Being a single mother is the hardest job in the country. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay well. In fact, most single moms are struggling to support their children, especially for those who supplement their income with child support. A recent study completed by the National Women’s Law Center has revealed child support amounts to as much as 45% of a single mother’s income. The same study concludes 41% of single mothers live under the poverty line because of these payments are never made. When critical money is missing, raising your children becomes a true challenge. You need all the help you can get, so keep reading to learn 5 easy tips to save money.
1. Table Expenses
This is the time to get intimately aware of your finances. Even those unusual expenditures, like your children’s haircuts, should be included. Knowing where your money is coming and going in exacting detail can help you realize where you’re going wrong. It can open your eyes to unusual and infrequent spending habits that put you in the red and which part of your budget can be reduced or eliminated entirely.
2. Follow Lists To Resist Temptation
Knowing that your budget is hemorrhaging money can be easy once you sit down to make a budget. Learning from your mistakes and reducing your spending, on the other hand, can be difficult. Small, frivolous expenses are easy to make in the heat of the moment, especially if they make your kids happy. Unfortunately, they add up to a lot of money down the line. Improve your chances of saying no by making lists of the essentials any time you go shopping. Don’t stray from these lists. And if anything shiny catches your (or your children’s) eyes, take the time to sleep on it
. If it’s still something you think the family needs several days after you see it, it might be worth the expense. Otherwise, leave it on the shelf.
3. Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
It may come as a surprise, but you can use your taxes
to help make ends meet. If you haven’t already, start deducting childcare expenses from your file. The childcare tax credit can potentially pay as much as 35% of the cost of keeping your kids in daycare. Don’t forget to claim your children as dependents, as this can reduce your taxable income for a year and result in a larger refund. Depending on your income and the age of your children, there are credits that can save you money come tax time. Check out the IRS website or speak to your accountant to learn more.
4. Get a Line of Credit
When you need to pay for a series of purchases or one large repair, but don’t have enough money, it’s easy to get stressed out. You can’t rely on traditional lenders because of their lengthy application processes or prime credit limitations. In which case, a personal line of credit from a direct lender can help you cover your costs. These lenders include MoneyKey, a company that offers convenient and fast access to cash. A personal line of credit from MoneyKey
usually amounts to $1,000 and has flexible repayment terms that won’t overburden your budget.
5. Investigate Supplemental Income
There are a variety of ways to make some extra cash online that won’t interfere with your current career or with your job as a stay-at-home mom. Certain companies like the National Consumer Panel (NCP), Harris Poll, and Opinion Post have sites that award you online credits or straight up cash for completing consumer surveys. There are also opportunities to become a freelance writer, virtual assistant, or brand ambassador that allows you to work when you have the time.
Though simple, these 5 tips can help you save a lot of money in the New Year. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when creating your budget or looking for a personal line of credit. There are plenty of online resources that can point you in the direction of major savings and responsible financial advice. It’s time to do what you do best as a single mother. Take the reins of your household and create a loving, financially healthy home for your kids.