Budgeting Tips for Single Parents
Managing money can be a difficult task. It may be especially difficult if you are a single parent and trying to support your household and your children on a single income. However, by following a few simple tips, you can save money for your future as well take care of all your financial responsibilities.
- Set a budget and goals for your finances: This helps give clarity to what you want to achieve and the best way to accomplish it.
- Write down your expenses: Having a visible list of what you owe will help you decide where the money can come from and when you will be able to pay that bill.
- Prioritize your “needs” from your “wants”: Decide what is essential to smoothly run your household. Then, as you are able, develop a savings plan for those items that are “wants”.
- Communicate with Debtors: Communication with debtors will let them know that you are interested in taking care of your obligations. If you are unable to pay the full amount of your bill, ask for payment plans or extended due dates.
- Hold off on shopping sprees until you can afford to spend extra money: A shopping spree will be a much more enjoyable experience when you can buy the things that you want without the stresses of spending money that is designated for other budgeted items.
- Clip coupons from local sales papers: Coupons can help you purchase things at discounted prices that will make your final price surprisingly less than you anticipated.
- Shop for store or generic brands: Store brands can give you the same satisfaction at less expensive prices.
- Store leftovers in the freezer: Freezing dinners can eliminate wasting food, saves you time in the kitchen, and can eliminate the added expense of fast food.
- Conserve Energy: Keep thermostats at a consistent temperature that is comfortable for everyone in the home, avoid changing your heating/cooling temperature often, make sure that all filters are clean and turn off unused lights or appliances.
- Always make a shopping list to cut down on impulse shopping: Shopping lists can keep you focused on your set budget, and keep you from spending money on things that you don’t really need.
- Monitor all actions in your checking account so that you have an accurate balance of your available money: Keeping track of exactly what amount you have to spend will eliminate overspending and additional fees from banks and other agencies. Enroll in online banking so that you can track the most recent transactions that have been made.
- Start a Savings account: Saving a little money from each paycheck can provide a safety net for unexpected expenses.
The most important tip for managing your budget is to take care of yourself. Be sure to get the proper amount of rest and eat healthy. Your financial situation may not improve overnight, but with a few cut backs and a little determination, you can eliminate debts and feel good about how you spend your money!