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Single Parent’s Guide to Saving More

by Alice C. Woodhouse
May 27, 2009
Building a home, raising children and being the breadwinner is hard enough as it is, and it's even more challenging when you're doing it alone as a single parent. Single parents bear the brunt of it all and they own up the role of the financial provider. Its tough having to meet the demands of home and work, making sure you have enough for the present but are putting something away for the future.

Parents often have the same goal, which is to be able to give the best there is for their children. Often times there are challenges when it comes to saving, so here are some ways that you can save more money:

Always have an Emergency Fund.

A crisis always comes at the worst possible time. There are single parent-families that fold under the pressure when a hard crisis comes up. Or there are times that we deplete our savings when some surprise repairs, or when something breaks down inside our house. Sometimes we rely on emergency loans, borrow money from other people or are forced to charge the fee on our credit cards, unknowingly putting ourselves in a crunch. What you need is your own personal resource that you can tap into when your dishwasher suddenly breaks, your car needs repairs, or for other unexpected reasons.

You don't have to put a big chunk of your monthly salary aside. You can start small with a $20 set aside per paycheck. You can go higher than that but be warned against anything lower than $20 because you need to build this emergency fund as soon as possible.

Remember that this emergency fund should be stored apart from your checking account, college fund savings, or any other savings account that you have. Save up to $500-$1000 and find a high-yield account with very little bank fees. Put money into that account until it grows to cover at least 3 months worth of living expenses.

Budget is your best friend

It's easy to let money slip by month after month and sometimes it does, without you ever realizing it. You have work, you get paid, and you pay bills and provide for your family with the money you have. This is why it's extremely important to have a budget.

Examine your spending habits by observing and writing down your necessities every month. There are so much that sometimes it gets overwhelming. You need to focus on the things you must pay like car payments, mortgage, setting aside some money for savings, college/retirement funds, paying back debt, child care, food and groceries and utility bills.

Create a realistic budget centered on paying for all those important things above. Budget helps you focus and helps you getting things under control. It's extremely important that you plan ahead.

A Savings Account with a Purpose

Ever wanted to save up to buy some nice couch to replace that old, moldy one you have in the living room? What about to landscape or create a garden? Or to finally have that much-needed vacation? I'm sure you have something you want to save money up for with a specific goal in mind. It's important that when you want something, you actually buy it with your own money not depend on credit cards to bring it to you.

Always ensure that you've built up your Emergency Fund account to at least 3 months worth of living expenses. Once you've completed that, move on to this savings account and put the same amount in every paycheck. This savings account helps you to pay things with cash, and train you to stop depending on credit cards entirely.

Do some research; acquire knowledge by talking to finance professionals. Single parents rely on one income, so it's even harder for them compared to two-income families. With these tips, you can help yourself by making smart choices when it comes to money management.

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Single Parent’s Guide to Saving More




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