Updated: Aug 17, 2020
Parenthood is a wonderful journey. However, like anything else in life worth having… It’s far from easy. In an age where the economy seems like a wily and unpredictable creature and no our wages never quite measure up to the cost of living no matter how hard we work, parenthood is a more financially taxing and worrying proposition than ever before. Worse still, it looks as though we’re passing our money worries on to our kids. Money worries make us worse parents. They make us stressed, short tempered, resentful, emotionally volatile and can even make us inferior to the parents of our kids’ peers. We worry about being able to give our kids the things they want that their seemingly infinitely wealthy friends have. When you’re a single parent, these financial worries and insecurities are compounded.
But your parenting journey needn’t be derailed by financial worries. Think of your financial problems as a giant boulder. You may not be able to lift it all in one go, but if you chip away at them a little each and every day, you’ll see it becomes a whole less worrying and unwieldy. Here are just a few tips to help you cut the cost of being a single parent day by day…
Get your kids in on the act
Kids love a challenge, and there’s never a bad time to talk to them frankly about the realities of your household finances. It will keep their expectations realistic and help them see sense on those necessary occasions when you have to say no. They’ll realize that it’s out of financial necessity rather than your desire to deprive them. Get them to help you clip coupons. Instilling a sincere love of finding bargains in your kids will not only help you save money but allow your kids to better manage their finances in their adult years.
Eat more plants and less of everything else
There’s an unfortunate fallacy among parents that cooking healthy nutritious meals is way more expensive than subsisting on heavily processed ready meals. Not only do we owe it to our kids to give them the proper nutrition, we can ensure that they get a plate full of nutritious food for every meal while still helping you save money every day. Simply ensure that your diet consists of mostly (or even entirely) plants and see how much you can save. Not only will you save on food but your healthier diet will also save money on healthcare costs as you’re getting more essential nutrients and phytochemicals per meal.
Needless to say, meal prep and meal planning are essential skills that you’ll need to master if you’re to make this work, and resist the allure of take out, fast food and restaurants.
It takes a little more diligence and a keen eye for bargains, but most households can save a small fortune by buying used when it comes to everything from clothes to furniture and even cell phones and digital devices. Other parents just like you are eager to get rid of stuff that their kids have outgrown and most of it will be good as new at a bargain price. Mastering Craigslist, Freecycle, ThreadUp, and of course good old eBay can ensure that you and your kids can still have nice things at a fraction of the cost of buying new.
Find opportunities for savings every day and you’ll be surprised at how quickly those savings add up.
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