In the months and years following a divorce, it can be challenging for each single parent to piece their lives back together, especially from a financial standpoint. Learning how to balance a budget when you only have one source of income is difficult, but it can be done with just a few helpful tips. Read on to learn more.
1. Spend Less On Groceries
This may come as a surprise to many, but store brand items are typically just as good as the name brands and usually come at a fraction of the cost. If store brands don't appeal to you, then perhaps it's time to take up couponing as a hobby. You can find hundreds of coupons for most brands online.
2. Get A Smaller Place
Since it will be just you and your children (depending on your custody agreement), the time has come for you to downsize. You can save money by finding a smaller price or you can find a place of similar size in a different neighborhood. By getting a smaller price, you can also lower your monthly utility costs.
3. Find a Roommate
Most of us loathe the idea of living with a roommate, especially as we get older. If you can find someone that you can trust to be around your children, not only are you able to cut your monthly costs in half, but you also have a built in babysitter available to you in emergencies.
There will be times when you need to find a babysitter on a moment's notice, as you cannot ignore work obligations. So develop a network of people that you can rely on. You would be surprised at the sheer number of family members and friends that will be sympathetic to your plight and be more than happy to help.
5. Ask For Different Gifts
Gone are the days of asking for that new pair of shoes or that new sweater for the holidays. A single parent can cost their costs by asking friends and family to give them the gift of child activities. Whether your child prefers the aquarium, zoo or museum, asking for these gifts cuts down on spending.
6. Find A Second Hustle
The more income streams you have coming in, the better your chances of keeping your head above water. Diversify your portfolio by looking for ways to monetize your passions. Or perhaps you can find a second part time job on nights and weekends that your children are with their other parent.
7. Don't Fear Government Benefits
No one is suggesting that you apply for welfare or quit your job. But there are a wide variety of government programs that are geared towards helping the single parent get through the hard times. Take a moment to call 211 and learn more about what programs are available in your region.
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