Being a single mother means you have more responsibilities and can’t be careless about your actions, especially in the financial department. For better money management, make the following financial tips a part of your lifestyle. Any single mom can use these to make the best of any situation.
Create a Budget for Every Expense
Know the specific amount you spend for every monthly expense, such as groceries, health insurance, and utilities. Create a budget for each expense, and use a spreadsheet to keep track of these. Highlight any areas where you overspend. Then, determine if you can reduce the cost or if you need to adjust the budget.
Having a good budget will help you stay on track with your cash flow, so set them now and save yourself some financial headaches and money later on.
Sign up for Automatic Payments
Many companies offer automatic bill payments so you can see if the companies that send you bills have this feature and take advantage of it. You should also consider going paperless to stop receiving paper bills, which can help reduce bill fees and keep you on track and more organized. Ask every bill sender from rent to the kids’ Apple Montessori Schools about automatic payments or paying in bulk for half year’s tuition which can help streamline your budget.
Build an Emergency Fund
You never know when an emergency will come your way, and it’s not smart to depend on credit cards for emergency money. Build your own emergency fund by saving at least $3,000. You can add to this fund over time and have more financial cushion in reserve for any unexpected situations. Just a little every month can go a long way for future cash.
Avoid Coupons and Sales
This tip may seem counterintuitive, but coupons and sales can work against you and encourage you to spend more. For example, if you see a “Buy One, Get One Free” sale for a family-sized bag of chips that costs $4 each, you get 50 percent off each bag, which will equal $4 in the end if you buy two bags. If you only get one bag of chips, you’ll pay $2 instead. Two dollars may seem like a small amount to save, but every penny counts when you’re a single mother.
Create Shopping Lists
From groceries to kids’ clothing, you should always have a list of what you need. Make sure you stick to the list, and avoid indulging in impulse purchases.
As you improve your financial skills, include your kids in the process and help them learn the importance of money management. This will help make handling finances more fun and beneficial for you and your family.