When you’re a single mom, the idea of saving cash can seem like a fantasy. After all, it’s hard enough finding enough money to pay for all of your bills each month. Finding the extra cash required to put money away for the future seems like something that’s just never going to happen.
However, just because you’re doing the parenting job alone doesn’t mean that you have to commit yourself to a life of living from one wage to the next. There are plenty of ways for single parents to cut the costs of raising their kids, without giving a reduced quality of care. Here are some quick tips that could help you to move in the right direction.
1. Get your Priorities in Check
As a parent, your number one priority will always be your children. When it comes to making the most out of your money, you’re going to need to think about how each purchase supports your kids in the long-term. For instance, getting health insurance for both you and youngsters is crucial- you can’t afford to cut corners in that area. However, you could potentially reduce your expenses each month by getting rid of your cable subscription.
Remember, getting your priorities in check doesn’t just mean re-thinking how you spend your money on a daily basis. You’ll also need to consider what you’re going to do about big expenses too. For instance, it could be tempting to spend a few hundred dollars on a cheap second-hand car when you need something you can use to pick up groceries, go to work, and take the kids to school. However, if you’re going to have to spend a fortune on repairs, then you’re not really saving.
Sometimes, spending a little extra in the short-term, with a personal loan or a lending opportunity, will actually save you a lot more in the long-term.
2. Start Looking for Cash
Once you have your priorities in order, you can begin to look for areas where you can build extra cash. This is obviously quite a tough process. You’ll need to go through all of your bills carefully and ask yourself what you can afford to live without, and what expenses you might be able to change. Remember, sometimes you can save money without giving things up.
For instance, if you’re paying too much for your car insurance or broadband, then switching to a different provider can instantly cut your costs, while still giving you access to the service or products that you need. Additionally, when you’re out shopping for food and other essentials, switching from brand-name items to other more generic versions of your favorite products will help you to save cash instantly too. You might not even notice the difference between some products.
If you can’t find any simple ways to track down extra cash, then you can always consider alternative ways of making extra money. For instance, selling your old belongings can give you some more money to put away into your emergency funds.
3. Take Advantage of Opportunities
Finally, sometimes you need to keep your eyes open for the right opportunities if you want to save more cash. We’re not just talking about sales and discounts on your favorite products either. There are tax credits and other solutions out there for people who are struggling with the challenges of being a newly single parent. Speaking to a professional will give you an idea into the deductions and tax reductions that you might be able to claim.
You can also think about taking an extra shift at work here and there, or putting your skills to the test as a freelance worker in your spare time, so you can make extra money when the kids are at work or your skills as a parent aren’t needed. There are plenty of businesses around the world today that are happy to hire people to complete tasks for them in their own time online. You could build an entire freelance career around your spare time, without having to compromise on caring for your kids.
Remember, building the perfect financial strategy as a single parent can be tough, but it’s not impossible. All you need to do is remember to keep your eyes open for the right opportunities, and ensure that you’re making the most of every cent that you earn. If you dedicate yourself to a strategy of frugal living, then you should start to see the benefits in no time.