Almost 25% of children in America live with only one parent. It’s even more common for women to act as a single parent and the sole provider of the household.
This makes it essential to learn how to establish the right budget for your family. Certain money-saving tips are also key when raising a child on your own.
Read on to learn how to make it as a single mom and stick to your budget.
Make a List of All Monthly Expenses
This is a great place to start when creating a monthly budget. Make a list of all your regular monthly expenses, including:
- Rent or mortgage
- Car payment
- Credit card bills
- Utility, cable, and cell phone bills
- Insurance coverage
- Daycare costs
You also want to analyze your spending habits, including weekly groceries and gas. Account for essentials like formula, diapers, or school-related fees as well.
Then compare your income against your expenses, using your pay stubs. Be sure to also take any child support into account. From here you can see how much money you have leftover each month.
Use single mom budgeting tips to see if any expenses can be cut out or lowered. You can cut expenses by canceling a gym membership or eating out less at restaurants. Foregoing vacations and expensive hair salon appointments are other ideas.
You can also cut back on subscription services like Netflix and Hulu. Many people even choose to get rid of cable in exchange for only using Netflix.
Consider lowering your childcare costs as well. Have a close friend or family member help watch your child a few days a week.
Set Up a Savings Fund
60% of people don’t have enough in savings to pay for an unplanned $1,000 bill. This means an emergency expense could quickly cause you to go into debt.
Savings can be difficult for a single parent. Yet, setting aside a little money each month can make a significant impact in case of an emergency. This could help cover unexpected medical bills, car problems, or house repairs.
Be sure to use the right bank for your savings account. You don’t want to be charged any fees for withdrawals or low monthly deposits.
Cut Costs With Coupons and Discounts
Using coupons and discounts are a great way to learn how to make it as a single mom. Start by signing up for your grocery store’s app and newsletter. This allows you to see weekly sales.
You can also take advantage of rewards points to save more on groceries. Buying store brand groceries is another smart way to cut down on food costs.
Sign up for newsletters from your favorite brands as well. It’s a great way to score discounts and learn about promotions.
There are many financial assistance programs for single parents as well. These prescription discounts also offer opportunities for how to make it as a single mom.
Look into credit card reward programs to help you save money as well. Many options offer cashback, yet be careful not to rack up too much debt.
Save More by Meal Prepping
This tip saves on time and energy while also cutting down on your weekly food costs. Start by planning meals ahead of time around grocery items on sale each week.
This allows you to create a more cost-efficient grocery list. You can also buy ingredients in bulk to cut costs.
Cook your meals in batches so you can use leftovers for lunches. You can also freeze them for quick meals later on.
Meal prepping makes it less likely you will order takeout or go to a restaurant. This gives you more money toward your monthly budget.
Another benefit of meal prepping is that you’re eating healthier meals. Try out new recipes that focus on nutrient-dense foods. Make it a family-fun activity and have your kids help out with cooking and prepping.
Smarter shopping habits are how single moms save money. It’s tempting to buy everything new or order from Amazon for the convenience factor. Yet, shopping around is most often a better option for scoring the best deals.
It helps to compare prices online from different sources. You can also wait for big holiday sales to get discounts. Amazon Prime Day, President’s Day, and Labor Day are great for this.
Check out Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist as well. These are great sources for used toys, sports gear, and furniture.
Another tip is to plan a vacation outside of peak travel times. In doing this you’ll get better hotel and airfare rates.
Many consignment shops carry popular brands and offer gently worn clothing. These stores are also great for selling your clothes that you no longer wear.
Ask a friend or family member to borrow their children’s old clothing. Hand me downs will save you tons of money on buying children’s clothes.
Take Advantage of Free Activities and Events
Free activities are a top tip to save money as a single mom. Check out community events in your area. Local parks often play free movies in the park after dark.
Plan a picnic in the park or go to a beach that offers free parking. Another free and fun activity is to take a family hike.
Your local library may offer child art classes, music sessions, or playgroups. Many museums also offer free admission on certain days of the week.
Consider a Side Gig If Needed
A side job is a great tip for how to make enough money when you’re a single mom. A part-time work-from-home job can bring in extra income. This also doesn’t take away from spending time at home with your children.
Many companies hire freelance writers, graphic designers, or data reporters. You may even want to consider offering childcare services on nights and weekends.
How to Make It as a Single Mom in the Modern Day World
These tips will help you learn how to make it as a single mom. They offer great advice on planning and sticking to your monthly budget.
Looking for more ways to save money in your household? Check out the finances section of our blog for all the latest advice.