Being a parent is expensive. Children need a lot of things, from extra food to clothes and school supplies. While parenting is always a challenging experience, things can be particularly tough for single parents. After all, if you only have one income, then you need to make that money stretch even further for you and your children.
Fortunately for today’s parents in the UK, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of success and keep your cash issues to a minimum. Here, we’ve put together some useful money-saving tips for single parents that anyone can use to make ends meet.
1. Get More Stuff for Free
As a parent, you can access a lot more things for free than you might think. For instance, if you always buy items from a certain company, you could consider signing up for their VIP service, so you’re always the first to know about giveaways and deals. Some brands like Boots even give freebies away to new parents and expectant mothers.
Another option to keep in mind involves joining the local groups in your area on Facebook. Groups can give you access to plenty of free stuff from other families who are giving their unwanted items away to a good home. You might also find useful voucher codes and links to sales in these forums too!
2. Figure Out Where to Cut Down
Cutting all the fun out of your life is never a good idea, but when you have a child as a single parent, you are going to need to make some compromises. For instance, you probably won’t be able to afford to go out for drinks with your friends every Friday night anymore. However, the chances are that you won’t want to do that as often anyway, as you’ll have a child to spend time with and care for.
Whether you’re planning for your first child as a single parent or having a new child, take some time to look at your budget and consider what you’re most comfortable cutting back on. The key is to find ways to reduce your expenses while still getting to experience some of the things you enjoy most. For instance, you might cut back on your gym costs, but keep spending on Netflix subscriptions so you can watch movies with your family.
3. Make Saving a Priority
As a single parent, saving will be an essential practice for you. This doesn’t just mean looking for ways to save money however – it can also mean saving things too. For instance, if you see something in a sale that would be perfect for Christmas, even in January, buy it in advance so you have it in for later. This is a great way to keep costs low and spread your expenses out over time.
When it comes to saving money, remember that little and often is the best method. If you can get into the habit of placing a small portion of your income into a savings account each month, then you’re far more likely to see saving as a natural part of your day-to-day life.
4. Find Extra Help
Single parents in the UK are currently in a better position than many of the other parents around the world. That’s because the government in the UK offers a number of benefits and credit options to people who might struggle to make ends meet on a single wage. The credit advice bureau will help you to figure out what kind of benefits you can access, from Universal Credit, to council tax credits. You’ll also be able to explore things like child maintenance.
The critical thing to remember here is that there’s no shame in getting some extra assistance when you need it. There are plenty of people just like you that rely on help to pay for all of their bills.
5. Always Shop Around
Finally, remember that you should never accept the first price you see for anything. Whether you’re shopping for energy suppliers, broadband or even short term credit, make sure that you compare all of your options online before you agree to anything. Often, companies are hoping that you won’t take the time to do your research before you buy your services from them. Additionally, they also hope that you’ll stick with them year after year, never switching to a better deal.
Checking out your options regularly can help you to save a lot of money on monthly expenses like gas, electricity, and more. And once you’re on top of your debts, you can start to build your savings.