You can learn how to save money as a single mom by reading this very helpful article. It shows as many as 25 best ways and tips that most single moms don’t know about saving money.
As human beings, we love emotional and motivational stories because often, these stories involve people who overcome significant hardships and don’t give up but use these hardships not to defeat them but to use them as stepping stones in their life.
Examples could include an individual who overcame a disease when they were told that there was no hope, but they didn’t give up.
Another example could be an individual who made some poor choices in their life but, through the intervention of others and a determination on their own, turned their back on those poor choices and aggressively took advantage of a second chance and made a significant impact in their lives and the lives of others.
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Perhaps, the most significant moving story that we can hear is about a single parent who was raising children and, to do so, had to take on three jobs in order to make ends meet.
The single mother’s dedication and love were so strong that she was able to earn money to provide opportunities for her children.
The children took advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by the single mother, and when they became adults, they honored her for her sacrifice and love by becoming successful.
Our neighbor is a single mom with her son starting his teenage years.
I am always impressed with the way that she makes time and is dedicated to nurturing this young man.
She does this by sharing time with the father and the young man along with having time to go to his baseball games, special ceremonies at school, etc.
You can tell all of this pays off because the young man is so well behaved and exhibits great manners and respect to those in this gated community that is comprised mainly of senior citizens.
25 Best Ways & Tips to Help Save Money as Single Moms
Saving money as a single mom begins with a budget.
A budget can utilize a software program or a simple sheet of paper in which the expenses are listed on one side, and the income is listed on the other.
And on the expense side are various categories that can include
- And so forth
Optimally the budget should balance out to zero.
If you have more expenses than income, then you need to increase your income or reduce your expenses.
A good exercise to conduct as it relates to looking at your line items on the expense side is to determine in which categories you can possibly reduce your expenses.
For example, if your insurance costs are high, you could talk to your insurance carrier and see if they offer any discounts based on your safe driving record or any training that you have recently taken.
Or, if you’re entertainment line item is high, you can always reduce your budget by canceling some subscription services or eating out less or taking in fewer movies.
Another important component and saving money is to set a goal.
If you don’t have a goal that you’re working towards, then there is no incentive or framework to try to reach.
The goal should be realistic, achievable, and with certain time frames built in.
The goal can be a monthly goal, a quarterly goal, or half a year or more.
4. Cut Back
The important thing is that in order to save money, the most practical way of doing that is to cut back on your expenses.
The obvious choices of cutting back on your expenses are those line items that are not considered fixed expenses (rent, utilities, medical insurance, etc.
5. Savings Account
In order to save money, you need a financial vehicle as to where you are going to place that money.
A typical account to transfer money that you wish to set aside as part of your savings would be a savings account.
A savings account has virtually no risk and is FDIC insured, but the downside is that you don’t receive much interest in this type of account.
Talking about savings, below are some helpful guide to saving money:
- Check This No Spend Challenge to Save
- Check This to Save Without Bank Account
- Check This to Save Money on a Low Income
- Check This for 100 Envelope Challenge
- Check This to Save Money Live Better
- Check This for Reasons to Save Money
- Check This 30 Day Rule to Saving Money
- Check This to Save $10,000 in 6 Months
- Check This to Save $20,000 in a Year
Another financial account that is an option for you as a single mom to put your savings into is a high-interest-bearing savings account.
You can go to a number of websites and do comparison shopping for this type of account by going to www.bankrate.com.
7. Pay Yourself
So often, people who wish to start a savings account generally put into the account whatever is left over when all of the other bills have been paid.
This thinking should be challenged and should be the other way around.
Rather than being the last bill paid, your savings account should be the first payment made and that to yourself because you are more important than all of the other bills.
8. Expenditure Log
A powerful tip that you can incorporate into your spending for the month is to keep an expenditure log.
Every time you spend money, you should pull out your notebook or expenditure log and write the date, the place where the money was spent and the amount.
At the end of the month, look at your expenditure log and see what expenses or money was spent that was budgeted and what money was spent that wasn’t budgeted.
You may be surprised to find out that a significant amount of your monthly income is spent spontaneously and on items that weren’t budgeted.
Examples could include a coffee, bag of chips, candy bar, even a charitable gift to a homeless person, etc.
At the end of the month, add up these non-budgeted items, and you may be surprised at what the amount could be that could be better utilized by setting it aside in your savings.
A way that you can save money is to utilize a barter system.
Perhaps as a single mom, your strength does not lie in fixing leaking faucets or maintaining the lawn or garden, etc.
In exchange for having these and other items done, you could barter with someone who has that skill and talent, and in turn, you could cook a meal or two for them, do laundry, for another household chore.
This would save you money by not having to purchase the services of someone to do those types of activities.
A classic way of saving money is by utilizing coupons.
Coupons are always available either online through a variety of websites, advertisements that come into your mailbox, or through apps such as still card or apps from the various retail outlets themselves.
When using coupons, always look for an opportunity to increase their value by shopping at a store that may offer double coupons on specific days.
11. Shopping List
Although it may not seem that powerful, it is always important to go shopping at the grocery store with a compiled list of items that are needed.
This will help to discipline you in staying with purchases that are needed for the preparation of food during the course of the week.
