As a single parent, a lot of responsibility rests on your shoulders. Of course, this includes being in charge of the daily struggles of being a parent but doubled. It also means that you alone have to provide for your family and manage your finances.
It’s why it is essential to create a solid financial plan! You alone know the expenses of your family and the best way to budget your own money.
Without a doubt, it is a challenge to take control of everything by yourself. But it is possible to manage your monthly expenses and still save up for the future. All you have to do is budget!
If you need help on how to stay on your finances and make the most out of it, we got you! Here is a quick checklist to help you achieve a successful monthly financial budget.
Keep Track and Budget
The first step to budgeting is knowing what you have. Before creating a plan, you should note how much you earn and the amount you spend on necessities. Gather previous bills to check the costs you paid on rent, groceries, and other essentials.
If you haven’t been keeping track, now is the time to start! It’s never too late to start budgeting. Please write it down in a notebook or put them on a spreadsheet, whichever you’re comfortable with.
Now that we have a reference, it’s time to start planning for the budget next month! Record how much you should be spending on each category. Don’t forget to include every fixed cost and variable cost you spend on.
Remember that budgeting is for you to track your family’s cash flow. It’s how much money comes in and how much of it goes out. This way, it will help you stay on top of your finances and stop overspending.
When you assess your spending, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you spending money on that you could cut back on?
- What do you normally buy that you could get cheaper?
- Are you spending money on things you don’t use – such as a gym membership or a magazine subscription?
- Could you supplement your income? For example, could you sell any unwanted items online?
With this, it is so much easier to make better financial choices. Since you already have the plan written, all you have to do is follow it!
Eligible Benefits for You
Being a single parent is tough, and everyone is aware of that, even the government. That’s why they have several support services offered for single parents! These benefit programs will help reduce the amount you spend monthly.
You can check online if you qualify for any of the aid. If you do qualify, it would be best to apply for it as soon as possible! It can range from tax reduction to childcare benefits.
These programs will be a massive help to both your income and expenses, allowing you to spend your money on other things. Better yet, save your money for emergencies or your child’s future!
In Case of an Emergency
Raising a family with only your income can be tricky. It could even be not easy trying to make ends meet. Even though that’s the case, saving up for emergency funds is an essential part of budgeting.
When the sudden need for money due to an unexpected event comes, it’s hard to find where to get it. An emergency fund refers to the money you saved up in case of financial distress. It will be a huge relief for you since this acts as a safety net for those occasions!
The amount you should save up must last three months of your basic necessity expenses. It is the most common goal for emergency funds. This much can be enough for your family to survive a job loss or an emergency hospital visit.
As a single parent, it’s essential to prepare for anything that could happen! Some solo parents choose to get an emergency loan from a licensed moneylender Woodlands.
Getting a loan is one best support you can get when your funds aren’t enough to cover up the expenses when something emergency happens. Consider this as one big scenario of why you should start saving for your emergency funds.
If you’re in the same scenario, you can seek help from Cash Mart Singapore, one of the trusted licensed moneylender in the country.
Saving for the Future
Every parent, single or not, wants to secure their future and that of their child. It’s why we are budgeting as parents. Saving money for your family’s future is crucial!
Budgeting isn’t only for you to get by monthly. It also gives you a better chance at saving money. That is why budgeting helps you plan how much you need monthly to cut out on unnecessary expenses. With a financial budget, there will be enough for your needs and your savings!
There are different ways to save up money. It could be as simple as keeping a small amount of your income and putting it in a safe place at home. It doesn’t even matter how little you put in it. As long as you do, this will all add up.
The problem for single parents is frequently not that they spend too much, but rather that they don’t make enough money to cover their family’s basic needs. If this applies to you, you will need to find a way to increase your income so that you can provide for your family.
Even though working a part-time job can be challenging and occasionally feels impossible, you sometimes have to do it. There are numerous income opportunities available today with very flexible hours.
Work from home
You can work some jobs after your 9 to 5 shift or on your days off. There are online jobs that could easily adapt to your daily schedule, so you don’t really need to put much effort into making your schedule work.
If you possess writing talent, you can easily find work online as more domestic and international companies move their operations online. Freelancers’ tasks are straightforward: They merely create content for websites.
Virtual Assistance (VA)
As long as they can be completed using a computer, this kind of online job covers a wide range of tasks, from traditional office work to e-commerce. Find one that will complement your expertise based on your skill set.
On the other hand, you can also decide to pursue business and investment opportunities. These two may offer greater flexibility over time and a more promising return on investment, but they also carry a risk if you haven’t done adequate research into the type of business to establish. You might have to spend more time on it, which would mean spending less time with your child.
You can also start a savings account through your bank. This account will only keep the money you put in it. If you could, then consider investing in a mutual fund.
Your savings should include a budget for your children. It could be for their future school trips, back-to-school shopping, and even college. Also, don’t forget to save some for yourself! Save for your long-term goals, such as a house, a business, or even a retirement plan.
Financial Discipline is Key
Being a single parent means you have to be smart when it comes to spending money. For example, learning how to live a frugal lifestyle can help stretch your budget. Not to be mistaken as being cheap, being frugal focuses on the value rather than the price.
It means getting rid of things you don’t need and maximizing the total value of things you do need. It also teaches us only to buy when necessary and always goes for the item reasonably.
So far, everything we talked about can only become possible if you have discipline. The attitude towards our own money is critical when budgeting. Having financial discipline is crucial for us to succeed in this. In the end, being responsible will help us follow through with our plans.
There are tons of other ways we can save money. As the only person your kids can depend on, you should be a role model for them. Sounds tricky, but if we’re doing it for our kids, then everything is possible.
Being a single parent and managing a budget can be difficult. However, with a little bit of straightforward financial planning, you can start to feel less stressed about money and move toward both your short- and long-term objectives.
Examining your monthly cash flow carefully, cutting costs, paying off credit cards, utilizing tax advantages for parents, and saving a small amount each month to build financial security are all important steps for single parents.