It is important to know how much you’re spending, and where. Simple cost cutting techniques can become a lifeline to more money- cutting coupons, driving the extra mile to a grocery store you know has better deals, comparing prices before you shop. Many large companies give away samples or trials of their products completely free. But remember to keep track.
First, write out a list of all your monthly expenses. Don’t forget to include those necessities that don’t come to you each month in a paper envelope, like gas and groceries. Include due dates for bills if you have them. Go through past expenses or view your past bank account statements to get a rough estimate of how much you have been spending on the things you need to get by, and the things that you really didn’t need. Pay close attention to see what you can cut out of your expenses like eating out at restaurants, and especially fast food businesses. If it is easier, just do the current month first. This will help you plan out finances for future months.
Figure in the dates that you get paid, and how much. Include child support if you receive it or any alimony. Some even like to include a list of their assets and how much they are worth, just in case they need to use them. This should be done separately, though. Subtract to see if you have anything left over and put that money in a separate account that you don’t have easy access to use, such as with a debit card or if there is a nearby withdrawal location. You will need this in case of an emergency or if you come up short. If you do not have anything left over, you now know in advance that you need to do a little something extra to make your finances budget out. For single moms, financial budgeting can significantly help reduce the stress of money by letting them know ahead of time how all of their expenses are going to play out. The financial budget can let you know if you need to pick up side work or ask around to see if anyone needs additional help. If you come up too short, consider getting a second job; something very common in the current economy, but understandably harder for single moms who don’t want to miss out on seeing their children grow.
Don’t forget that you have resources, and you are not alone. There were nearly ten million single mothers living in America in 2004. Many single moms do not have the option of leaving their children with close family or relatives, and many simply do not trust to leave their child with individuals or sometimes even daycares. The rates of a nice daycare can accrue to be more than one month in rent. Check your local government agencies for financial help for single moms to see if discounted child care is offered and if you qualify. See if any assistance can be offered regarding your groceries, lowered rent, or utilities.
Aside from governmental agencies, it is important to work with your providers. Electric and water companies sometimes offer discounted rates if you meet a certain income. It is important for single mother’s who are coming up short on bills to not become too overwhelmed and stressed about finances, and to instead reach out to their communities for support and information.
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