Numerous budgeting plans have been designed to help people manage their income and expenses effectively and to make the most of the money they have available to them.
However, single mothers often face particular challenges that other households may not face.
Such as inconsistent income or childcare expenses, and so the best budgeting plans in the world won’t be any good if they don’t address single mothers’ unique issues.
Here are 9 budgeting plans that every single mother should know about, starting with…
1) Review your expenses
Depending on where you live, the cost of living will vary. For example, if you live in a rural area, the cost of living might be significantly cheaper than if you live in a major city.
Keep these considerations in mind when reviewing your expenses.
You can use this calculator to estimate your monthly living expenses and determine what percentage of your income is required for rent and other bills.
Find creative ways to earn extra income: Even if it’s just a few hundred dollars per month, putting away a little bit each month can add up over time.
2) Make a budget
Making a household budget will help you understand how much money is coming in and how much is going out.
It’s important to create your budget before you start spending money so that you can see if there’s an excess of income, or if you have too many expenses.
Don’t forget to include all fixed costs, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, and car payments. You may also want to include any recurring expenses like groceries or health insurance premiums.
3) Consider your income
If you are a single mother, your income may be irregular and unpredictable. This makes budgeting even more difficult than usual, but there are still plenty of options out there for you.
You can set up automatic payments and deposits to make sure that money is transferred when needed.
You can use your bank’s website to look at different payment schedules and find the one that best suits your needs.
4) Evaluate your debt
If you have credit card debt, there are a few methods that can help you pay it off.
One is the snowball method, which involves paying off the smallest balance first and then gradually adding to it with each payment.
Another technique is called the avalanche method, where you focus on the highest interest rate debts first and work your way down.
Whatever strategy you choose, make sure to set aside time each month for making payments so that your accounts don’t get into an even worse state of debt.
5) Set your priorities
Single mothers are often juggling many responsibilities, from caring for their children to maintaining a home.
With so many demands on their time and finances, it can be hard to know how best to spend what little they have.
One way to simplify this is by making a list of their goals or priorities, such as paying off credit card debt or saving up enough money for a down payment on a house.
Once the list is complete, make sure every dollar you make goes toward achieving these goals
6) Build an emergency fund
In the event of an emergency, a well stocked emergency fund can be a godsend. Use these tips to start building your own.
Start by adding up all of your monthly expenses, including groceries, utilities, transportation costs and childcare.
Now subtract that amount from your current income (including any child support).
7) Invest in your future
Taking control of your finances is important, not just for you but also for your children.
There are so many budgeting plans out there that can help take the pressure off and give you peace of mind that you’re making the best decisions for yourself and your family.
As a single mom with two kids to provide for, my day-to-day needs don’t change much from one week to the next.
And when I’m planning a purchase like a new coat or shoes, I make sure they’ll last me at least three years (especially with all these snow days!).
8) Live below your means
One of the best ways to save money is to live below your means.
This means spending less than you earn, which is especially important if you are living off a single income.
By living below your means, you will be able to set aside funds for emergencies and also have more disposable income that can go towards savings or paying off debt.
A lot of people assume that only high income earners can afford luxuries but by simply changing your lifestyle slightly.
You’ll be surprised at how much more cash you’ll have on hand each month.
If you’re an impulse shopper like me, this tip may not sound too appealing at first but give it a try anyways!
Using cash instead of credit cards or debit cards forces you to limit what you buy and think about what purchases are worth it in the long run.
9) Stick to your plan
Living on a tight budget is difficult, but it’s not impossible. If you follow these 9 Budgeting Plans That Every Single Mother Should Know About, you’ll have a better idea of how to provide for your family while living within your means.
You deserve this and so does your child . Take control of the situation by following these nine steps and know that there is help available if you need it.
Figure out what you make monthly: Income minus expenses equals discretionary income.
Calculate this amount monthly so that you can make wise decisions about where to cut back when necessary.