How to Budget as a Single Parent

By Eric C. — Published April 29, 2018

How to Budget as a Single Parent

Being a single parent is really hard and challenging, what with costs rising higher but income having been cut off by at least half! These six smart tips should help you as a single parent if you are finding it hard to manage your income.

1. Plan your finances at the beginning of every month
It all starts here. Make a careful plan about how you are going to utilize your finances efficiently. There is no need to stick to this budget allocation rigidly because it is not always possible. However, this will give you a fair clue about what is happening with your money so that you can stay more or less on track and not end up spending too much unnecessarily. When you allocate your finances carefully towards different areas, you will somehow try your best to make sure you purchase stuff in only the capacity that the budget allows you.

2. Look for shopping alternatives
Yes, having a favorite place to shop is a lovely feeling. However, you may actually find other shopping spots to be more easy on your budget than your regular supermarket! Different markets, supermarkets, malls, websites and so on have different deals and offers on various products. If you play your cards well, you can make huge savings on your month’s shopping by swooping down on these amazing deals. Also, consider buying stuff that you use a lot in bulk from wholesalers.

3. Analyze what you need and do not need
Often, we come across interesting things that we just want to buy, but are absolutely useless for us! When you are a single parent, you must make sure that every cent is invested in something that gives you some return. Make a careful distinction between things that you need and do not need. You will be surprised to find that a lot of things we think we need are actually useless for us– for example, a hair-dryer or a dish-washing machine. Spend your money only on the things that you need, unless you have that kind of money to splurge!

4. Check to see if lifestyle changes can save money
As mentioned above, there are certain things that we simply do not need but think we do! Take a moment to analyze your lifestyle and see if there are changes you can make to save money. Maybe you do not need that dishwasher after all because you can wash those vessels by hand! Is a lot of food going into the garbage bin every day? Then cook only what is required and as much as you know will be consumed.

5. Always take a firm decision to save some money every month
When you plan your month’s finances, always make space for savings. Think of a certain (realistic) amount that you definitely want to save each month and allocate your resources by deducting this amount. Keep that amount sacred, and use it only when there is a genuine, unavoidable requirement.

6. Never ever impulse shop!
When we go shopping, we often stop at sections and look at products that are so enticing that we just want to buy them. In fact, advertisers are so clever, they may make us want things that we already have or just do not need! That is why, when you are shopping, always stick to buying what is on your list. Chances are, once you keep back the thing on the shelf, good sense will prevail and you will realize you should not buy it after all! When it comes to things you want but do not need, always be a bit hesitant and slow to buy.

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