As a single parent, you are the head of the household which means it’s up to you to ensure that your family’s needs are met. Unfortunately, this does not happen by chance and it is something you have to work toward.
What Is Budgeting and Why Is It Important
Budgeting is a process that helps you keep track of your spending. This plan allows you to know in advance if you can cover your needs and wants. As budgets are often limited, you can use this planning process to prioritize things that are important to you, such as saving for your kid’s college. Sticking to your budget will also help you stay clear of debt or help you work your way through it if you are currently in one.
The right budget will replace financial anxiety with peace of mind.
Budgeting Tips For The Single Mom
Here are a few ways you can budget with one income that will put you on the road to success.
Prioritize expenses for yourself and your children
School activities, supplies, clothes, trips out, and weekend activities make an important part of your child’s life and these costs can quickly add up so make sure you include them.
Find free fun things to do
Amusement parks, zoos and similar entertainment can be pricey but remember that the most important gift you can give to your child is your full undivided attention. However, many museums are free on the first Saturday of the month. Hiking does not cost a thing and so do many other fun activities that you can enjoy with your child.
Save for long-term goals
College might seem far away, but the sooner you start saving for it, the better. Not only are you doing yourself a favor, but you are also helping your child not to get buried in student loans that can take a lifetime to repay. The same goes for your retirement as even the smallest amounts will add up and multiply thanks to the power of compounding.
Tips To Manage and Save Your Money
We all have good intentions but when it comes to savings, it’s easier said than done. The reality is that you will start savings once you make it your priority and adopt some healthy money management habits.
Reduce energy costs
By using black out curtains, not only will you block out light that will benefit your sleep quality, but they will also help better insulate your room from outside temperatures, cutting your heating and cooling costs and therefore your monthly Direct Energy bill. Your savings will double if you adopt energy-saving habits such as unplugging devices when they are not in use.
Say farewell to debt
Debt robs your income. As scary as it might seem, getting rid of debt is more about behavior change than numbers.
Save money on food
If you plan out your meals each week, your trip to the store will be far more efficient and you’ll be less tempted to buy something you don’t need. If you pack your lunch as opposed to eating out, you can trim your food expenses in half.
Go through your expenses in detail
Chances are, you’re paying for multiple subscriptions like Netflix, gym memberships and Amazon Prime. It’s time to cancel any subscriptions you don’t use regularly, especially the ones that you applied for when they were free during the trial period and are unaware they are eating up your bank account.
Embrace the DIY mindset
Before you buy something, ask yourself can you make it yourself. You can make a delicious tomato pasta sauce instead of buying one at the store. Doing your décor will infuse your home with your personality. Making your own gift bags will make any gift even more special. Instead of buying lights for your garden, you can make fairy lights by simply placing tiny LED twinkle lights in mason jars. The best part of the DIY journey is that it can be a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with your child, help him or her learn new skills while strengthening your bond.
Takeaway – There are many ways to create the winning single parent budget and the process does not have to be a nightmare. Remember that you’re a hero already, so you’ve got this too. With a few tweaks to your spending and a few creative ideas, you’ll be on the fast track to saving money in no time.