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    Financial Survival for Single Parents

    By KConnections     

    Raising children in today's world is expensive. Even the most basic needs are very costly. Factor in the fact that throughout the years there will be many items that children want and you could find yourself in debt rather quickly. It can be a struggle to make ends meet with two parents working, and it is even more difficult for single parents.

    As a single parent, you need to be a careful spender and to keep at the very least a basic budget for your household. Being responsible about finances will help you to meet your family's needs and hopefully still have money left over for some extras from time to time. Begin by watching how much you buy as well as what you buy.

    Most products on the market have a generic brand that is equal in quality to the brand names. From time to time you may find a particular item that just is not of as high of a quality as the brand name. In those instances, it is ok to buy the brand name item if this is something you can afford. However, whenever possible select the generic brand. Teach your children from day one that is important to be careful spenders and that sometimes this means it is necessary to steer clear of brand name items.

    Be thrifty when you go shopping whether it is for groceries, household goods or clothing. Do not be afraid to click coupons. This can help you save several dollars on your shopping trips. Carefully scan the circulars and watch the stores for the best sales. You can really get good deals on merchandise if you watch and wait for sales. In fact, shopping the sales often presents you with an opportunity to buy some brand name items at more affordable prices.

    As a single parent, you may not have the time or money to take your children out as often as you would like. However, this does not mean you can never be financially savvy while still having a fun afternoon out with the kids. If you want to go out for pizza for example, watch for special deals. Family restaurants often put out coupons and special family meal deals. Keep your eye out for these special offers. Another way to have fun with the children without spending a lot of money is to take day trips. You can plan several day trips throughout the year and spend far less money than if you would go on a family vacation.

    Careful budgeting can also help you survive the financial challenges of single parenting. Utilize a budget to help your family manage money. Include in your budget all your bills each month and other expenses of necessity. Only after you include in your budget the money you absolutely need to spend each month, should you include money for some extras.

    When working on a budget, look for ways that you could cut down on your monthly expenses. Are you spending too much money in gas? Perhaps you could join a car pool or better plan your trips to town so that you can be more fuel economical. Does your cell phone cost too much money? Perhaps you can cut down on your cell phone use and switch to a cheaper calling plan. Are you paying for items you could live without? Perhaps you could use a more economical cable TV package for instance. There are many areas where you could possibly cut back on spending without giving up anything too important.

    Remember to include some money for saving into your budget. Even if you cannot save a lot each month, every dollar helps. Your savings account can help to you have some security if an unforeseen expense would arise. In addition, you may want to begin saving for your children's college funds. Even if they are still young, starting early will help you to have a nice amount of savings for the future.

    Being a single parent brings about some financial obstacles. You can work with your income and make money stretch farther than you ever imagined through responsible spending and planning.

    Written by KConnectionsRate this article:

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