In the vicious cycle of headlessly earning and spending in this consumerist society, everyone tries to save as much as they can. Even families with both parents have difficulties keeping track of their money, let alone single parents. We know it can be overwhelming and exhausting to take care of your child, have a full-time job and on top of all that stash away some money on the side.
As always, we at Elite Personal Finance genuinely want to help our readers. This time, we have chosen a group of people who don’t have it easy by any means. In this article, which is our contribution to all single parents worldwide, we have listed the best ways to save money as a single parent.
Ways to Save Money as a Single Parent
Get rid of your past debts
To save is a transitional verb. You need to have something in order to save it. And if you owe money, you practically don’t have it.
So, first things first. Pay back everything that you owe so as to avoid unnecessary interest rates. In case you cannot clear the entire balance at once, contact your bank and credit card company and try to negotiate a special payment plan. If you approach them in a friendly and pleasant manner, they will be glad to help you. At the end of the day, they want to keep you as their customer and so will try to give you an attractive offer.
Improve your credit
One more thing that you can do, and this one is closely associated with your debt, is to improve your credit and consequently reduce your APR. The lower your credit, the higher your APR, and that means you will have to pay higher interest rates. When you improve your credit and lower your APR, you will stand better chances of getting an affordable credit when you actually need one.
There are numerous ways to do this, none of which is a piece of cake. But we promise it will be worthwhile in the end.
Pay your bills on time
We know – it’s scary. So many financial things to take care of. But it’s true – this is the only way to get back on your feet and not depend on anyone financially. After clearing all your debt and improving your credit, the first thing you want to do is pay all your bills on time. It is simple, but not easy. If you want to stay out of debt, you have to pay your bills in a timely manner. This way, you will advance financially and have peace of mind necessary to be a good parent to your child.
Buy only what you need
Warning: This piece of advice is very straightforward. You may not like it at first, but we are doing this because we care for you.
You need to be aware of your financial capabilities. You can’t spend money on your 20th pair of shoes and then go around crying and asking your parents to lend you some money until the beginning of next month to buy food for your kids. Of course, we are exaggerating, but you get the point. If you purchase only what you need most of the time, there will be enough money to spend on beautiful things. But you need to set your priorities straight.
This leads us to our next tip.
Pay in cash whenever you can
Paying by a credit or debit card is a given in the digital world we live in. Nevertheless, when we use this payment method, we are not truly aware of the amount of money that we actually spend. Yes, we do see the price of the desired item and we kind of anticipate the final amount on our supermarket receipt. However, it is only when we see the receipt that it really hits us. It is a fact that we are much more comfortable with paying with our card. When we count the bills in our wallet, we are much less willing to waste our money. If you don’t trust us, try it yourself.
Buy things on discounts
This one comes naturally, but we still think it’s worth mentioning. It is crazy how much money you can save as a single parent if you follow sales and discounts. And the competition on the market is so fierce that there are always stores offering things at very affordable prices. Your children will also appreciate this since they can theoretically buy more things for the same amount of cash. Remember? Cash – because cash is a better friend than a card.
Be careful what and where you eat
Eating out in fancy restaurants can sometimes be a great temptation for each one of us. However, we all need to be well aware that this costs a lot. It is ok to indulge from time to time, but even when you do this, know your limits.
What you can do instead is go to a brunch with your kid on Sunday morning. Another great option is cooking healthy food with your children, which doubles the long-term benefits – you are teaching them good habits and spending quality time with them.
Apart from paying attention to where you eat, keep track of what you eat. We know that raising a child on your own is really stressful, so junk food cravings probably hit you more frequently than you would like. As cheap as junk food and fast food are, they still amount to a considerable sum at the end of the month. That’s why you need to keep track of what you eat as well. Not only can this save you significant amounts of money, but it will also make you switch to healthier food and reap benefits of it along with your child.
These were our tips on the best ways to save money as a single parent. We know it’s difficult, but we sincerely hope this article will be useful to you when trying to set your budget and take momentous steps on the path of improving the financial aspect of your life.
If you have any additional advice or experience worth mentioning, please share it in the comments below.