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Financial Tips For Single Parents

Single parenthood is tough. You’ve got scraped knees to kiss and monsters to catch. That, along with Guardians of the Galaxy parties to plan, deadlines to beat and bills to pay. You deal with all of it, sometimes all in one morning. Welcome to a day in the life of single parents everywhere.

Single Moms and Dads
Infoplease reports that, in the United States, the number of single mothers reached 10 million in 2013. The number was up from the 3.4 million recorded back in 1970. Meanwhile, according to a Pew Research report, the number of single dads in the U.S. has jumped as well.

In 1960, the figures were fewer than 300,000 households, based on a report from the Census Bureau. By 2011, single father households had reached 2.6 million. Looking at the numbers, it’s clear that there are are a lot of single parent families out there.

Money Tips
For single parent families, knowing how to stretch every dollar is important. However, while some parents have the skill down to an art, some still find themselves at a loss. But worry not, you don’t have to be a financial genius to learn how to manage single parenthood. Here are a few of the best money tips to help you manage your household budget more efficiently in the future:

1) Shop with coupons.
Saving doesn’t mean you have to forego looking good and stylish. Shopping with coupons at the right stores can save you a huge amount every month on your clothing budget. Looking for a new top? Do your kids need new shoes? Using a Macys coupon from Ebates helps you shop for fabulous deals for everyone in the family without it burning a hole in your pocket.

2) Buy in bulk.
Buy your groceries in bulk. The more you buy, the more you can save. Just make sure you’re shopping for items that you regularly need and use. Don’t go for bulk-buying when you’re not sure if you’ll use the items. Or find someone who’s willing to split the cost with you. If a friend or relative buys the same items, why not split the cost? That way, you still take advantage of the bulk discount and only take the amount you need. Everyone saves and everybody goes home happy.

3) Cook your own meals.
You hear this often and it’s true: you save a lot when you cook your own meals. A packed lunch can cost you a fraction of what a salad or croissant goes for in that corner coffee shop or deli across the street. You don’t have to whip out gourmet meals every time either. A simple sandwich would do, with a piece of fruit for dessert. It’s not only cost-effective, it also tends to be a healthier option. You can have better control over what you eat and won’t have to worry about unfamiliar ingredients.

4) Don’t forget the happy fund.
Cut corners where you can but don’t forget to leave room for fun. If you can squeeze in that new dress for your little girl or that gaming console for your little boy, do it. Save for the happy fund. If you promised them a trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth,” save on costs by making sure you pack your own food.

5) Honesty is still the best policy.
Talk to your kids. Let them know what the family can and can’t afford. Giving them a realistic view of the family’s finances can go a long way toward preventing temper tantrums if you can’t buy them every toy they set their sights on.

6) Be saving partners.
You can also ask your kids for help by appointing them to be your saving partners. They can start by socking away a penny each day. This will teach them the value of budgeting from an early age. On your end, being saving partners with your kids will encourage and motivate you to save better.

7) Say no.
No matter how much you want to give your children everything they want, you know that’s impossible. So learn how to say no when they ask for something that’s way beyond your budget. That cute new toy set for your little girl’s birthday looks great. But will it stretch your monthly budget too thin? Say no. Or, find a cheaper alternative online. Online shops offer a greater range of products and a ton of exclusive discounts.

8) Know Your Worth.
Most single parents are often too busy about everyone else in the family that they sometimes forget to take care of themselves. Don’t let your happiness get buried under all the responsibilities you have. Value yourself, along with the people in your life. Being happy and fulfilled helps you become a better person—and a better parent.

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Toni is a professional lifestyle blogger living on the sunny Florida Gulf Coast. She has a passion for Disney, Travel, Fashion, Cooking, Tech, Family Fun Ideas, Reviews, Giveaways and loves being able to share that with her readers!
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