Saving money can be a challenge when you’re raising a family on a single income, but you can still find ways to stretch your funds to fit your budget. Start by cutting out any purchases you don’t need to make and saving money you didn’t spend. Then compare your income to what you spend each month so you can plan a budget. If you still want to put aside more money, you may need to find ways to increase your income. With a bit of planning and changes in your lifestyle, you can start saving money for yourself and your family!
Cutting Costs Immediately
1. Get rid of unnecessary purchases or subscriptions you have. Limit the number of impulse purchases you make since you’re spending money that you can save instead. Look for subscriptions you have, such as streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, and ask yourself how often you actually use them. If you only use it once or twice a month, then cancel the service. Only spend your money on items you need and bills you have to pay so you have extra income to set aside.
For example, avoid buying coffee or drinks while you’re out. Instead, bring your own drinks since it’s much cheaper.
It’s okay to make a few small impulse purchases every so often, but don’t let it become a habit.
2. Make a list before you go shopping so you don’t overspend. While you’re at home, write down a list on a piece of paper or on your phone. Look around your home to see what you need so you can add it to your list before you leave. Once you’re at the store, only get the items you wrote on your list so you don’t impulsively buy anything. Cross things off your list once you buy them so you don’t accidentally buy them again.
3. Plan meals in advance so you know what you need from the grocery store. Cooking a meal at home is much cheaper than taking your family out for dinner. Look online or through cookbooks and pick out a few healthy recipes that you want to make for the week. Write down all the ingredients that you need and go grocery shopping for the things you don’t already have. Plan meals for a week in advance so you always know what items you need to buy.
For example, you can make meals like chili, vegetable stir fry, pot roast, or grilled chicken.
4. Check for coupons or discount codes to save money at stores. Look through newspapers, store circulars, and online for coupons that you can use on your purchases. If the coupons are for items that you need, cut them or write down the discount code so you can save money on your purchase. Check for any additional sales that the store may be having and make note of any items you need that are discounted.
Don’t buy items that you don’t need just because you have a coupon for it.
Some coupons and discount codes may only work online or at certain locations.
Check for online services that sign you up for coupons and store rewards since they can help you save more money while you’re shopping.
5. Look at thrift stores for cheaper used items. Rather than shopping for name-brand products, look for cheaper generic brands to save money. Go to secondhand stores or thrift shops to look for cheap clothes, accessories, and other products. On top of selling used items, some thrift stores also sell new items that are much cheaper than other stores. Make sure you only buy the things you need so you don’t overspend.
Tip: You can also donate products to the thrift store that you don’t use anymore since you may be able to get tax deductions.
6. Create fun traditions for holidays and birthdays rather than buying gifts. If you don’t have a lot of extra money to buy a lot of gifts, make holidays and birthdays special by celebrating in different ways. It may be difficult to stop giving gifts, but you can go somewhere special, make homemade cakes and desserts together, or spend a night at home doing your children’s favorite things. Make memories together so you can still have a fun time even if there aren’t gifts involved.
Try saving a little bit of money throughout the year so you have some to spend on gifts around birthdays and holidays.
7. Say no when your children ask for something you can’t afford. If your child asks you to buy something for them, tell them no and explain that you don’t have enough money to. It may be hard for them to understand, but talk to them about how it’s important to save money and that you need to use the money for food and other things. Tell them if they want to get it, that they need to save their own money for it.
Keep in mind what your child says they want since you may be able to save money and get it for them as a gift.