No Child Support? No Problem! 5 Ways to Cut Costs as a Single Parent
Being a single parent is hard for both moms and dads who are providing for everything alone. And making ends meet without child support? Talk about overwhelming! Although it may seem impossible to pay bills every month while being the sole provider for your children, it IS possible! Over this past year, I have learned a few tricks to save extra money every month. Keep reading!
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
First thing's first, you have to change your mindset. If you are angry about lack of child support, switch your mindset to telling yourself that you are a total bad$#* parent for doing this all on your own! There is pride knowing you can take care of yourself and your children without help. I'm not going to lie, providing for the both of us isn't always easy. But sometimes you've just gotta roll with the punches and include a wine budget while you're at it! When you change your mindset, you will be happier and be less likely to impulse buy things to make yourself feel better about your situation.
SHOP AT ALDI
Long gone are the days of grocery shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Target (although I LOVE those stores!). I now mostly shop at Aldi for everyday groceries. I'm able to spend about $50 a week on everything we need to eat the majority of our meals at home. At some locations (outside of PA) you can also buy some amazing wine for $3 a bottle. Talk about a win-win. Also, be sure to check out Pinterest for some really good ideas on how to make cheap meals on a budget.
SAVE MORE THEN YOU SPEND
I know what you're thinking: duh. But really. I didn't know how to budget a year ago. The easiest way for me to budget is to create a Google Sheet and first write down all my monthly bills (rent, childcare, insurance, student loans, etc) and then subtract that amount by my income. Once I know how much I have left over, I then make a budget for things like groceries, gas, and of course - savings!
YARD SALE IT
A few weeks ago, my mom and I spent a Saturday morning going to all the yard sales in the area and found so many great finds! I was able to find a bunch of almost new clothes in sizes 3T-5T for Aimery to hopefully get him through the next couple of years. I also found a TON of gently used toys and books that I'm saving for birthday and Christmas gifts. For under $100, Aimery has enough clothes to get him through the next couple of seasons along with some fun new toys.
FREE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
On weekends or days off work, I try to look up free events and/or activities in my area for kids. Especially in the summertime, I'm able to find something fun for us to do every weekend! Recently we went to a church carnival, summer festivals, and a tractor event! We also love going to splash pads, local parks, and lakes. I hardly ever spend money at these events for kids, and Aimery always has the best time.
No child support? No problem! You are rocking it as a single parent either way! Comment your best tips for saving money below.