15 Best Budgeting Tips For Single Parents

Solo parenting is often hectic, demanding and stressful!

Though the circumstances may vary, some parents are divorced, others are single parents by choice and others are widowed. If you are a single mom or dad, the biggest challenge would be ensuring their financial security for the child.

A single parent may usually encounter financial difficulties that require unusual courage, effort and discipline. With a few budgeting tips, especially for single parents, you are on your way to creating a bright and secure future.

Budgeting Tips For Single Parents

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1.Get Help

Get-Help

Agencies are available for assistance, when children are involved. Contact the social service agency in your area. They will provide you the guidance and direction for food, housing assistance, medical attention as well as legal advice. Additionally, charitable organizations and local churches may also offer additional assistance with foods and gifts, during the holidays.

2.Enlist Help From Your Kids

Enlist-Help-From-Your-Kids

If your kids are old enough, get help from your kids, mowing, cleaning house, doing their own laundry and helping in the garden. This is an excellent way for your children to get involved and get excited about their chores. They can even help you with the part-time jobs, to meet your miscellaneous expenses.

3. Set Goals and Make a Plan

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If your financial situation remains the same, you may not be able to support yourself and your children. By seeking further education, you may need to improve your income.

Based upon the day care services in your area, calculate what you can accomplish and examine the expense. Ask friends, neighbors or relatives if they would be available to babysit before and after school or on a regular interval basis. Contact the financial aid office at your local community college, to explore what is offered.

The financial aid may help with day care, books, transportation as well as tuition and fees. There may even be evening classes post work. You can even try an online education.

Alternatively, pursue any further advancements or educational opportunities in your place of work in the meantime.

Also Read - Top Tips On Money Management For Young Adults

4.Check Weekly Ads Before Going Shopping

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This can be for clothes, food, vehicle maintenance or anything in between. Checking the ads regularly, can help you to save time and money.

5.Use Coupons

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A great way to save money, is by using coupons, especially when an item is on sale and you can get an even bigger discount. You can also print free grocery coupons online.

6.Live According to Your Income

Live-According-to-Your-Inco

It is important to make sure you do not accumulate debts and work with what you have. If needed, find a cheap housing along with fuel and housing assistance. For home improvements, some landlords will reduce rent in exchange and be sure of a fair exchange. Limit the use of utilities, and travel only to work or school,

Find an inexpensive transportation, if needed. Walk, ride a bike, jog, or take a bus.

7.Limit Grocery Expense

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Buy the generic store brands, or use grocery coupons. Look out for combination discounts, such as a generic store brand on sale, with a coupon. Sign up for a discount or a customer reward card at a store where you shop frequently.

Learn to cook and pack a lunch. Maintain a simple, nutritious diet of whole grains, vegetables and legumes. You can even find free recipes online or at the library. Have three basic meals, without snacks in between. This could be sufficient.

8.Limit the Expense of Possessions

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One of the essential budgeting tip for single parents. If possible, have a basic wardrobe of jeans and T-shirts. Visit consignment shops or thrift stores for formal shoes and clothes if needed. Sell and trade your own used clothing for others to wear. Find toys and household items at yard sales. Have your own sale with the items you have used, or which are no longer needed. Buy only what you absolutely need.

9.Find Fun for Free

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Go to the park, a visit with your neighbors or a walk in the woods.

10.Have Faith in Yourself and in the Future

As time progresses, hard work, eventually will improve your lives. Focus on the positive side and surround yourself with positive people to boost your motivation.

11. Set Up a Budget

Set-Up-a-Budget

A budget should be one of the first things a single parent must keep in mind. Everything you spend, should be accounted for, as a real and tangible expense.  Try to account for everything, which lets you plan for holidays or birthday presents or rent or mortgage and utility payments.

12. Keep Track of Accounts

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Apart from monitoring your checking savings account, it would be ideal to keep a track of credit accounts such as mortgage, vehicle loans and credit cards. These measures can also help eliminate overspending. It is easier to make choices, when you know what you have got. Track your accounts through budget software.

Review your checking account and see which bills are due next. You can take that information with you anywhere through these mobile options.

Also Read - Helping and guiding children

13.Learn about Tax Credits

Learn-about-Tax-Credits

Many single parents qualify for income-based tax credits for every child. These credits only reduce the amount of your taxable income, and may prove more valuable than deductions. If you receive alimony, you shall pay taxes on it.

14. Plan for the Future

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There is a lot of planning involved, to secure your future and that of your child, because everything rests on your shoulders. Savings are just not important, but critical. Every family or a single-parent needs several months, income in savings, in case of emergency, such as a long-term illness or a lost job. This savings is fundamental.

Having a goal-based savings, beyond an emergency savings plan, can help make things happen, which your child may demand for such as camp registration fees, or may need braces.

Saving money on a single income is not always easy. A solid budget plan can help you discover inefficient spending habits, and lets you take control and put that money to better use in savings.

15.Teach Kids to Conserve

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One of the most common and least budgeting tips is to teach kid how to conserve. Show them how little toothpaste or shampoo they actually need. Try this with various items. For instance, kids usually pull out way too much toilet paper. Try to reduce or eliminate paper towel usage and use a cloth. Most of the families go shortage of common household items too fast; many of these items can be replaced or done away with completely. See how you can get your kids to cut back.

By Supraja

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