Single parents may already have enough responsibilities on their plate; aside from providing the needs of their children by working, they also have to make sure that the needs of their kids are still taken care of. However, budgeting seems to be a league of its own. Since budgeting should be the least of their worries, how can single parents make sure that they can properly allocate their money? Here are a few tips on how people can budget wisely even if they just fly solo.
Create a routine for your budget
Since being a single parent entails a lot of responsibilities, sometimes they tend to neglect the budgeting aspect of their lives and become haphazard in handling their money. However, one simple trick to deal with the woes of budgeting even when you’re having a hard time keeping up with your main duties is making your schedule as rigid as possible. When you are working under a routine, it is much easier to identify your expenses–and create a budget based on it.
Create an emergency fund
Single parents are the ones who are more susceptible to financial challenges: since they are treading on very thin finances, one small mistake or a simple increase in their utility bills can send their budget down the spiral. To prepare yourself for such circumstances, it is better to save a portion of your budget to start an emergency fund. You’ll never know when this will come in hand, but to be on the safe side, it’s best if you have one. When the need arises and you need to use your contingency money, make sure to replenish the coffer as soon as possible.
Manage your credit card wisely
Credit cards are nifty financial tools that will allow you to have the convenience of cash payment minus the actual cash. While they come in handy at times, this doesn’t mean that you can just swipe your credit card with reckless abandon. When you’re flying solo as a parent, make sure to only use your credit card when it is advantageous, such as purchasing groceries and or paying bills. Do not use your credit cards to make lifestyle purchases such as fancy night outs, gadgets, and other unnecessary expenses.
Review your previous expenses
If you have no idea how to start minimizing your expenses, you may want to go back to where it all started: looking back at your previous expenses. When you go back to your history of payments, you can easily see trends in your expenses like a slight increase in your electricity bills, or additional items in your grocery that keep on reappearing. Once you’ve found out the unnecessary items in your expenses, it will now be much easier for you to streamline your budget.
Consider a change in your career
Sometimes, there is nothing really wrong with the way you budget; in fact, you may be doing an excellent job. However, the problem may lie actually on your current job, and you are not getting enough compensation for your job. If this is the case, then you might want to start printing copies of your CV and hand them out to companies that can offer better salary. In addition, maybe you can ask your potential employers to adapt to your needs as a single parent.
Being a single parent may be hard, especially when it comes to budgeting since the income source is just one. However, keep in mind that a little goes a long way, and with the proper mindset and the knack for budgeting, you can master your budgeting skills in no time.