Friday, April 24, 2015
15 Money Savings Tips for Single Parents
Single parent families struggle more with finances than two-parent families. Child care subsidies and public health insurance help but are not enough. All single parent families are not eligible to receive public assistance or other benefits. Those that do can only receive assistance for a limited amount of time. Single parents often struggle with buying basic necessities, paying bills and usually live paycheck to paycheck.
As a single parent you have to cover all the household expenses and when a financial crisis occurs it can be devastating to your family. Lack of money to buy your children what they need can be frustrating and cause you to be angry, depressed or irritated. Avoid taking your frustrations out on your children. Develop a support system to help you through these difficult times.
Raising children as a single parent can be tough and expensive due to the entire family having to survive on one salary. Save money by creating a budget and sticking to it, spending less than you earn, create an emergency saving account and be conscious of your budget. Teach your children the importance of good money management skills. Effectively managing your money has to be a habit and a way of life that you practice every day.
Get a handle on your situation and develop a plan to reduce expenses. Use the extra money to pay off debts and pay for basic necessities. Tracking your spending can be tedious and frustrating but not tracking it to identity how much you earn, owe and spend can having lasting repercussions. Taking just a few small steps to improve your financial life can make a difference and help you stay in control of your money. Here are 15 practical ways for single parents to save money:
Use your employer on-site daycare if offered. Find an in-home daycare. For traditional daycare centers sign up for your employers’ flexible spending account that can cover expenses for day care, preschool and summer day camp. You can deposit up to $5,000 in your account. Consider hiring a nanny or explore using a family childcare center such as www.care.com.
Consider purchasing a used car in good condition, trade-in your car for a cheaper one or use car sharing services. Use public transportation, walk, ride a bicycle or consider carpooling with friends or co-workers to save money on transportation costs.
Consider moving to a smaller place, rent out a basement in a home, or move in with relatives to save money.
Reduce spending by 30%. Bundle services, get the cheapest plan possible or cancel services to save money.
Purchase household items at discount stores, buy in bulk or shop online at sites such as www.amazon.com.
Increase your deductible. If your car is 5 years old or older consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage. Comparison shop with sites such as progressive.com, insurance.com or esurance.com. Ask about discounts. Remove roadside assistance if you currently have it with another company. Get a free yearly assessment to ensure you have the adequate amount of coverage.
Consider going to a dental training school to get discounted dental services. Sign up for at least basic health insurance. Comparison shop.
Maintain your own hair or find a friend who can maintain your hair. Consider going to a training school to get discounted hair care services.
Barter with others or service providers to get free or discounted services www.barternews.com.
Order prescriptions at Wal-Mart, Target or Walgreens, online or 3 month supplies. Ask for generic brands or low-cost versions of the same prescription.
Purchase generic brand food or food that is filling and inexpensive. Grow your own fruits and vegetables or purchase from local farmers markets, food-coops or health food stores. Purchase meat from farms or Omish markets. Sign up for loyalty cards and use coupons. Buy nuts, grains, spices, legumes at wholesale or health food stores. Make you own bread, yogurt, pasta, soda, jelly, preservatives, canned fruits, etc.
If you don’t know how to sew, purchase clothes in off season, from clearance racks or outlet or discount stores. Buy washable clothes that do not require dry cleaning.
Downsize your lifestyle. Focus on buying more needs vs. wants. Avoid purchasing designer items or items just because they are on sale.
Learn how to negotiate. You can negotiate the price on almost any item.
Fun with Kids
Check your local library or newspaper to find free activities that you can do to with your kids.