By: The Daily Alison
Being a single parent comes with so many challenges and being a one income household with children can be so strenuous financially. You want to be able to give your children all the things a two parent household could. You want to be able to set them up for success and provide them with a nice home, activities, healthcare, a college education fund, a fun vacation, and the list can go on. Single parenting can feel like you are constantly being defeated and that you aren’t enough. It’s the feeling of how different would things be for my child if I could give them “the family”. Though we know how amazing we are and how lucky we are to have our children, the awareness of lack if often present.
Money is usually the biggest things we might feel lack in because we are the “breadwinners” of the household. We have to do the budgeting alone and making sure we can afford the basic necessities before the frivolous spending. There isn’t a back up plan or a rainy day fund. The survival of single parenting has taught me to become a very frugal person in order to sustain a functioning lifestyle for my family. Being frugal will help you become more financially sustainable and allow you to have money for the important things. Here are ten ideas to help you save money as a single parent so you can have more money for what matters.
1.) Plan a no spend weekend
This is something you can plan to do once a month. Weekends are great to find things to do for free locally. You can plan for a hike or go to the park, have a movie day, invite friends over, and get creative. Plan to spend no money and make sure you have meals to make at home because weekends can be so tempting when it comes to spending money on take out or things to do.
2.) Pick 4 days a month to eat out (once per week)
Being realistic is important when trying to save money. Being a parent can be hectic and grabbing food to go just makes life more convenient. Choose 1 day a week (Try to pick the most exhausting one) and make that the night you grab fast food or dinner at restaurant. I hate post that tell you to stop drinking coffee and don’t go out to eat because it’s just not realistic to the modern life. However, you can cut back on how much you normally spend on take out in a week.
3.) Buy in bulk
If you have a Sam’s or Costco membership I would take advantage of buying in bulk. In the long run you save yourself so much time and money. Stock up on toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, razors, or any house necessity that you use on a consistent basis.
4.) Shop at thrift stores
Thrift stores are one of my favorite places to go. They are a great place for you to find home decor, clothing, kitchenware, holiday decor, and everything else. Thrift stores are also great places to find sports/activity clothing for kids when they only are doing the sport for a season. Gymnastics leotards, dance leotards, running shorts and pants, and sometimes athletic shoes.
5.) Take advantage of the library
The library is the best place to save your money and it is a great way to get out of the house. Books can be so expensive and once they are done with them they end up in a garage sale or on a shelf cluttering up the house. If you are bad about returning the books, set an reminder on your phone the week before they are due or set as many reminders as you need. The goal is to save money not spend money on late fees. Most libraries also offer other resources like free day passes to local museums, arts, cultural, and recreational attractions. Check on your local libraries website and you will be amazed with the other services provided other than book rentals.