5 Solid Money-Saving Tips For The Savvy Single Mom
savvy single moms juggle it all-student loan debt, chidcare, household finances
If you’re like most single moms, you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to save money. After all, few endeavors in life are more difficult (or costly) than single-handedly captaining your own ship.
When it comes to sinking or swimming, however, a handful of money-saving tips could make all the difference.
As a parent, I’m no stranger to those overly exhausted moments reviewing the budget at 3:00 A.M., trying to read your check ledger through crayon drawings.
This parenting gig is tough, to say the least. And surviving as a single parent is even harder.
For that reason, we’ve rounded up five helpful money-saving ideas to help you cut costs but still rock #singlemom life.
Financial Tip #1: Consider All Your Resources
First things first, it’s important to review every source of income that you have including your job(s), side hustle, or even child support.
Then, put them on the chopping block. What I mean by this is to reconsider including them into your budget at all.
For example, it’s risky to factor child support or alimony into your single mom budget. Especially if these payments are inconsistent. Depending on them may put you in the red. Rather, view them as a bonus to put in your savings account or a rainy day fund.
If you’re coming up short after removing some resources from your overall budget, consider other ways to make money. You could earn extra income moonlighting your professional skills—virtual assistance, copywriter, marketing specialist, etc.
Increasing your overhead is always a great thought. But, it’s often easier said than done. Still, try not to downplay your own talents.
Many single moms have transformed themselves into successful entrepreneurs. Plus, most of these women started their businesses without a lot of money in the bank. Some were even strapped paying off debts and student loans.
The take-home message is that not all income resources are created equal. To help support your long term goals and increase your wealth, only budget trustworthy income.
Financial Tip #2: Carry the Green Stuff
Finance guru Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover” plan is one that many people swear by.
Essentially, this program harnesses the power of cash, motivating its participants to stick to the budget. When it comes to money-saving ideas, this one is solid.
Let’s be real, it’s easy to toss a couple more overpriced packs of cookies (ahem, Oreos) into the shopping cart at the grocery store. But, those extra goodies will catch up to you—money-wise not in caloric intake, of course.
The trouble with plastic debit cards (or credit cards) is that you don’t feel an instant dent in your bank account. With cash, you see and feel your wallet shrink. Unsurprisingly, this is very motivating!
Officially called The Envelope System, it’s a strategic way to handle your spending money. By assigning a certain amount of cash to each envelope—groceries, gas, personal, household supplies, etc.—you effectively set firm limits on spending.
Once the cash in an envelope is gone, it’s gone. If you don’t have enough to cover for groceries, you put some things back.
It’s a pretty strict method but thousands of people have implemented it, swearing it’s one of the most helpful financial tips.
Financial Tip #3: Be Bold with Assistance
When you’re looking to cut costs as a single mom, it’s not uncommon for pride to get in the way. Yet, to be a savvy single mom, sometimes it’s necessary to bite the bullet.
In other words, seek and accept financial assistance when you need it.
Financial assistance programs exist for health insurance, electric and gas bills, childcare, college tuition, and even your food costs. Most of these programs are state-funded so it’s vital to do your research (and paperwork) to beef up your single mom budget.
Additionally, there are discounts for low-income households and grants for single mothers.
Remember, hard-working people need a break, too. Especially if it will help your long term goals, take advantage of these programs to avoid burnout.
After all, this chapter in life won’t last forever.
Financial Tip #4: Find Hidden Savings
To find your first hidden savings, dig around to see if you pay any fees to your bank—checking account fees, ATM fees, minimum balance charge, hard copy statement fee, etc.
If so, consider switching banks to avoid incurring these additional and unnecessary charges. In other words, don’t let them nickel and dime you!
One of the most popular money-saving ideas is to use coupon apps for your everyday purchases. To save the most money shopping, aim for an app that matches well with the things you already buy. This will save you from clipping the Sunday paper, too.
In addition to apps, use rewards from your credit cards. Some cards offer great cash back value for certain purchase. Many offer low APR balance transfers (if you’re carrying a balance on your card). But, be mindful of any annual fees or transfer fees as these can eat away at all your savings.
Financial Tip #5: Safeguard Your Family with Term Life Insurance
As you may have guessed, we saved the best money-saving tip for last. To put it plainly, Term insurance is a single mom’s best friend.
Mostly, because of its affordability factor. Getting a term life insurance policy is the most affordable way to ensure your children’s future in the case of your untimely demise.
It’s known as “pure insurance” because it has one job—to take care of your family via the death benefit.
This particular type of insurance is a policy that provides coverage for a certain amount of time—usually 10, 20, or 30 years.
Really, most single parents only need coverage while the kids are still living in the house. Hence the name, term life insurance.
After your kids have grown, there’s a good chance you’ll have a bit more jingle-jangle in your pocket. (Especially since you’re being so careful with it now.) So, carrying a policy with a significant insurance payout won’t be necessary at that point.
Although few people want to think about, no one needs life insurance more than parents. So, when you start shopping around for affordable insurance, term life insurance is your best bet.
Take the Next Step
Successfully handling your finances as a single mom is no small feat. But, we can help!
To support you safeguarding your family’s financial security, I’ve created an up-to-date guide for parents who need life insurance here. My guide can help you with your long term life insurance goals, especially with little kids at home!
At CB Acker Associates, we want to help you take care of your family. If you’re ready to find a policy that fits your needs and your budget, we can help!
With access to all the top rated life insurance companies, we work extra hard to get you the best life insurance rates possible. You can even compare rates and benefits from over 40 providers with no obligation to buy here. Plus, it’s fast—under 60 seconds kind of fast.