Parents often struggle to provide for their kids at the best of times. Take away one parent, and it becomes a real fight to make ends meet as a single mom.
Single parents know the challenge of keeping a budget in check and cutting spending can seem like an enormous task to anyone who is raising a family. From school fee, healthcare, entertainment and general living expenses are a huge financial commitment, and if there is only one salary that is responsible for covering everything, proper money management becomes even more important.
However, you would be surprised at how much money you can save by taking a few small cost-cutting steps.
The Power of Family and Friends:
You may be a single mom and you are probably used to being supermom by now but always remember that you are not alone – never underestimate the value of extended family and friends. Your family and friends can be a great support network for you, offering encouragement, advice and assistance when you need it.
If your children go to the same school as your family members’ kids or your friend’s kids, you could start a “lift club” and you and your friends can take turns picking up the children and you can save money and time.
Ask family members to look after the kids on weekends and late nights if you have to work late or work over the weekends, this will save you money on babysitting.
Budget, Budget, Budget:
Start planning ahead. When you have children, school fees, food and additional living expenses will add pressure to your finances, by drawing up a budget and having a plan in place, you will be able to manage these expenses each month. Remember to start saving for your children’s education as soon as you are able to afford it.
Savvy Shoppers always save:
Take advantage of specials, coupons and rewards cards to save money on your weekly and monthly grocery shopping. Buying in bulk and sticking to no name brands or white label brands can help you to trim your expenses further. Try to shop around before purchasing to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.
Buy and Sell second-hand:
The options for gently used clothing for both children and adults abound not only in your community but online as well. Gumtree and OLX are great online options for buying what you need at a good price and selling what you don’t use anymore to make money. Even if you have the budget for new clothes, buying “gently used” clothing can amount to a significant savings – this is money you can use later and save for educational expenses, sports activity costs and so on.
Honesty is the best policy:
Children may never understand why you cannot give them certain things but try to be honest with them. Explain your finances to your children so they understand that you can provide what they NEED and not always what they WANT. They will more likely understand why you can buy certain things. If you have older kids, then they can chip in during the weekend by getting a weekend job and contributing to household stuff.
So yes, supermoms also need help sometimes.