Planning for your future and your child’s can be scary, especially as a single mom. More times than not, your financial woes are just about making ends meet, never mind thinking far into the future. It may seem impossible to get a grip on your tumultuous money issues, but be rest assured that it is possible not only to take charge of your money right now, but also to start saving for the future. We’re asking you to be brutally honest about your current spending habits and legitimate needs, but if you’re willing to do that, we’ve got some budget-balancing tips courtesy of Kickass Single Mom Emma Johnson that will help you get back on track.
We know that cable TV can be a godsend in a busy household—either to help keep your kids calm or to keep you sane, but it’s time to get serious about what you need and what you simply want. The hard truth is that cable is not an “essential” and may need to be sacrificed in order to help you save.
Did you know that 80% of gym memberships go unused? Are you one of this majority? Of course, we advocate for a healthy lifestyle, but it’s time to be honest with yourself: are you really going to go to the gym tomorrow? If you haven’t been in a while, ditch the membership and make time for other wellness activities like running or yoga.
Subscriptions can be a great way to save you time and energy, but they can also be an unnoticed money-suck. When’s the last time you took a close look at all the automatic-renewal services you belong to and make sure that you actually want (or rather, need) the service.
This one is simple—don’t use a landline. In 2017, it’s hard to imagine a home with a landline, but if you’re still one of the few, slash it! There’s simply no need, and it’s an easy way to save some extra cash.
Yes, you absolutely need electricity and heating / cooling. But do you need all those lights on in the rooms you’re not occupying? Does the thermostat need to at 68º? Try making small adjustments to your energy use and you’ll be surprised at how much leaner your bill will be every month!
We understand how busy you are—this often leads to a preference of take out over cooking in, but it’s time to reflect on just how much money you’re spending each week. One of the best ways to help save money is to not only buy, but cook in bulk. Make big meals that are easy to save away for later in the week or modify for tomorrow’s dinner.
It may sound backward to talk about slashing insurance, but when’s the last time you took a look at exactly how much you were spending on your various policies? Are there other options such as bundling or even switching providers that will save you buckets of money? We’re willing to bet there is! It’s time to get on the phone with your provider and have a candid conversation about what you need, instead of paying more for the shiniest package.
-Holidays / birthdays
When it comes to saving around the holidays or birthday time, the key is to have a plan. And we’re not talking about generalities here. We mean, set a strict budget even before you begin looking for gifts and stick. to. it. You may feel bad in the beginning about getting your child a less flashy version of the new toy they want, but you will feel great about all that money still in your bank account!
As an alternative, consider doing a trip with your kids in lieu of a cornucopia of gifts. Studies find that experiences (not wrapped toys) bring more lasting enjoyment to the whole family.
Essentially, the tip here is to just stop. We understand that kids outgrow clothes, but do you have neighbors or family with hand-me-downs? Many people believe that shopping is a legitimate hobby, but really it’s just a vacuum to your wallet. Stick to the essentials and don’t mistake needing new clothes for simply being bored with your current set. We’ll even bet if you dig around in your closet, you’ll find plenty of “new” clothes to shake up your wardrobe.
These tips were taken from THE KICKASS SINGLE MOM, available at these retailers: