Single parents, whether by choice or the divorce or death of a spouse or partner, have one thing in common.
The fall-back position of a second income or a safety net is often nonexistent.
All parents love their children, but single parents are particularly heroic, says Ken Moraif, a certified financial planner and senior advisor at Money Matters.
And for some, that devotion can slip into sacrifice, especially when money is tight.
That can be a slippery slope.
"They [sometimes] seem not able to say no to a child," Moraif said.
Always saying "yes" to the latest sneakers or video game can convey a lack of financial discipline to kids.
Another unintended consequence: when single parents put their children ahead of their own retirement needs, says Beth Sweeney, a managing director and wealth manager at Steward Partners.
Breaking the budget puts them at risk of having to retire later than they might have, if they had set more aside.
Designating a guardian, especially for parents who are single by choice, is crucial. So are these five financial moves.