As a single parent, I’m well aware of the challenges faced daily, just getting the kids up, dressed fed and out the door to school, but how about adding the element of living check to check with a tight as a drum budget? I’ve met this challenge for the last three years by carefully choosing what to spend money on and what not to. Single parenting and saving money wouldn’t seem possible, but I’ve been able to do it. Doing these things has helped me stop living check to check by banking the money I save.
Need vs. Want
I’d really love a half way decent small television in my bedroom to fall asleep to at night. It’d be great to be able to let my older girls mill around the house, chatting and doing homework, while I quietly retreat to my bedroom, turn the television on and promptly fall asleep. However, I won’t be doing that anytime soon because I really don’t need that. I’d actually feel better having the money in the bank instead. I tend to feel more at peace with a bit of financial cushion in the bank should I need it, so I guess I’ll continue to put up with my kids til the wee hours of the weekday mornings.
Never Pay Full Price
Consider purchasing brands of food or clothing you wouldn’t necessarily want to buy just to save the mone. Using money this way really helps save over the long term. I don’t remember the last time I paid full price for a pair of blue jeans or any piece of clothing. I always shop at thrift stores for those items and I’m always pleased with what I find. Granted, you have to know how to pick through the piles of stuff, but over time you’ll get an eye for this and it won’t take you as long to find what you’re looking for.
Same with food. You may not like the store brand type of frozen veggies as much as Birdseye, but why not save the money you’d otherwise spend? Is anyone really going to notice or have a problem with it?
Ride Your Bike
Gas is expensive no matter who you are, but it’s such a costly part of parenting just getting the kids to so many activities. I’ve decided to save gas when I can by riding my bike to my workplace, and any other places I need to go, which don’t involve the kids. The money I save doing this is significant, and is put directly in the bank.
Line Dry Clothes
Another really unpopular, time consuming thing to do is line drying your clothes. As much as I’m not a fan of it, I do it because it saves me another chunk of money. When it’s cold out, you can hang a line in the basement to pin the clothes to. I will hang towels outside in a sunny spot on a cold day, even in the colder weather.
Source: Myself-a single parent of 8 with limited funds.