As a single parent, I have learnt to be a bit savvy with the money. You kinda have to be seeing as the general opinion that all single mums are raking it in actually isn’t true. If I was raking it in I wouldn’t be walking everywhere and working multiple jobs nor would I be making decisions between heat or food for the week. Being over dramatic? No. Real life? Yes.
There are things of course that anyone can do to save money.
There is the classic piece of advice that it always quoted of cancelling gym memberships that aren’t used. How they think any single parent has time let the money in the first place to go to the gym is quite funny. But now you know. If you have an old gym membership overrun from your pre-children days – cancel it.
Turn down the thermostat and put on extra layers – this assumes you have got the heating on in the first place. Extra layers you say. What’s that character out of Ghostbusters, the original film, the big white puffy thing? I am doing a good impression. On a serious note though invest in thermal socks. If your feet, hands and head are warm then the rest of you is too. I work in a very cold shop and thermal socks are my best friends.
Check you are on the right energy tariff – ok this one is a good one but I have even better advice. Check your energy supplier is the best one for you to be with. I was brought up with the notion loyalty was best. Heck no it’s not. Right now, is the best time to do it as they reckon First Utility energy prices are going to be going up by a whopping 9.7%. It’s easy to check you with the most cost effective supplier. Pop along to UtilitySavingExpert.com and enter a few details. And don’t think if you’re on a prepaid meter you are stuck. I am and I will be saving around £90 a year by moving. My neighbour is on a normal pay quarterly tariff. They will be saving a lovely £160 a year when they switch.
Cut down the amount of TV choice you have. Offer a child the choice of sweets in a sweet shop and they can’t choose, your there forever as they flip between the two. Offer a child a choice between two chocolate bars and before you know it they have chosen. Same with the tv. How many times have you scrolled and scrolled through the listings to give up and say there is nothing to watch. Look at how many services you subscribe to for TV. Yes the children and yourself might grumble for a few days but few more days later you will wonder why you had the choice of 1000’s of channels.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry. I have taken this one step further and don’t even step foot inside the supermarket. Seriously I just can’t stand the places. I use the supermarket app and add food through the week as I sort of meal plan, yeah meal planning lessons are on my list of to-dos. But I can do my grocery shopping anytime and anywhere. The big benefit of this is I can see how much I am spending and keep to my budget and I am not tempted by offers that aren’t that much of a deal. I also don’t have to waste an hour or two in the shop or have to carry it all home.