Every family in America is struggling to create a budget that works for their income. A single mother can overcome financial difficulties by budgeting better and stretching her income a little further. Here are 8 tips to budget a single income just a little wiser.
One of the hardest things to do is actually save money, but it’s one of the best things you can do to budget better. The issue with not saving any money comes when you have an emergency and no money to fall back on. Instead you have to use money from another source, which can mess up your money budget for the whole month. Start saving, even if it’s just a little at a time!
Not spending more than you make is another major way you can actually budget your single parent income better. Cut back where you can and go without when you need to. You don’t need to have pizza every Friday night. If it’s cutting into your tight budget, then it needs to go.
#3. Store Brand
Coupons are a great way to make the budget work for your family, but an even better approach is to buy the store brand. Some store brands have a bad reputation, but you’ll never know what it tastes like until you try it for yourself. Try going to the store brand for all your grocery needs and you might just be surprised.
#4. Free Fun
You do not have to spend an arm and a leg to have fun with your children. Most towns have plenty of free events to attend, some of which are based off your income. If you call local museums, you can get a discount if you are on state aid or even if your income is too low. Try the local YMCA to see if your children qualify for a scholarship.
When the average person looks at the money they make and the money they spend, it’s obvious that their budget is out of whack. When you get your money, pay your bills first. It’s easy to go out and spend the money before you pay your bills, but using sensibility will help you to budget better and have more money each time.
#6. Snow Ball
Debt can play a major factor in how a budget works. Instead of digging your single parent home deeper into debt, work harder to get out of debt. The best way of paying off debt is known as the snow ball effect. You pay off each debt from smallest to largest. Using extra money to pay off one debt at a time, instead of paying extra to each large account is how this snow ball effect works. You can read more about this from Dave Ramsey.
#7. Eat at Home
A major factor that blows single mother budgets is eating out. You are tired at the end of the day and it is so easy to swing through a drive through. Make the conscious effort to eat at home and watch how much money you save. A family of four can hardly eat at a fast food restaurant for less than $20.
#8. Get Help
Instead of struggling to not pay your bills, reach out for help. If you know you are not going to be able to pay your electricity bill this month then seek help from an outside agency. Many of these agencies will look at your situation and income and determine if they can help you. You can’t always depend on this help, but it is ideal for emergencies.
A budget is a hard thing to stick to, but following these tips will help you succeed. You have to set aside your old habits and start saving and stop spending. Only spend money when it’s necessary and begin paying off debt immediately. Seek help when you cannot pay something and do not let your pride stand in your way. A single parent budget can really work if you are personally willing to work at it.