8 WAYS TO MAKE A SINGLE-PARENT INCOME STRETCH FURTHER
1 WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. If you’re not earning enough, look for a better-paying job or start a side hustle to generate some extra cash. If you are owed child support, make sure you receive it, and enlist the help of the court if necessary.
2 CREATE A SPENDING PLAN. Don’t forget to include expenses such as outings for the children (but actively look for freebies that are fun), and include basic expenses such as school books and tuition.
3 ASK FOR HELP. If money is tight, see whether your children’s school can offer a discount on fees, or reach out to family or church members who can perhaps assist you in other ways.
4 DON’T NEGLECT SAVINGS. Set up an emergency fund, starting small and building it up slowly. Also put money aside for longer-term goals such as retirement, and make savings automatic by setting up a debit order.
5 BANISH DEBT. It’s a luxury you can’t afford on a single income, so work at reducing it to zero. If you have healthy emergency savings, there should be no need to go into debt.
6 CHECK ALL THE BOXES. Make sure that you have sufficient life cover, disability and severe illness cover so your children will be taken care of no matter what happens. Also make sure you have an up-to-date will and appoint guardians for your minor children.
7 USE FREE LOYALTY POINTS. Let them build up over time so you can use them at special occasions such as birthdays or Christmas.
8 KEEP IT REAL WITH YOUR KIDS. Be completely honest with them, and use it as an opportunity to build sound money values. If they’re old enough, show them the budget and, if you decide as a family on a big goal such as a holiday, discuss how you will save up for it.