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Submitted by: Jenna Ekuban
Finances are the Achilles heel of any single parent household. As a single mom you must learn to properly budget all your expenses. To successfully deal with money in a household with children takes considerable skills and energy. But that doesn t mean that it isn t possible.
It is especially tough on moms who have been stay-at-home moms until now. Suddenly you have become the sole provider and even an accountant of sorts.
Well, budgeting isn t difficult. You just need to be really careful and document where the money is coming from and where it is going and in no time you will have it all under control.
Manage your Cash Flow
A budget is simply a plan. It covers all your expenses and money being earned. You can have a monthly or a weekly budget.
The basic purpose of a budget for a single mom is to get in control of your expenses. A single mom budget plan lets you know where to cut down and save up on money.
Keeping track of income is easy. It s the expenses that need your special attention. The best way to add them up is to think of two separate things. First in your single mom budget plan are the fixed expenses. Round up all the utility bills of at least the past 6 months and see how much you spend on electricity, water and telephone bills every month. Then tally up the credit card bills.
Then account for your monthly expense on gas, food and groceries. Items that are variable expenses including clothing and entertainment. These all must be accounted for in your budget. But expenses incurred on all these things can be cut back with a little imagination.
Here, it is important that you have kept receipts and records of everything. Or else you will need to spend a couple of months saving them up before you can start building a successful single mom budget.
Save It Like You Mean It!
Entertainment expenses are the most frivolous of all and should be the first ones to go. Instead of going to the movies with the whole family, rent out a DVD and make it a fun experience with some homemade popcorn. Look for entertainment in unconventional ways. For example, a walk around the corner or to the local park with your kids and your pet is sometimes a very fulfilling experience for families.
For many women, shopping is also a form of entertainment. If this is the case with you, then we aren t suggesting any drastic measures. Just little changes can make a lot of difference. Meal planning on a weekly basis will also save you some money. It takes the everyday guess work out of cooking and lets the whole family be a part of the cooking experience. Instead of expensive meals, buy a cookbook instead and have fun with it! You will be surprised how many low-budget foods you can cook and make them healthy for your children too. Just remember that you don t need to be super rich to live a fulfilled life and stick to your budget.
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