If you are a single parent, you may be having a difficult time paying all of your monthly expenses on just one income. While this certainly makes maintaining your finances more difficult, it is still not impossible to get control of your finances and find financial freedom. It does require some extra planning and a commitment on your behalf, but with proper planning, you can take control of your financial situation. Below is a look at several great ways that single parents can save money even on one income.
As a single parent, you may be eligible for help from the government in the form of benefits. These benefits will help cover some of you normal household expenses leaving you with more money to spend on other expenses. There are numerous benefits that you may qualify for, such as Rent Assistance, Childcare Benefit, Childcare Rebate, Family Tax Benefit, Single Income Family Support and Parenting Payment. You should contact your local Centrelink office to complete an application, or complete one online and discover what benefits you are eligible for.
Both parents are financially responsible for the care of their children, whether they are living in the home or not. If you are not currently receiving child support, you should take the time to apply for these payments. This may help to bring much needed income into your home and make it easier to budget your money.
Partner with Other Single Parents
A great way for single parents to save money is to join together. You can provide babysitting services for each other, so neither parent has to pay for childcare when they want to go out for the evening. You can also save money by planning to do things together, such as picnics, trips, and birthday parties, if possible. This will help you split these costs and make it more affordable. You can also shop for bulk items together to receive the special discounted price, while cutting the costs in half.
Shop for Less
There are numerous ways that single parents can save money while shopping. You should check out the local thrift stores in your area for clothing for both yourself and your children. You can also shop at yard sales for great savings on everything from clothing to household goods and from toys to furniture. Also, you should consider going to the local food banks in your area. They provide food on a regular basis to reduce the amount of food you will need to purchase during the month.
Most local areas offer a variety of free events held throughout the year. Be sure to check out your local newspaper on a regular basis for a listing of these free events. Also, be sure to utilize your local library. Not only does the library offer free books for reading, but many of them also offer free music and movies to take out on loan. This can save you money and give provide a variety of things for you and your children to do together.
Matching Savings Accounts
Creating a savings account is vital to building financial security. This may not be easy for a single-parent, since funds are already limited. The government offers matching savings accounts where they will match everything you are able to save up to a set amount. Here are the top two types of matching savings accounts.
- AddsUp Account. This savings account is designed as a way for low-income earners to save money faster. After you have deposited a total of $300 into your savings account, you will receive matching funds up to $500.
- Saver Plus Account. The Saver Plus program is also for low-income earners. You will develop a savings plan and once you make regular payments for ten consecutive months, your savings will be matched up to $500.
These great tips can help you, as a single parent, save more money each month. This will provide more money to pay all of your monthly bills as necessary. In addition, you will be able to put some money aside regularly into a savings account. This can work as a safety net to provide additional funds in case you ever face an emergency situati