Budget is one of the most essential factors that you will have to worry about when you are a single mother. You have to admit that raising children is quite expensive and there is no way to negotiate on that. Since it is only you who will be providing for the whole family, it can be quite a tricky task to handle finances and budgeting. You will need to consider a lot of things, especially when you know that there is no one else to turn to in times of financial emergencies.
A typical single mother with an average income would find it tough to always make both ends meet. Stress and problems would arise here and there and if you are not prepared enough to face all of it, you might just find yourself struggling. That is why we have come up with these tips and strategies that you can try on how a single mother can save money. Not only will these tips help you in keeping up with all the financial responsibilities, but it will also teach you and your kids the importance of knowing how to properly manage your finances.
Creating a monthly budget
Before anything else, it is recommended to first know where you are spending your money. This way, you can become more committed into setting a specific monthly budget or allowance for everything. Start by listing down all your expenses and monthly dues including bills, transportation, food, housing, child care and education for your kids. After you have determined the portions that you need to allot for all these, then you will be able to know how much is left for you to spend and save each month.
You will also need to monitor your spending and evaluate how much you spend for each expense. Doing this can also help you find ways to cut back and see if you can try an alternative that can help you save more money. A good example would be switching to an internet plan that costs less or canceling a particular membership that you think you don’t essentially need at all.
When it is time to go out and buy groceries and other supplies, try to bring a list with you so you will already know what to buy. This does not only save you time, but more so, allows you to concentrate only on what is essential. Don’t forget to always compare prices and keep discount coupons for future shopping purposes. Remember that your goal is to spend lesser than what you used to.
You may also want to consider shopping online because it is easier to find good deals and online sales all the time. Sites such as Amazon, eBay and Craiglist would always offer products and services that are often more affordable and better than what you can avail on actual stores.
Saving on utilities
One of the essential things that you’ll have to pay for every month would be the utility bills. Although this is something that you cannot live without, you can still find ways on how to conserve and save money in the long run. For example, you can teach your kids to always turn off the lights when not in use. They also need to learn more about conserving water like when they are brushing their teeth or washing the dishes. Not only will these simple acts lead to saving more on utilities, you are also teaching your kids valuable lessons on how to be more responsible and obedient.
Paying your bills on time
As you go about setting a monthly budget and monitoring your expenses, make sure that you do not forget to always pay the bills on time. This will not only help you keep your records clean and organized, but at the same time lets you save more by avoiding late fees and charges. One practical and convenient move that you can take is to set up automatic payments through your bank for payments such as your mortgage and monthly rent. If you have credit cards, you should aim to always pay the minimum balance required to avoid extra charges.
Setting up an emergency fund
Aside from saving money, you will also need to stay prepared at all times, especially financially. This is why you should at least have a backup plan or an emergency fund that you can use when an unexpected situation occurs. Being a single mother, you will most likely have no one to turn to during difficult times so you will have to be really careful when it comes to staying responsible and committed. This fund will also be your safe ground if in case you lose your job in the future or anything of that sort.
Single but wiser
Being a single mother is not easy. You will have to deal with almost everything on your own, with your kids by your side. Of course you have to stand up for them and face the responsibility, but it will be much easier if you are financially capable to do so. That is why it is very necessary that you are wiser when it comes to financial matters.