Having children can put a real strain on finances, especially if you are relying on one income. To help you make your income stretch a little further, here are some money planning tips for single parents.
Record your spending
A good place to start is to write down everything you spend, no matter how small the amount. Do this for a couple of weeks and you will soon see where your money is going.
Once you have your record of spending, you can decide where cutbacks can be made. Are you ordering takeaways regularly? Do you spend more than you should on treats for the kids? Could you reduce petrol costs by walking more? Cut back as much as you can on unnecessary spending and you will find it easier to save.
Set a budget
Set a weekly or monthly budget for what you will spend and stick to it. Write down how much you need for your bills, a realistic amount for food and petrol and a little towards clothes and other items. If you come in under budget, you can either save the extra money or use it towards something else you need.
Shop with lists
When you go shopping for food, toiletries, clothes or anything else, make a list. This will help you stick to your budget. Don’t be tempted to add extra items as you go. If they aren’t on your list, you don’t need them.
Plan your meals
Meal planning is a great way of saving money. If you know what ingredients you need each week, you are less likely to waste money on food that wont get used or treats you don't really need. You'll also reduce the cost of eating out, ordering takeaways or having to dash out for extra ingredients.
Pay bills on time
If you have set your budget, then you will leave yourself enough to pay bills on time. This could save you money as you won’t incur late payment fees or extra interest. If you miss a payment, it can be difficult to get back on track so prioritise your bills.
Check where the best deals are for items you need. There are mobile apps that allow you to find the best prices across the main supermarkets and a quick online search can help you find any offers or voucher codes. When buying bigger items, make sure you get the best value for money.
Schedule no-spend weekends
Weekends and school holidays can often lead to overspending when trying to entertain the children. Plan a no-spend weekend every month and stick to it. If you need some inspiration check out our ideas for 50 things you could do on a no-spend weekend.
Check what support you are entitled to
Make sure you understand any support or benefits you could be entitled to. Benefits could include child support, income support, job-seekers allowance, housing benefit, council tax reduction, universal credit. The available benefits and support payments are always changing so keep up to date with what’s on offer.
At Morses Club we want to help you feel more in control of your finances. However, there are times when expenses crop up unexpectedly or you just can’t make your income stretch as far as it needs to.
When this happens, our cash loans could help you get back on track. Morses Club is one of the UK’s leading doorstep lenders. Our helpful loan guides and list of frequently asked questions offer more information to help you decide if this is the best solution for you.
Author: Morses Club