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Tips For Single Parents - How to Save on a Single Income
Being a single parent is tough and it takes a whole lot of guts, dedication and a fair amount of sacrifice. When imagining parenthood it is usually something one pictures doing as a part of a team, but when your child’s second parent is out of the picture, it’s time for you to lift your head and find a way to make it work. One of the first things you may need to do is rethink your budget. You only have your income to pay all the bills and shoulder the responsibilities. These tips will help with the financial side of being a single parent.
Your groceries will be a huge part of your monthly expenses and also one of the easiest to reduce. If you plan your shopping and STOP the impulse indulgences you can save a lot on your grocery bills. Search for and bookmark savvy saving, budget spending and frugal living sites. Bargains to Bounty and Free is My Life are two great local favorites. Search for special deals, make a habit of visiting Discountrue for promo codes, coupons and discounts for every single thing that you ever need to buy. Work out meal plans and buy in bulk when you can. I recently found out about parent co-opting where they divide the low cost bulk items from stores like Costco.
Joining or starting a parent co-opting group also gives you a backup plan for when you are faced with any kind of emergency. There are going to be days when you can’t make pickup in time, or you want to go to an important interview and one of the kids are sick in bed. Having a backup can save you hundreds of dollars from missed work and lost opportunities. Whether you’re part of a single parents support group or not, develop numerous backups for helping with occasional childcare responsibilities and cycle through the list so that no one feels that they’re being taken advantage of.
Keeping your kids busy and entertained is something that can seriously add to your monthly expenses. If you've downsized you won’t have as much room so ask loved ones to gift activities and experiences rather than toys for birthdays and holidays. Find activities that keep your child busy and don’t cost much or are completely free like going to the park or starting a ‘family fitness’ routine. This is especially important during summer when they don’t have school to occupy them for a good portion of the day.
Find ways to bring in extra income. You are a single parent and you probably think there is no time to do any more work. But depending on your skills, interests and talents there are multiple options and with a little creative thinking, you can turn them into money making ideas. Having extra sources of income protects you against hardship, can help you build your savings and helps with the ‘big bills’ such as clothing and school fees which are inevitable when you have kids.
Your kids are the most important thing in your life and it’s terrifying to worry about whether you’re raising them right. But parenthood was never meant to be a burden and with a little help and guidance, it doesn’t have to be!