Saving may seem easier if you were saving for a new car, or a vacation however when it comes to saving in general it may prove to be more challenging because you may not necessarily feel you are receiving a reward from it. However saving pays off, especially as a single mother. All you need to do is simply spend less than you make each month.
You are going to want to establish a budget. First, make a list of all your monthly income. Next, list all your monthly expenses. This will show you how much money you have coming in each month and how much money you have going out.
Now circle your three largest expenses. For most of us, they usually are rent or mortgage, auto expenses, and food. Sometimes this could mean, selling your house and buying something smaller, or taking the bus opposed to spending more money and maintenance on your car. Your main goal is to get your expenses as minimal as possible even if it means giving up things you thought you could never live without.
People will find that by moving to a cheaper geographical area, an older apartment, and walking rather than driving will immediately free up hundreds of dollars per month. If you were working a second job, the amount of overtime you were putting in before or hours spent at a second job should start to decrease. The money saved from using new alternatives should go towards paying off debt.
Another great money saving tip is to cook and make lunch opposed to hitting the drive through or picking up a pizza for dinner. You can save hundreds of dollars by cooking.
Its easy to cook and can be fun too. Borrow cookbooks from friends or your local library. You'll be quickly amazed at how much there is to choose from, starting with breakfast all the way to dessert. Try to make about five meatless meals each week for dinner, but don't skimp out on the protein. Some good sources of protein are scrambled eggs, peanut butter on crackers or toast, cheese and fruit, yogurt, lentil chili, and bean quesadillas. It's important to eat healthy to stay healthy. Try using tuna, which is inexpensive and tasty. Eat it with bread or toss it on a fresh bed of salad greens and it becomes a quick main course lunch meal. Add some vegetable sticks and juice or water and your lunch is nutritionally complete and inexpensive.
Also, in order to save money on food, it is important to decide what you really need and what you can live without. Such as a latte on the way into work or brand name products. Coupons can be a great source to cut down costs. Cutting coupons can be a time consuming task so as a single working mother you should have allow your children to help if they are old enough to use scissors so you can multitask by spending time with your children and cutting costs.
Clothing is an important necessity however; where you buy it determines the cost. If your children are young you can get great deals at local garage sales, and thrift stores since they are bound to grow out of them in a short period of time. You can also buy furniture and household items here. You can find great deals at discount stores opposed to spending more money for a name brand shirt that is most likely made out of the same fabric. Also if you have other children in your family such as nieces and nephews ask for second hand clothes.
There are easy ways to reach your goals by cutting costs. Whatever that trade off is, whether it be trading in your car for a bus pass or giving up your house for a more cozy older home or apartment, cutting your food bill by cooking instead of getting take out, buying generic brands, and skipping out on treats you don't necessarily need you can save costs and reduce your debt. You can put all this saved money into a savings, pay off debt, or treat yourself and child to something special that you both deserve! Stay motivated and committed and you'll be debt free in no time!
Kathryn Spencer specializes in advising young mums
how to make a budget and has long authored educational and support pieces for women and single
mothers. Kathryn is a contributing author and editor to a variety of
international and domestic web sites, and free newsletters. Kathryn lives in
the southeastern United States with her two children Dylan and Kalie.