Parenting is difficult at the best of times, but for single mothers, it can be incredibly hard to juggle life as a mom with having a career and providing the best environment and grounding for their little ones.
However, there are ways that single moms can make simple changes in their lives that will save them both time and money, so they can focus more on their kids and less time stressing about their finances. Here are 9 tips for Mom’s to follow.
Keep an Eye on Your Finances
Balancing the checkbook and keeping track of your finances are two things that many people struggle to do, but for single moms, this can prove to be hugely important. It can save yourself a great deal of stress and anxiety, and allow yourself more time with family and friends, knowing that your money is in order.
You can keep an eye on your finances in a number of ways, but the essential ones are to set up internet banking and have access to your accounts via your smartphone. This will make it incredibly easy and convenient to track your payments, standing orders and evaluate your spending habits.
Create a Monthly Budget
Once you have your finances in check, the next step is to create a monthly budget. You can do this by creating a spreadsheet that tracks all of your incoming funds and outgoing payments, so you will have a better idea of what your total disposable income is, and split this into sections for each expenditure – from food, pocket money, running the car, and more.
Be Open to Hand Me Downs
If you have a larger family, there’s a good chance that your little one has been showered with hand me downs from an early age. Single moms should definitely take advantage of these opportunities when they arise, as it can save them a lot of money over time.
Hand me downs can come in many forms, including clothes (the most popular kind), toys, books, DVDs, and furniture. You can also find many great second-hand items in charity shops and yard sales.
Look Out for Special Offers and Coupons
There are hundreds of websites and magazines dedicated to saving people money and providing special offers and coupons to the more frugal consumer. This is perfect for single moms who don’t want to compromise on quality but don’t want to break the bank at the same time. You can also seek out store cards for your favourite supermarkets and stores, where you can collect points and take advantage of in-store and online discounts. The majority of these have newsletters you can sign up for as well, so you’ll always be in the loop when offers and discounts become available.
As well as coupons, keep an eye out for special offers in stores and online. The majority of high street stores and sites will have plenty of offers when seasons change, and fashions move on, so do your research when you have to splash out for anything. Websites such as Nickis have huge discounts on top children’s brands, so you can get your little one kitted out whilst saving the pennies. For some great examples, read more here.
Always Pay Your Bills on Time
Another useful way to save yourself a great deal of cash is to be organized with your bills and get them paid on time. Many companies will offer discounts if you pay by monthly Direct Debit, while others will offer savings if you pay upfront for an entire year. If you have the cash available, take advantage of these offers, as they can save you money in the long-term.
Steer Clear of Luxuries
Nobody wants to scrimp and save forever, but steering clear of ayn unnecessary luxuries will save you a great deal of money down the line. Instead of indulging in the top-of-the-line brands in food, clothing and other products, see if there are less expensive alternatives that still have the same quality, and take advantage of the savings that they provide.
Use Price Comparison Sites
Whether it’s for banking and savings, mobile phone and broadband, car insurance or any other form of coverage, single moms should make use of price comparison websites in order to see if they can save money in these areas.
It could be that you can get better deals on your bills and insurance policies, greater interest rates on your savings accounts and other opportunities, resulting in more disposable income for you to spoil your little ones with. The good news here is that they do all the work in switching the accounts, so you don’t have to waste additional time in making calls and cancelling accounts.
Buy Your Goods in Bulk
As every adult knows, one of the biggest expenditures is paying for food. Fortunately, there are ways to save money in this area, and that is by bulk buying the essential items that you will use throughout the year, such as toilet paper and kitchen roll, cleaning products and food items such as tinned goods, cereals, sauces, and condiments. Anything that has a sell by and use by date that is far off in the distance can be bought in bulk, meaning that your future shops will be smaller in scale and therefore less troublesome to the finances.
Invest in Your Cooking Skills
Everybody wants their children to grow up big and strong, but sometimes budget and convenience can overrule even the best of intentions. However, if you’re willing to invest time and effort into improving your cooking skills, including learning how to prepare meals for the week by cooking and freezing food, you can save money and give your children healthy meals at the same time.
Instead of filling the freezer with processed foods, head to the market and see what fresh goods – including meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables – you can pick up at great prices. Once you’re home, search for recipes and set some time for you to cook up meals for the week, which you can freeze and defrost as and when you need them, saving on cooking times throughout the week.
*Disclosure: This post was submitted on behalf of PennyMindingMom.com.