This post is contributed.
As a single parent, it can be extremely hard to make your individual salary and child support last for the whole month. It’s a stressful responsibility to carry on your own, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to take full on control of your banking and track your spending. There are a few simple hacks that can help you to ensure your family has everything they need without blowing your account to smithereens, so read on and find out how you can start saving now.
Set Your Budget
Possibly the most important initial measure, setting a budget to stick to will benefit your wallet in so many ways. Whether its for daily or weekly use, set out a certain amount of money for that set time period and do not allow yourself to spend any more than that. Remember that your budget is not what you are aiming to spend, but in fact less than that. Reduce the number slowly so that your family’s lifestyle is not changed abruptly, aim for a number that’s as low as possible whilst still keeping you all comfortable and well fed. Try to account for everything in your budget like bills, fuel for your car, birthdays, school trips, even home renovations. Every little amount spent over your budget will add up, so make no exceptions and try your best to stick with it.
This can apply to so many aspects of your life, as most things that can be bought can be learnt in some way or another. Instead of spending ridiculous amounts on pizza delivery, get some bases and toppings and encourage your little ones to make it themselves at home. Not only will it cost a tiny fraction of the price, it will also keep them occupied and entertained for a good few minutes to give you a chance to breathe. Instead of paying above and beyond to see a film in the cinema, host a film night on the sofa with some DIY popcorn and save money and even petrol by staying indoors.
Learn To Say No
One of the hardest things for a parent to do is to say ‘no’ to their child when they ask for something, but being more assertive and not allowing them to have absolutely everything they want has many positive benefits. Ignoring the initial screaming tantrum response you may receiving when giving this answer, and it will probably save you at least $10 in the supermarket, every single time. Spoiling your children can also morph them into self absorbed adults harboring no self control whatsoever. Of course you still have to allow your children to have treats and presents, but just not as regularly.
Hopefully these tips can assist you in capping your spending, and maybe help you grow those all important college fund savings. Sticking to a budget doesn’t have to be boring – get creative as a family and find some cost cutting ways of recreating your usual creature comforts.