Children can put extra pressure on your finances, especially if you are dependent on only one income. To help you budget, here are some money planning tips for single parents.
Record everything you spend
For the next month, keep a record of everything you spend. Write down every outgoing, from buying a pint of milk to paying your rent. This will help you see exactly where your money is going.
Look through your spending and decide where you can cut back. Maybe you can eat out less. Perhaps you can reduce the number of treats you buy your children. You could walk more to save money on petrol. Cutting back a few pounds here and there can make a big difference.
Set a budget
Write out a list of all your set costs such as rent and bills. Then make a list of all the other things such as food, clothes, and petrol. Decide how much you can afford to spend on each of these areas after your fixed costs have gone out. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. If you spend less one week or month, you can save the money or put it towards something else you need.
Shop with lists
Make a list before you go shopping. If you stick to the list, you won’t overspend or buy things you don’t need. This helps you stick to your budget more easily.
Plan your meals
Plan your meals each week and write out a list of ingredients. This way you are unlikely to buy items you won’t use or find yourself having to order takeaways because you didn’t by enough.
Pay bills on time
Missing payments on your bills can result in late payment fees or additional interest charges and it can be hard to get back on track if you get behind. Stick to your budget so you have enough money to pay your bills on time.
Use mobile apps, check online or visit several shops to find the best deals on items you need. When purchasing more expensive items, don’t rush into a decision. Take time to make sure you get the best value for money.
Schedule no-spend weekends
It’s easy to overspend at weekends when you have to keep children entertained. Schedule a no spend weekend every month and plan free activities in advance.
Check which benefits you are entitled to
Benefits could include child support, income support, job-seekers allowance, housing benefit, council tax reduction or universal credit. The available benefits and support payments are always changing so keep up to date with what’s on offer and make sure you claim what you are entitled to.
Talk to me in the comments, please:
What money planning tips for single parents would you add?
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