Logic dictates that a household headed by a single parent is going to have more of an uphill battle than a household where both parents are present and earning money. There’s a deficit of one earning there—so it’s not going to be easy. Even in cases where there are two parents, but only one of them is working, there is still a great advantage because there is someone who can manage the household. A single parent has to work and manage the household—there will be a large difference there concerning morale and physical strain.
But while day to day expenses will be hard for a single parent, it’s not impossible. Here are some financial strategies or budgeting tips for single parents:
Keep a budget
Your budget as a single parent will look different than the budget of a household with two parents. Keep your budget and believe in your own budget. The important thing here is that you put everything in a journal so that you don’t overspend. Putting things on paper puts a semblance of truth and legality into it. There are also mobile apps that will help you track your expenses to make things easier and faster for you.
Enroll in automatic payment systems
Penalty fees and fines don’t have space in a single-parent household. Every solo parent should prevent himself from succumbing to unnecessary expenses. Late payment of bills is a big no-no. It is just stupid that you are already having a hard time paying the bills and you have to pay a fine for it. And penalties are preventable. The best way to do this is to link your bills to your credit card or debit card so that bills will be automatically deducted. This way, you will never be late in paying for your bills.
Don’t splurge on food
This is not going to be a popular strategy especially if you have children—particularly boys. Food is important. However, single-parent households have to make more sacrifices than the two-parent households. And one such sacrifice would have to be on food. Don’t go on impulsive grocery shopping. You will only spend what money you have left after paying all household and other regular bills. Anyway, cooking food is a talent. You don’t need to have the most expensive produce to make the most delicious food. You just have to be creative.
Start your emergency savings
One of the best budgeting tips for single parents is to keep emergency savings.
Would single parents even have enough to set aside emergency savings? It’s going to be difficult, but every single parent should try harder to have an emergency fund. It is actually the single parent who will need the emergency savings more. This is for expenses that you don’t anticipate, hence, emergency.
Ask the kids for help
All those budgeting tips for single parents won’t be that easy if you don’t share the issue with your children.
The children should be made aware of the situation at home. Explain to the children the financial difficulty of being in a solo-parent household. Ask them to help you budget household expenses. Ask them to be more thrifty. Ask your children to scrimp on expenses. Your children are willing to help. They just need to be more aware of the situation.