As a single mom, I know the struggle of living paycheck to paycheck. Struggling to make ends meet and have an attempt at enjoying life with your little ones. Saving money isn’t always as easy as one may think either. Every penny is accounted for and it becomes extremely stressful. It’s these reasons I want to share with you my tips for saving money as a single mom! If I can manage, so can you!
There are a lot of different ways for you to save money without a ton of work. I am not going to sit here and tell you to take survey’s for pennies either. I surely wouldn’t do it so I wouldn’t tell you all to do it either. Below are ways that I personally use to save money so that I can ensure all my bills are paid and that food is always on the table. Being a single mom isn’t an easy job and I hope this list can help at least one of my readers.
Know your Budget
This is obvious, but add up all your bills. Make sure it’s every single bill you have so you know for sure how much you will need every month to cover those bills. Everything from Rent to your amazon prime subscription. It’s important to also cancel anything you don’t need. I love Spotify premium as much as the next but I know I can’t shell out $10 a month for it right now. Cancel anything that isn’t needed.
Know your Income
I know I work 40 hours every week so therefore I know how much my check will be every time I get paid. By knowing how much I need for bills, I take half of the total from each check. This ensures that all my bills will get paid and what’s left over is for my food shopping and other household stuff. If my check is $750 every other week and my bills are $1200 then I will take $600 from each check and put that aside for my bills. That leaves me $150 from each check for food and other items.
Use Coupons and Money saving apps
I am no good at couponing. I have no understanding of it, however, check your paper for coupons, online and even email companies asking if they have any they could send you. You’d be surprised at how many companies are willing to send you some. I recently moved and emailed a few and now I have a little pile. I am a huge fan of money saving apps. I love to use Ebates when I do my online shopping. I don’t always get a lot back but $2 here and $3 there adds up. I also use Honey (iPhone app coming 02/19), which is similar to Ebates. Honey sometimes finds deals that Ebates can’t.
I love Ibotta! I look at it before I do my shopping. It’s a great way to see if you can get any rebates on things you need. Sometimes it means buying a different brand, but if I can save money, I will do so. The last one I use is Shopkick. Shopkick has some great features to earn gift cards. It doesn’t always mean buying anything either. If I am in a store, I can just scan certain items to earn points which in turn means gift cards. Of course, purchasing these items means more points but either way you can earn points for gift cards.
Think about Larger purchases and Recurring purchases
Going back to tip number one, know your budget. Cancel any recurring purchases that you truly don’t need. I love Book of the Month, Spotify, Ipsy and so on, but I know as a single mom, living check to check, I can’t justify those expenses at the moment. When it comes to large purchases think about them. Work out why this is a purchase you need. Make sure it’s something you can afford and if it’s worth being on a tighter budget.
Buy in bulk and purchase store brands
Buying in bulk does mean putting more money out upfront but it will save you money in the long run. When shopping, look at the different brands and how much per unit. Buy the brand that’s less per unit. You get a little more bang for your buck. Also, there is nothing wrong with the store brands. They are often made by the same big brand companies just labeled by the store.
Invest in a food saver
Referring back to buying in bulk, my household is just two people, myself and my son. So meals are often small but I buy the big family packs and I use a food saver that I got on Amazon to separate my meats. This will save you money and keep you stocked up on meats for a longer time. They stay fresher longer and lack the freezer burn you may get by buying small packs and just putting them in the freezer. I know I can take two chicken breast and slice them in half which now makes four. Separate for you and your kids. No extras.
Look for ways to make Extra Income
This is obvious as well. If you are able, try using apps like Uber or Lyft. There are also dog walking apps that could help you earn extra income. Also go back to the basics, look around for babysitting jobs. I am sure your hands are full but watching someone else kids when you are home is a great and easy way to make extra money.
Being a parent, in general, is a hard job. Being a single parent can be even tougher, but either way, we live in a world where housing cost more then most of us can afford. Whether we’re a one-man team or double. A lot of us are struggling. As a single mom, I have a very tight budget. I make too much for state assistance and my income leaves me very little wiggle room. A lot of us are in this situation. It this reason I created this list of tips for saving money as a single mom. I hope this list will someone out there.