A Basic Guide to Finance for Single Parent Families
Although the figures have improved a lot in recent years, the Spanish economy is still not ready to shoot rockets . The clearest proof is that many families still struggle to make ends meet . This situation is especially complicated when we talk about finances of single-parent families with only one income.
If it is already difficult to manage a domestic economy in which two adults work and generate income, this task becomes a challenge when it is a single person who carries the responsibility of bringing money home.
Sometimes, it is a misfortune of life that makes a family single parent; others, it is a personal and premeditated decision. Whatever the reason, it must be recognized that making ends meet with a single salary is not easy at all .
Here are some tips that will help you put your household in order if your family is single parent.
Eight Basic Finance Tips for Single Parent Families
1. Make a budget, the first single parent finance tip.
The first step for any family, single parent or not, who wants to control their personal finances is to budget . This will allow you to know exactly what your expenses are and will help you make the necessary adjustments to reduce them.
The budget must be annual . In this way, you will have a global vision of the inflows and outflows of money throughout the year. In addition, it will help you to anticipate extraordinary expenses , such as car insurance, the children’s return to school, Christmas … If you have these expenses in mind, it will be easier for you to face them.
2. Live within your means.
You have to do an exercise in honesty with yourself about what you can and cannot spend. Logically, if you only have one source of income, you will not be able to follow the same “train of life” as families with two. It is simply impossible and you will not get the numbers.
For example, you cannot go into debt to buy a new car that costs 15,000 dollars if in reality you can only afford a second-hand one that costs half. You must learn to live within your means and to differentiate between needs and wants.
3. Adjust your budget, one of the best finance tips for single-parent families.
Your budget will be war or it will not. If you want to avoid financial problems and save yourself bad nights without being able to fall asleep, the easiest way to live within your means is to reduce your expenses to a minimum.
Some of them, such as the supermarket, the electricity bill or the rent, have little room for adjustment. They are more or less fixed expenses that you have to learn to optimize, but that you cannot completely eliminate.
Where you do have to put the scissors unceremoniously is in superficial expenses : Netflix , subscription to pay TV, gym fees … Instead, you should look for alternative and free forms of leisure or sports.
4. Reduce your exposure to debt.
Debt can turn the finances of a single-parent family into an unsolvable drag. If a significant percentage of your only source of income goes to paying debts , how will you meet the rest of your monthly expenses?
These types of families must minimize their exposure to credit. Rule number one is not to increase your current debt . For this, you should avoid personal loans, credit card payments, 0% financing … Bringing money from the future cannot be an option.
Rule number two is to reduce, as much as possible , the debt you already have . If you have the opportunity to pay off a loan or credit card little by little, do so. This will allow you to have more money to cover your other expenses and will help you live a little more peacefully. Of course, do not run out of savings. It is one of the best tips we can give to improve the finances of single-parent families.
5. Earn additional income, a good way to improve finances for single-parent families.
After cutting expenses and reducing your exposure to debt, you may still have trouble making ends meet. In this case, you must find formulas to get some extra money.
The easiest way is to put in some overtime at your job . If this is not possible, you can look for an alternative income, side job in the Anglo-Saxon world. For example, giving private lessons, babysitting, creating web pages, starting your own business from home…
There are always options. You just have to find out what “it” is that you do better than anyone else and that many people need.
6. Become self-reliant.
Why pay someone to do a certain task if with a little practice and some YouTube videos you could do it yourself? Believe it or not, you can save a lot of money a year by adopting the do it yourself philosophy of life.
Some ways to work toward becoming more self-reliant include growing your own food in a home garden , repairing ripped clothes, making your own homemade baby food recipes, or doing your vehicle maintenance yourself. Without a doubt, this advice is a good way to improve finances in single-parent families.
7. Be minimalist, a good option to improve finances in single-parent families.
Minimalism is a discipline that will not only make your home a clearer and cleaner place, but will also make you feel a better person, help you suffer less stress and save you money in your day-to-day life.
What it is about is learning to live with less , to be more frugal and to know how to differentiate between need and desire. If you succeed, you will end up buying less and less things and less frequently and, as a result, you will save a lot of money
8. Sacrifice yourself.
Unfortunately, the above tips can be summed up in just one: if you want to spend less, or earn more, you will have no choice but to sacrifice.When your friends want to go to the movies, you will have to say no . Instead of dining at a restaurant, you will do it at home. And when you want to renew part of your wardrobe, you will think twice.
Your salary cannot be stretched as far as you would like and you will have to make a great effort to contain your expenses . But be careful, because this does not mean that your quality of life has to be reduced. We tend to believe that you have to spend money to be happy, but this is not the case.
Today there are countless activities that do not involve spending money and that allow you to enjoy your free time. Do not hesitate to discover them. You are sure to be pleasantly surprised.