Just over 30 percent of South African children live in two-parent households. About 4 percent are raised by single fathers while a whopping 39 percent are raised by single mothers.
That’s a lot of single parents, right?
If you’re one of them, you know how difficult raising a child on your own is. The financial strain can be physically and emotionally draining.
But budgeting properly can help alleviate some of the pressure.
Where, though, do you begin when budgeting for single parenthood?
Let’s find out how to budget and save money as the head of a single-parent household.
Stop Paying Your Bills Late
As a single parent, sometimes you don’t have money to spend on the necessities. So clothing, food, utilities, and bills might not always fit into your budget.
But here’s the truth:
You should always budget to pay your bills.
If you and your children have nothing else, at least you’ll have shelter. Further still, paying your bills on time saves you money because you don’t get charged late fees.
Thrift Household Items
There are many benefits to purchasing new furniture, decor, and clothing. You know you’re getting quality items that won’t fall apart on you.
You, however, don’t have that luxury.
Buying brand new items is only going to limit the amount of money you have to spend on your bills, utilities, and food.
That said, find some local thrift shops and regularly use them.
Say “No” Sometimes
Many single parents feel shame about their predicaments. They want to provide for their children but often don’t have the means to do so.
Some single parents even become depressed. Single mothers, for instance, are much more likely to experience depression than other parents. They’re plagued by mental health problems and often feel isolated.
Which leads us to our next point:
It’s okay to say “no” to your children if you can’t afford what they’re asking for.
You haven’t failed as a parent just because you can’t buy your children new toys or clothes every month. You’d presumably give them everything they wanted if you could. But you don’t have the money.
If you want to treat your children every now and then, budget for that treat as well. You could set aside a certain amount each week and use the money when the time comes.
Create a Spending Plan and Stick to It
One of the toughest things about budgeting is creating a spending plan and sticking to it. This is especially true when you can’t afford the bare necessities but still want to entertain your children.
Start putting a spending plan together by sitting down and figuring out your expenses. Plan to set aside what you need each month and go from there.
Ask yourself important questions such as:
- How much can I afford to spend on leisure each month?
- How much can I save each month?
- How will my expenses change over time?
Want More Tips on How to Budget and Save Money?
If you’re looking for more tips on how to budget and save money, please take a look around our blog. We provide tips for anyone who needs financial advice.
We also offer loans to South Africans who need financial assistance. Just fill out an instant loan application and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.