momtalkmondays: Single mom financial tips
Being a single mom and having all the responsibilities alone I'd say the biggest hardship is shouldering it all financially is hard. But throughout the years I've learnt a few things that has made it a bit easier. If you're looking for some things that has helped me keep reading.
First thing you do is write it all down, or make a spreadsheet and track your spending habits. Trust me once you start this it'll be a lot easier to figure out financially of where to start.
1. Set a Budget:
Write all expenses for the month such as electricity/water bill, phone bill, rent/lease payments, etc. In a separate column write down all money coming in. Based on how much money you have coming in minus all the important expenses you can set a budget with the remaining income for savings, etc.
2. Keep Track of expenses:
This one in particular helped me the most to ensure I stick to my budget. Once you have it all down on paper you can see where you can cut back or eliminate to save more.
3. Live within you means:
This one is huge. I try to not go beyond what I allot for the month. Since my kids love doing pizza friday nights, I'll always save a bit extra each week for this. Once you start this intention of not going over budget and the reminder to stay within your means it becomes second nature.
4. Plan for un-expected expenses:
Besides my actual savings. I set about $30 a month in jar just for in case emergencies. For example we had a huge clog in the kitchen sink and a pipe burst I had to call an emergency plumber to fix it all. Thank goodness for my un-expected savings I was able to pay for this.
5. Look for ways to save money:
Especially with groceries being incredibly high. I always look for the flyers for all the sales. With staple items such as toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. When their on super sale I tend to stock up and store them away. Joining the instore rewards programs are also great such as the Optimum points, especially with my 3 kiddos the grocery bills add up and for each dollar spent at stores such as Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug mart, No frills they have the Optimum rewards program in place, I've saved so much using the points I rack up. Another great rewards program is Save-on Foods rewards program, and did you know they have Tuesday savings here in BC. Every Tuesday they have major discounted prices on specially marked items.
6. More ways to save:
I also recommend great saving apps, such as Flipp app, that showcases all the deals and flyers. Reebee Flyers & Shopping list app is also another great one to check out daily deals and save money. Another great app is Receipt jar, its not a flyers savings app, but like the name, save all your receipts from any in store purchases, not just grocery stores but any receipts from stores and upload the receipts on their app, once you reach a certain amount of points you can redeem for a huge giftcards. P.S. if you don't have a Costco membership but you'd like to shop there, give in the instacart app a try. Its a great app to purchase all your groceries and have it delivered to your front door. The app does have a fee thats roughly $79 for the year and you can purchase from Costco on the app without having a Costco membership so its a great way to buy in bulk and bonus you don't have to go in store.
7. Find free things to do:
Especially with kids the expenses can add up when you're wanting to do fun things and create memories for them. But there are so many fun things you can do for free. For instance here in BC we have so many incredible parks to explore, museums are great places for kiddos to explore, searching up local things to do in your city on google, you'd be surprise at all the fun free things you can do. And another great thing now that its summer and the gorgeous weather means, a lot of great farmer markets will pop up, and usually at these farmer's markets they have free food samples and fun areas for kiddos to explore.
8. Half and Half
This is a great strategy to adopt if your finding it hard to save and put aside expenses in a lump sum at the end of the month. The idea is for the first two weeks of a new month, save half of the money you receive and half of the month at the end of the month so in turn you have all the money set aside for all the expenses and bills for the entire month.
9. Join Facebook saving groups for your local area:
This one is awesome. I went searching on google for ideas and tips on how to save money for single moms and I found so many wonderful groups on Facebook of other like-minded single parents, sharing their tips/strategies of what helped them, or if anyone spotted a great deal somewhere they'd share in the group. Its a great way to connect and share.
10. Try finding a second income stream:
It may be hard but nowadays there are quite a few ways to have a second stream income, such as online positions. Here are a few below.
- Online proofreader
- Online store (if you have a hobby like knitting or crafting) you can sell your items online
- Virtual Assistant (Writing, Social media management, Appointment scheduling, Email management, Travel and events planning, Bookkeeping, etc.)
- Sell on Amazon
- Market Research Surveys
Lunch time School Support staff (if you have school age kiddos you can definitely try to apply for a job at your kiddos for lunch time support staff)
These are just a few ideas I've found but I know there's so much more. I hope these tips help whether or not you're a single mom, these financial tips will surely help.
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