These 7 single mom budgeting strategies will help you through all kinds of months. By Martha Chauke
You’ve had a really long day at work and can’t wait to knock-off, drive home and maybe nap for 30 mins or so before your nanny leaves. Before walking out of the office, your phone beeps. It’s a SMS notification from your bank. It’s pay-day and this means stopping on your way home for house supplies and everything else that needs to be sorted; like your car’s tyre, paying overdue bills, planning your cousin’s baby shower and Christmas shopping. You’ve done a mental budget and once again, you can’t afford everything you need. What now? Download the Remind ME Android App to help you manage your to-do list like a super-mommy.
Try these budgeting tips:
1. Draw up up a budget
Drawing up a budget before spending your money is very important. If you are not used to it, you need to get into the habit. Write down how much you intend to spend and on what, how much your expenses are and this will help you see how much you’ll be left with for saving. Try the iStore App: Goodbudget Budget Planner
When drafting your monthly budget, ensure that you only set aside money for the most important things first. These include: food, accommodation, clothes, transport, bills etc. Eating out and other entertainment activities shouldn’t be your top priority.
3. Get it on special
Plan your weekly or monthly grocery shopping around store specials, and try to buy in bulk. This will help you save money and get the best products at the best prices. Sign-up for reward/loyalty programs and download the store apps to get bargains on-the-go. You’ll love cashback too! Get Top 25 specials from all retailers when you need them, with the iStore App: MySidekick Personal Shopping App
4. Save money for a rainy day
It doesn’t matter how much you save, but save on a monthly basis for rainy days. Anything can go wrong during the month and the only way such times won’t leave you financially frustrated is if you have money you can access without getting into any debt.
5. Don’t be late
Paying your bills on time saves you from getting a higher interest rate or paying penalty fees on late payments. You are already working on a limited budget. You need to prioritise sticking to the expense amounts you already have, instead of increasing them. Use the Remind ME app to set-up payment date reminders.
6. Always take a snack pack for the kids wherever you go
Eating out is costly. To cut costs, pack snacks from home for your child to keep him/her busy and to fill him/her up while waiting for your order. By the time the order comes, he/she is full and ready to go colour or play. Usually, children want to eat off your plate anyways and that’s what you can share if he/she is still hungry after snacking.
7. Go for tax-free
So you managed to piggy bank some of your money for rainy days, but still have a couple of notes left. Why not stash those into a tax-free savings account (yes, they actually exist!) You can even open one on behalf of your child. No initial fees, exit penalties or administration fees. Otherwise, you can opt for fixed deposits, unit trusts, retail savings bonds or exchange traded funds (ETFs.) No matter which one you choose, you’ll be two steps closer to more financial freedom for you and your bundle of joy.
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