Among the many challenges faced by single parents, the most daunting one is managing finances. It is not just single moms who have to struggle, single dads are the victim too. It isn’t easy to manage a house full of kids and bills. Don’t lose hope, it is not the end of the world. There is one positive side of this and that is, you can make your own money decisions.
Some days of the months are good, but sometimes, you just find yourself staring at the bank account, wondering which bills you can pay late and still give your child/children a decent life. Here, we present you some budgeting strategies to manage your finances and save money:
Create a Monthly Budget
Ask yourself this question. Do you know where your money goes each month? If you don’t, then you might be overspending on something. To avoid this, make a habit of creating a monthly budget. It will serve as a guideline for you. Food, transportation, housing, child care; these are some of the common expenses. List all of them down and set a budget.
Pay the Bills on Time
You will never be able to look ahead if you are always paying off the previous bills. Many single parents get stuck in this vicious circle easily. The best way of avoiding this is to pay your bills on time. Sum up all the bills and divide this amount with your monthly salary/income. This will let you know what you will be left with. Always schedule paying bills 5 to 7 days before they are due.
Eat at Home
Cut the fast food menu and start eating at home. This can save you a huge chunk of money. Look for quick and easy recipes online. Even encourage your kids to eat at home. Schedule one day in a week on which you can order pizza, sloppy joes or whatever you and your kids like. Calculate the money you can spend on food so that you don’t go overboard.
Ask Your Kids for Help
There is no shame in explaining to your kids about the household economics. However, be selective in what you share, especially if they are young. There are lots of fun and workable ways of teaching your kids valuable financial habits. Let your kids know they can’t have everything all the time.
Enroll in a Savings Club
There are some grocery stores that have savings clubs for encouraging store loyalty. Enroll yourself in such sales plans. This opportunity will let you buy stuff on sale. It can let you save $20 to $40 on each shopping trip.
Let go of One Luxury Item
Have a look at your life and see what unnecessary luxury you have become accustomed to. If you have cable TV at home, consider getting rid of it. This special treat might be a staple in your monthly budget. It can be another luxury too. Consider downgrading or eliminating it.
Lastly, teach your children that fun does not always cost money. Appreciate the quality time spent together and just follow the strategies mentioned above. It will make your life easy and you will save money too.