Being a single parent is always a hard task. With so much time and energy just looking after your own children and meeting their every need, you also have to worry about ensuring bills are paid and the food is put on the table. It always feels like you never quite have enough money, and making ends meet until next payday is often stressful. However, through creating an effective budget you should be able to manage your money better, save money spent on frivolous purchases, and hopefully be in a better position to provide for you and your family.
How to create an effective budget.
The best way to create a budget is by laying out in front of you how much money you are receiving and month and when you will have access to it, as well as all the expenses that need to be paid. You should then work out how much money you have free to spend on everything else per a month or week. It is often ideal to put money that needs to be used for bills into a separate account away from your day to day bank account so you will only touch it when you need too. If money is really tight, it can be useful to look at how much you can spend on a day by day basis, rather than week or month.
Additionally, whilst this may sound silly, you should buy food after all your bills are paid. This means you will not be spending any money you don’t have. When you have to miss out paying your rent or utility bills or go over your overdraft, you face much more risks. You don’t want to be paying interest, or be in a position where you are faced with losing your accommodation or electricity being cut off. With bills often facing late fees and additional charges if not paid on time, you want to ensure they are paid first.
To formulate an effective budget for food, you should also consider creating a food plan. If you plan out all the meals you are going to eat over a week, focusing on using cheap ingredients, you can create a healthy meal that does not cost too much. By writing everything down and creating a shopping list, you will not be tempted to buy impulse buys at the supermarket, or waste money on treats and luxuries that you are not necessarily in a position to have. Effective creation of a meal plan can cut down costs tremendously, especially if you are usually tempted to order a takeaway because the cupboards are bare.
The number of people who are struggling for money is vast, with wages seeing the slowest real term growth in decades, more and more people are struggling to support their family and pay their bills. It is now more important than ever to be as careful as possible, to ensure you are financially responsible and are able to provide for the ones you love.