There is no getting away from the fact that raising children is expensive! It can be difficult enough to make ends meet when you have two incomes to rely on, even more so when you are raising a child on your own. If you are struggling to cover your expenses as a single parent, here is some advice to help you along.
Learn How to Budget
While this may come easily to some, not everyone was taught how to budget when they were growing up. A strict and comprehensive budget is every single parent’s most valuable tool when it comes to finances. Take your time to work out exactly how much is coming in every month and how much is going out.
If it is evident that your expenses exceed your income, you can start investigating how to cut costs or perhaps bring in a bit of extra money on the side, if time and resources allow. There are many helpful guidelines for budgeting online, but if you are still unsure in terms of how to go about it, it is worthwhile to consider consulting a financial advisor.
Saving is probably the last thing on your mind if you are currently battling to make ends meet. However, it is a critical step to take as a single parent. Building up a ‘nest egg’ can provide peace of mind that you are covered in the event of an emergency or a hefty, unexpected cost. Remember, if you find yourself in this position without any savings, and you are strapped for cash, pay day loans are another alternative to consider. These short-term loans generally have significantly lower interest rates than regular personal loans and can be obtained quickly and with minimal fuss, however, be sure to check the terms. They can sometimes have high fees which can cost you more in the long run.
Optimizing your approach to grocery shopping can save you hundreds of dollars each month. For example, it pays to plan your meals for the week before visiting the store so that you know exactly what you need and won’t buy any ingredients that will go to waste. It is also a great idea to search for coupons online and to plan your meals based on the ingredients on which you can save the most money. Finally, always go to the store with a comprehensive grocery list in hand and on a full stomach to avoid impulse buys.
Know Your Worth
Has it been a while since you received a pay raise at the office? Maybe it has become evident that you are earning less than others in your field? Know your worth and be prepared to ask for more money should you believe that you deserve it. Gather evidence to back you up when you approach your boss, such as a list of your accomplishments, skills, and industry salary standards, and speak to him or her with confidence and conviction. If your boss claims that it is not financially viable to grant you a raise at the moment, request a promotion instead. Even if you are not earning extra now, a higher position could make it easier for you to find a better paying job in the future.
Keep your head up! You are doing an incredible job.