Credit: Alexander Dummer
When you’re raising a child as a single mother, money can often be tight. Raising a child can be expensive, and even with strict budgeting, it can be hard to make ends meet. Here are some tips that have helped me keep my finances in check over the years.
There are many different benefits schemes aimed at helping parents with the cost of raising a child. If you’re eligible for child benefit, for example, you’ll be entitled to more than £1,000 per year for your eldest child, and around £800 for every other child you have. There are various types of funding to help parents in a variety of different circumstances, and you can find out more information on the UK government’s website. If you live outside the UK, Google child benefits in your country to find out what you might be entitled to.
Start a savings account
If you have any disposable income, start putting it away. In the short term, this will give you a financial buffer, in case some large expenses suddenly occur. In the longer term, you can put your savings towards investing in your child’s future, to buy them a car, help them go to university, or as part of a deposit for a house. Even putting a small amount away every month can make a huge difference if unexpected financial worries occur.
Research big purchases
When you have a child, big purchases are unavoidable. Child car seats, pushchairs, and baby monitors are items that most new parents can’t do without, but they cost a lot of money. Before committing your hard-earned money, do your research. There are entire websites dedicated to reviews of baby products, and spending a few hours reading about the products that give you the best bang for your buck can save you a lot of money over time. After all, as the old saying goes, if you buy cheap, you buy twice. Buying the cheapest model might save you money in the short run, but when it inevitably breaks or wears out, you’ll have to fork out even more money for a nicer model that won’t let you down. By researching up front, you can make sure you get your hands on the nicer model the first time around, saving yourself plenty of money.
Holiday on a budget
Going on holiday with children is one of the great joys in life, but can be expensive. One of the best ways to save money is to do your research when buying foreign currency. Currency exchange – often known as Forex trading – is a potential pitfall when you travel abroad. Not all traders offer the same rates, and if you don’t shop around you could end up paying well over the odds to buy foreign money. Shop around and find the best deal, and you can save yourself plenty of money. Then you can just focus on enjoying your well earned holiday with your little ones.