Check your entitlements
Life with kids is challenging enough without having to worry about money.
For single parents, financial strains can often be harder as they have young dependants reliant on them for housing, feeding, clothing and everything else in life — often on a shoestring budget.
So, if you’re a single parent, what can you be doing to help save valuable pennies each month?
No one really wants to be in a situation where they need to claim benefits, but essentially that’s why they are there — to help people in need. The UK boasts a world-renowned benefits system designed to keep us all afloat until we can swim for ourselves again.
It’s worth having a look online to see if you’re eligible for any financial support. You could just find the extra boost you need.
Be proactive with debt
There’s no point sweeping debt problems under the carpet. They’re not going away, and any temporary relief you feel will quickly wash away when next month’s bill comes through with even more interest added. With that in mind, if you’re carrying debts, do something about them. The quicker you can resolve them, the better your life will be.
The key is finding and sticking to a strategy that works for you. ‘Debt avalanche’ and ‘debt snowball’ methods are two ideologies that may help motivate you to steadily chip away at your debt until it’s all gone.
A concerning number of young adults are not prepared for their financial future, in fact half of twenty-somethings have no savings whatsoever. Looking after kids involves a lot of day-to-day expenditure, which means you may well find yourself in this bracket.
Now, you might say you simply don’t have the funds to start saving, but often it can come down to better financial organisation rather than having more money. Automating your finances to immediately redistribute income from your current account to a savings account every month will go a long way to starting you off. After all, you can’t spend money if it’s not there to spend.
Even a few pounds each month will set a good precedent for better saving habits in the future.
Looking after children takes a great deal of organisation, and often good planning can take the sting out of the pressures of being a parent. Considered financial planning will go a long way to helping your monthly situation, as well as lowering your stress levels at the same time.
Creating a proper budget, where you take stock of your spending and look at areas to cut back on, is a great start. Structuring some of the day-to-day stuff, like meal planning, will help you stick to your budget and likely save you a bit of time to boot.
Getting into a routine of planning out the week ahead and shaping your spending around a good budget is a very useful skill, which will save you hundreds, possibly thousands, over the year.
This is a commissioned post