Budgeting enough money aside to care for your kids is tricky at the best of times. You want to give your children everything, but you also know how expensive it can be to raise children. Even with two sources of income, you might have to compromise on a lot of things, just so you can make ends meet. For single parents, the challenges are even greater.
Not only do you need to find all the money that a two-parent household would need to look after their child, but you’ll also only have a single income to do it with. What’s more, you may be paying more than most on childcare too.
Fortunately, we have a few tips that could help you.
1. Put Emergency Savings First
It’s easy to get your priorities mixed up when you’re looking after children. You want to make sure that you’re saving money aside for their future, and you also want to have enough cash to entertain the youngsters when they’re away from school. However, it’s important to ensure that you’re prepared for anything that could happen in the years ahead too.
Before you put extra cash aside for things like entertainment and college funds, make sure that you’re contributing enough cash to your emergency savings account. Ideally, you’ll need between 3 and 6 months of your income saved back in case of emergencies.
2. Get Help with Childcare
Childcare is one of the biggest concerns that a single parent will have to face. Finding someone to look after your children when you’re at work is essential – as it ensures that you can continue to earn the money that you and your loved ones live off. However, childcare can be very expensive, particularly for someone with only one income.
If possible, see whether you can cut costs by asking for assistance one day a week from members of your family and friends. You could also offer to take care of your friends children on your days off alongside your own, so they feel like they’re getting support from you in return.
3. Compare all of your Purchases
When you’re a single parent, it’s fair to say that every penny counts. You can’t afford to waste even a single dollar on a purchase that was more expensive than it should have been. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make sure that you get a great deal online today. With comparison websites, you can check that you’re getting the right price for things like electricity bills, health insurance, car insurance, and so much more.
It’s even possible to save a fortune on your loans if you take the time to compare different lenders. You can reduce your monthly repayments by finding lower interest rates and cut down immediate expenses by finding lenders with fewer fees.
4. Make Extra Cash Wherever you Can
When raising a child on a single income is so challenging, it’s essential to make sure that you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to find extra sources of cash. For instance, when your children are done playing with a toy only weeks after their birthday, and it’s still in great condition, consider selling the item online to make some extra money back. You can even sell old baby grows and clothes that they grew out of quickly if they’re not overly used.
There’s also plenty of great ways that you can make some extra money online through freelancer sites too. You could write blogs about parenting for cash, or even sign up for a service like Lyft or Uber and get people to wherever they need to go when you have some spare time on your hands. Another way to make extra cash is to use cashback sites. These websites reward you for spending the money you would have used anyway. It’s a great way to get cash back into your pocket, without having to do anything differently.
5. Stay on Top of your Budget
Finally, a budget is one of the most important things a parent can have – whether you’re single or otherwise. Using your budget, you’ll be able to track down areas where you can save extra cash and find out where you’re more likely to over-spend.
Just remember that a budget isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it thing. You might need to update your budget from time to time to make sure that you’re still on track. Make sure that you check your budget once every couple of months to make sure that you’re still using the plan that will work best for you.