For Sarah Roe, saving money has become a way of life. As a money-saving single mom, she shares a few tips about how she manages her expenses with a frugal budget on her popular blog MoneySavingQueen.com– it includes simple solutions like freezing extra food, lowering your bills or educating your kids about money. Something most, if not all of us, can do!
With Christmas round the corner, the fact that household budgets skyrocket in December is no secret. The pinch on the pocket is felt harder by single moms who have to save to spend on ‘extras’ during the holidays- new clothes, gifts and decorations jostle for space along with priorities like rent, gas and groceries.A few spare dollars always come in handy for last-minute holiday purchases.
Need inspiration for smart saving? Here are 7 ways how you can be a money-saving mom.
1. Get creative
Who said saving money is boring? Be an innovative money saver by recycling old ink cartridges like Sarah did. The $20 she earned from trading in the old cartridges using Staples reward program she put into purchasing paper products for her home, she explains on her blog. Recycling is not only good for the environment, but it can also earn you money!
2. Cut all the coupons you can
Coupons are available for buying anything if you look, find and organize them, says Crystal Paine’s book ‘The Money Saving Mom’s Budget’.Her blog, Money Saving Mom, also has an entire section on coupons you can just print off and use, saving money on loads of purchases at stores like Target and CVS.
3. Check out discounts
You can get discounts not only at restaurants, department stores or your beauty salon, but even while buying insurance. For example, AARP Insurance offers discounts for single moms above 50 when you bundle your home and auto insurance or if your car has air bags fitted in. Check with your insurer to determine if you are eligible for any discounts.
4. Pay bills by cash
Going plastic-free, at least for a little while, will help you control the cash you spend- another money saving tip that Crystal gives in her book. It also helps you to be careful about spending too much money that can lead to rising debts. Use a credit card only for emergencies or major expenses as does Ingrid Turner, a single mom from LA in MSN’s budgeting strategies for single parents.
5. Involve your kids
Educating your kids about the importance of saving from a young age will help infuse the value of money in them while making them earn stuff for themselves. In an MSN report, Natalie Wearstler explains how earning your own money is important as she writes about money lessons she learnt from her single mom. Give your kids a small allowance or ask the older ones to help out with the finances while giving them a 101 in saving money.
6. Make yourself DIY ready
Be prepared to play the role of Doctor Fix-it when it comes to the repairs in your home, says a Yahoo blog. Repairing things yourself will save you the costs of hiring a handyman to do a few odd jobs that are easy to do. Also check out blogs like Pretty Handy Girl and The Family Handyman to read and learn about how you can pick up some simple DIY skills.
7. Network with other moms
Getting in touch with other single moms in your area can help you share the load to a great extent- be it babysitting, carpooling or even house sharing. Social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter are also great ways of meeting those with shared experiences or even building a support system for single moms.
Saving money need not be about starving yourself, heavy skimping or cutting corners. It’s about understanding what you can do with the little you have and doing it well. Managing as a single mom is no easy task, but it’s not impossible and you can have fun, says Sarah Roe. It might seem daunting, but it’s doable, says Ingrid Turner. Got any more money-saving tips for single moms? Share them with us.
About The Author
Elvis Donnelly is a father of two who works from home and lives with his wife. He is a voracious reader and likes to keep abreast of current affairs on personal finance, technology and innovation, and takes a keen interest in environmental issues. In his spare time, he loves taking on home improvement projects and considers himself a closet chef.