Single moms know that saving money is very important for themselves and for their children. However with all the bills and children’s expenses, saving money can seem to be an impossible task. There are some things that you can do that will lead to savings that will make a big difference in the amount you save. This article will provide some effective ways a single mother can start saving some money.
Make a Strict Budget
One of the most important things you can do is to generate a detailed budget of all your finances. You do this by writing down all your sources of income on a organized chart. Then you need to write down all your expenses on the same chart. You then allocate which source of income will cover each expense, until every expense is covered. Doing this will show you exactly where your money is going. Take any money left over after all your expenses are covered and put that money in a savings account at your bank.
Be sure to be strict to your budget and follow it closely. It is easy to splurge on something you might like but really cannot afford.
Try to Pay Off Debt
Paying down your debt might seem like an impossible task as your spending on bulk of your income on basis necessities. However there are some things that you can do to slowly, but surely lower your debt load.
The easiest thing you can do to start easing your debt load is switch your credit cards to balance transfer credit cards. With these credit cards, you won’t have to pay any interest on the amount you transfer to the new credit card. For example, if you transfer $5000 of debt from your old credit card to the new balance transfer credit card, you will not have to pay any interest on that amount for 6 months to over a year depending on which credit card you choose. You can use the money you are saving on interest payments to further pay down your debt.
Some of the better balance transfer credit cards are the Bank Americard Credit Card and the Chase Slate Credit Card.
Next look for any monthly or annual subscriptions that are charged to your credit card that you don’t even use. Many times people are subscribed to programs that they don’t even use which causes them to accumulate debt on their credit card for nothing.
Set Up Automatic Transfer Payments
A great way to slowly accumulate savings is to set up an automatic transfer plan with your bank. With an automatic transfer, which is done every two weeks, or once a month (depending on the time interval you choose) a specified amount of money will be sent to your savings account from your checking account. without you having to transfer the money yourself. After you do your budget, set some, or all of the leftover amount of money you have after expenses and have that portion be automatically transferred to your savings account during a regular time interval.
For example, if you have $100 left over after your expenses after your 2 week pay period, you can set up an automatic transfer so that every 2 weeks $100 is transferred to your savings account.
This is an effective way to slowly save money and build the balance in your savings account. If you can only afford to transfer $10 bucks it is still worth it as it builds up over time. 10 bucks twice a month would add up to an extra $240 per year.
Know the Fees You are Charged
You will be surprised at how many times you might be paying extra fees for a service you do not use or need. Eliminating some of the fees can go a long away in saving you some money each month. Start by going through you bank account fees, cell phone bills, and credit card statements.
Many times you will be in the wrong bank account plan resulting in you paying more then you should be each month. Cell phone bills usually have a lot of extra fees that you might be paying for, or you could be in a cheaper plan.
Join loyalty Reward Programs
It is a good idea to join as many free loyalty reward programs as you can. Join reward programs at places you visit regularly and you see the your points add up which you can use to save on future purchases. Most grocery stores have some sort of loyalty program, so it would be in your best interests to join your local grocer’s loyalty program.
Use Price Matching Tactics
Some people say price matching could be a waster of time but it definitely isn’t, and can save you good money on your grocery bill. Many of the big name grocery stores now price match their products with competitors prices. If you find a product cheaper at a different store, the store will match that price guaranteed. Many times all you need to do is show a picture of of the product in the flyer and they will easily match the price.
Some great apps that can help you price match and find good deals are as follows:
- RedLaser: This app has a laser where you can scan products to see its prices at various stores
- ShopSavvy: This app also has a laser allowing you to scan barcodes. You can also manually type in the product and see the prices across various retailers.
- BuyVia: This app allows you to scan barcodes, compare prices and find coupons for various stores all in one app.
Make/Plan Meals Ahead of Time
A sure way to save on grocery bills is to make all year meals for the week ahead of time . Set aside a day on the weekend and make all the dinner meals for the week. OnceAMonthMom.com is a very useful site that offers recipes, freezer cooking meals that use fresh ingredients, and pre planned meal ideas
Always Pack Lunches
You can save yourself a lot of money simply by packing your kids’ lunches and packing your own lunch. Getting in the habit of packing lunches on a daily basis will over time save you a good chunk of money. Giving your children lunch money ads up awfully fast, so buying lunch meats and lunch snacks at the grocery store are a lot cheaper and healthier then buying connivence food.
Use Cash Back Credit Cards
Make sure you have a cash back credit card and use it often, especially in the categories where it pays a higher rate of cash back. For example some credit cards offer 5% cash back on revolving categories such as gas purchases, grocery store purchases etc. During the 5% cash back period be sure to use your cash back card every time you buy gas or use groceries. You will accumulate a lot of cash back, it is essentially like getting free money! Just always be sure to make your credit card payments regularly. Some of the better no annual fee cash back credit cards are the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, and the Chase Freedom Card.
Buy Used Clothes
You can save a lot money buying your clothes and your children’s clothes at thrift shops and consignment shops in your area. You would be surprised at how new and stylish the clothes will look. You will be able to purchase clothes for half the price you would normally pay allowing you to save more money. Also, your kids will outgrow clothes so fast, there is no sense in paying big money for clothes that they will probably outgrow in 6 months anyway.
You can also sell clothes that you or your children no longer wear to a consignment shop, and use that money to pay for your children clothes.
Do not underestimate the power of coupons. Using coupons regularly will add up and lead to a good amount of savings on groceries and more. Coupons are just limited to groceries either, now you can find coupon savings on clothes, pet supplies, and electronics.
Coupons are now more plentiful as you can find coupons all over the internet and not just in store flyers. Some popular coupon websites are coupons.com, retailmenot.com, and groupon.com. You can also find online coupons by performing a google search by typing in the store name followed by the coupon or coupons. You can also try searching on the store’s website.
Buy In Bulk
Always buy in bulk when something is on sale. Buying in bulk will mean you will not have to buy the item for a long time, and since you are getting it on sale you will save in the long run. Even buying the simplest items in bulk such as laundry detergent or toilet paper, when they are on sale will make a huge difference in the amount of money you will save over time.