Single Parent Family: Tips to Make Your Money Stretch Further
Edited by Honey B Wackx
You’re a single parent family and it never seems enough money around to cover everything. You are trying to make the best of it, but it’s tough. If this is your situation take heart. Here are a few tips on stretching your money. Hopefully one or more will work for you.
It is not easy raising kids alone. As a single parent, you will face many challenges, including how to stretch your money go as far as it will go. But, it can be done with some creative thinking and optimism.
Most people don’t envision themselves as a single parent. However, sometimes things do not work out as we plan and the resulting reality is that you are a single parent. You are left to be the primary breadwinner in your household for you and your children.
Whether it’s from a divorce, death of your partner, the other half deserted you, or any other reason, your financial purse strings are really tight when a former two income family is reduced to one. If you are a single parent, keep reading to find out how you can squeeze a dollar for all its worth.
* Cook at home – It seems so old-fashioned in such a fast-paced world, but eating at home has many advantages for families. One, children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to participate in risky behaviors (smoking, drinking, and drugs). Second, fresh foods are better for your health. You know what is in the foods your family eats. Third, it saves money. You can eat the leftovers for lunch and save even more money.
* Clip coupons – We need to eat, so food is a necessity. Shopping for groceries when sales are happening can reduce your total bill. Combine coupons with those in-store sales to come out ahead.
* Have a yard sale – Maybe your garage is full of stuff that you no longer need. Get the kids to help you hold a yard sale and come up with some extra cash. Put it towards a savings account for a rainy day.
* Sell extra or unneeded stuff on eBay – Sometimes you can make a bundle of essentially free cash by selling things you don’t need or use. Even some used clothes or household accessories can be sold on eBay.
* Create a savings plan – This can be done through your payroll. Have a certain amount sent to your savings account automatically every time you get paid. This is the simplest way to save money.
* Participate in flexible spending accounts at work – Flex spending accounts allow you to put aside a certain amount of money each year for medical bills – doctor’s appointments, dentist, surgery, etc. Then you don’t have to come out of your pocket for every medical emergency, which saves money.
* Pay bills automatically – Setting up a payment system allows your bills to be paid on time. This can protect your credit rating. Some say that if you have an emergency, the money won’t be there – but remember, you are placing money towards your savings for such times. This way at least you know that the most important bills are always covered.
* Utility payment plans – Enrolling in equal payment plans keeps the utility bills the same each month so you can budget better. Any excess is paid at the end of the year. So, you have a whole year to practice saving energy. In the same vein you may be eligible for low income families. The limit to qualify might be low enough to qualify since you have a family, even if your job pay is fairly decent.
If you are a single parent it’s still possible for you to still make ends meet for you and your family. It takes some discipline and practice and maybe some sacrifice, but in the end it’s worth it.