Single Parent Family: How to Make Your Money Stretch Further

It is not easy raising kids alone. As a single parent, you will face many challenges, including how to make your money go as far as it needs to travel. But, it can be done with a bit of creative thinking and optimism.

Most people don’t envision themselves as a single parent. However, sometimes things do not work out as we plan and that is the resulting reality. You are left to be the primary breadwinner in your household for you and your children.

Financial purse strings are cinched quite tight when a former two income family is reduced to one because of divorce. If you are a single parent, keep reading to find out how you can squeeze George Washington for all he’s worth.

* Cook at home – It seems so old-fashioned in such a fast-paced world, but eating at home has many advantages for families. One, children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to participate in risky behaviors (smoking, drinking, and drugs). Second, fresh foods are better for your health. You know what is in the foods your family eats. Third, it saves money. You can eat the leftovers for lunch and save even more money.

* Clip coupons – We need to eat, so food is a necessity. Shopping for groceries when sales are happening can reduce your total bill. Combine coupons with those in-store sales to come out ahead.

* Have a yard sale – Maybe your garage is full of stuff that you no longer need. Get the kids to help you hold a yard sale and come up with some extra cash. Put it towards a savings account for a rainy day.

* Create a savings plan – This can be done through payroll. Have a certain amount sent to your savings account automatically every time you get paid. This is the simplest way to save money.

* Participate in flexible spending accounts at work – Flex spending accounts allow you to put aside a certain amount of money each year for medical bills – doctor’s appointments, dentist, surgery, etc. Now you don’t have to come out of your pocket for every medical emergency, which saves money.

* Pay bills automatically – Setting up a payment system allows your bills to be paid on time. This can protect your credit rating. Some say that if you have an emergency, the money won’t be there – but remember, you are placing money towards your savings for such times. This way at least you know that the most important bills are always covered.

* Utility payment plans – Enrolling in equal payment plans keeps the utility bills the same each month so you can budget better. Any excess is paid at the end of the year. So, you have a whole year to practice saving energy.

Are you a single parent? You can still make ends meet for you and your family with a little discipline and practice.

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