Anything not on the list should not be purchased.
In conjunction with a shopping list, it is a good idea to plan your menu for a certain period of time during the course of the month.
This will help you to determine what food ingredients you will need to purchase and that will help to keep you on the straight and narrow with the shopping list.
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13. Car Pool
If working outside of the home and given the reality of rising gasoline prices, a good idea to save money is to carpool whenever you can.
This carpooling can be a great strategy when you and others work at the same company or in proximity and can take turns on whose vehicle is used.
Also, you can carpool with others when you go shopping.
This also will help to save money by reducing your gasoline expenditures.
Being a single mother with a child or children, you may be eligible for certain government programs.
One of those programs is WIC (Women Infant Children).
It is important to do research and find out what your state offers that may help you if you qualify.
There is no shame in accepting help, and it also involves assisting you in the care of your children.
15. Car Insurance
When looking to save money as a single mom, it is important to look at bills that you are currently paying and explore options to reduce those costs.
One of these significant costs can be car insurance.
You can call your insurance carrier and see if there are ways that you can reduce your premiums.
Possibilities could include a reduction in cost due to
- Driver’s courses taken
- Increasing your deductible
- Mileage driven each month
16. Get Out Debt
Being in debt can be a significant financial strain, and the money given to credit card debts through interest can be a frustrating experience.
To suggest to a single mom to get out of debt is easier said than done.
The best way to accomplish this goal is just to focus on one step at a time and apply as much money as you can towards your outstanding credit balance and continue that process for however long it takes.
When one debt is paid off, then continue that same process by applying the amount of money that you were paying on the one credit card to the next credit card and so forth.
17. Consolidate Debt
If you have a number of credit cards that have outstanding balances, you may wish to apply for a new card with a low introductory rate that will give you the opportunity to consolidate some of your debt and pay no interest over a certain period of time.
18. Plan Meals
When it comes to food costs, it can be expensive when trying to eat meals that are nutritious and satisfying.
It goes without saying that you should plan your meals and take advantage of any food sales that may be occurring for the week and plan your meals around those discounts.
Also, as part of your grocery shopping, don’t forget to consider dollar store food that may be canned or frozen.
This food is just as nutritious and can help supplement your daily meals.
19. Grow Food
A quality way of supplementing your food is to consider growing certain types of foods within your home setting.
You can grow all types of vegetables whether you have a small or large area to work with.
For example, in a small but efficient area, you could grow tomatoes through the process known as hydroponic.
To learn more about this process, you can click here.
20. Thrift Stores
Shopping at thrift stores is a good way of making your clothing budget stretch.
Typically, before a clothing item is placed on the clothing rack, staffing will inspect the clothes and ensure that there are no chairs, buttons not working, or zippers not properly functioning.
Consequently, you can search thrift stores and know that you are getting usable clothes products and how to reduce cost.
21. Cashback Apps
There are many apps available for the consumer that when purchases are made, they can take pictures of receipts and submit them through the app to obtain cash back rewards.
One such app is Ibotta.
22. Eat Out Less
A way to save money is by eating out less.
Mostly everyone enjoys a dining out experience because it is fun, and you get to order the food that you want to eat.
Rather than spending the money at a restaurant, you could have a night out eating experience at home by letting each of the family members choose what they wish to eat at home as if it was a restaurant experience.
Another way to provide this type of experience would be to allow each member of the family to choose what they want to eat once a week.
Each of the family members would eat that meal, but everyone would get a turn at what they wished to “order.”
23. Shop Online
Many discounts or purchases at a lower cost can be accomplished by shopping online.
By shopping online, you can also do comparison shopping to get the lowest price for an item that is needed.
Also, there are many apps that can be utilized through your smartphone that can make this happen.
One such app can be found by clicking here.
Energy can be expensive in the use of electricity and natural gas.
Specific energy-saving tips would include adjusting the thermostat appropriately for the time of year, minimizing the use of large appliances during peak energy hours, cooking more than one meal on the stove, etc.
Other energy saving tips can be found by clicking here.
A practical but efficient tip for saving money is to automate your savings.
The idea is to set up an automatic withdrawal from your banking institution with the savings amount that you have determined and the day of the month.
The amount is then contributed automatically to your choice of savings account, and you don’t have to worry about remembering.
How Many Single Mom Families Are There in America?
According to AECF.org, there are 24 million single-parent families in America.
Of those 24 million single-parent families, 80% of the single parents are women.
What Are the Most Significant Challenges That a Single Mom Family Encounters?
According to Daddy’s Digest, the most significant challenges that a single mom faces in caring for her family include
- Work challenges
- Feelings of guilt
- Emotional challenges
- Financial issues
You Can Do It
As a single mom, you understand your role and the responsibilities and challenges that you face.
As a single mom, you are admired, and the fact that you wish to not only make ends meet but save money as well is a tribute to your strength and dedication to yourself and your family.
Being a single mom is not an easy role to fulfill.
In addition to being the major “breadwinner” in the family, the single mom is the sole parent in the family and is charged with caring for the children.
Fortunately, in wishing to save money, there is a variety of ways that this can occur, including help from a variety of agencies that understand the difficulty of single moms caring for the family.
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