Single moms have a lot of challenges that they need to overcome. It’s much harder to deal with a toddler having a tantrum when you’re on your own, trying to wrestle a trolley full of shopping in the supermarket. At the same time, you’ll often find that you struggle to find the right balance in your schedule between making money with your career, and spending time with your little ones.
Another major issue that many single moms face, is that they often have a hard time with their cash. After all, it’s tough to live on your own in any situation, but when you have to pay for both yourself and a child on a single income, things get a lot tougher.
Fortunately, we have a few useful tips that could help you to overcome this common challenge.
Invest in Quality
When you’re a single mom, the last thing you want is to finish paying your bills, do the monthly food shop, and then discover that you’ve suddenly got a broken washing machine to repair. No matter how frugal you try to be with your cash, your money is only ever going to stretch so far. The more replacements that you need to invest in for items around the house, the more stress you need to contend with.
That’s why it’s sometimes a good idea to spend the extra money, so you can have the quality that you can rely on. If you need to buy a new washing machine and dryer to save you some crucial time with your family, then consider using a loan to spread the cost of a good machine out, rather than buying something second-hand. You’re not really saving money on a low-quality item if you need to replace it within a month.
Keep Track of your Spending
As a single parent, you’ve got a lot of different things to keep track of. Sometimes, your spending can end up flying under the radar. You rush through life trying to do what’s best for your child, then suddenly you discover that you’re left without any cash, and you’re not even halfway through the month. Fortunately, you can overcome this problem by keeping a closer eye on your expenses.
Download an app from your bank that allows you to check your balance whenever you need to. you can also use tools to keep a note of your expenses through the day, so that every small purchase, from newspapers to coffees at work are accounted for. Once you know where your money is going, you can take crucial steps to reduce any excessive spending.
Make Small Everyday Changes
Changing your financial situation isn’t something that you need to master overnight. While selling the stuff in your attic will give you a bit of extra money to begin with, it won’t make a huge difference in the long-term. It’s the little changes that will have the biggest impact on your quality of life. With that in mind, set small goals for you and your family to accomplish every day.
For instance, consider asking your kids to work with you to make sure that none of the electrical devices in your home are left on when people aren’t using them. That will help to cut down your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. You could also encourage the kids to take baths instead of showers, so you can conserve water, or pop a jumper on when they’re feeling cold, rather than turning up the heating. These little changes will help to encourage your kids to be more frugal in the long-term too.
Work as a Team
Finally, just because you don’t have a co-parent to help you with your financial strategy and budgeting, doesn’t mean that you don’t have people in your life that you can turn to for help. Ask your kids to do their part when they’re old enough. That could mean asking them to find a unique way of saving money each month by buying less of a particular item or spending less somewhere.
You could even take your kids shopping and ask them to help you to find a cheaper version of some of the most common items you buy every month. This will get you and your little ones into the habit of hunting for bargains. You might even discover that searching for the best deal becomes a fun way for you and the kids to bond.