savvy and diligent.
Tips for Saving!

The following were passed on to us by an anonymous (but astute) reader:

1. Be thrifty.
2. Set goals.
3. Save first.
4. Let time work its magic.
5. Take care with debt.
6. Think long term.

Cheap family outings and adventures!
  • $1 Tuesday at some Video Ezy stores for all new releases and weeklies (you need to check with your local outlet to find out what special deals they are running).
  • Start going to the library (my son is currently working his way through a number of books courtesy of the local library, that I loved as a child, that are no longer in print).
  • If your children have a favourite amusement park, perhaps consider purchasing an annual pass (at most adventure parks, you can acquire a yearly pass at double admission costs. This represents a huge saving if you plan on going more than twice in a 12 month period).
  • Have a picnic at the park (there's not a child alive that doesn't love running around the park and it doesn't cost a cent).

Child Support!
  • Child Support Agency Australia
    The CSA provides information to help parents manage their financial child support responsibilities following separation or divorce.

  • Basic Child Support Calculator CSA Australia
    This calculator gives you a basic estimate of your child support payable using 2004 figures.

  • If you are having difficulty collecting child support from your ex-spouse, legal aid (in your state) is equipped to help you in your fight to obtain what is you and your child's legal right. Check out the Help Lines (page 27) for legal aid contact details. Every child is entitled to financial and emotional support! Join an established single parent's group such as 'Parents without Partners'.
How can I get a home loan on Parenting Payment?

Western Australia has a fantastic home loan scheme for single parents. Please find the link below:

I haven't found any better in other states, but I am still searching and will give regular updates to this page each issue.

Please also check out Sole Parent Family Home Loan Assistance 1800 093 325. may also be worth a look.

Debt assistance!

We sourced the following pointers on how to deal with debt, from the site.

1. Increase your capacity to repay.
2. Find out if you are entitled to a pension, benefits or other government assistance.
3. Vary loan repayments on hardship grounds.
4. Consolidate your debts.
5. Find out about court instalment orders.
6. Bankruptcy and its alternatives - a last resort.
7. Get help if you need it.

Each issue check out this updated page for the latest on Money Honey.
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