When it comes to being a single parent, handling finances can be very challenging. Consulting with Northcash about how to handle your loans and manage your finances. But then what are the best steps that you could use to reduce your expenses and save more money. The following tips and tricks will help you in making sure you have a money saving year.
- Balancing your checkbook
A simple step but often overlooked, but many people. Make it a monthly habit of balancing your checkbook as it is a reliable way of keeping track of your daily and monthly expenses.
- Having a functional monthly expense Budget
One of the most reliable ways of handling your expenses is having a monthly spending budget. The budget will act as a guideline for your expenses like food, transportation, childcare, school etc. You can make use of budget worksheets and budget calculator to monitor and guide your expenses.
- Making timely payment of your bills
Make it a habit of making timely payments on all your bills. This will avoid you from incurring fees. The best way to go about this is to have an automatic payment schedule. Such arrangement can be made through your bank or credit card provider.
- Familiarizing yourself with all the fees you are being charged
After every month make sure you get a financial report from your credit card, bank, and even mobile phone statements. If you notice any hidden fees, you need to ask the provider for clarification. Knowing all the charges that you incur from each service provider, will help you to prevent any hidden fees and hence save money. Some of the common fees: interest fees, branch fees, late fees, ATM fees etc. Also, you can look for service providers who have minimal fees or no service charge fees.
- Comparing Prices Online
Avoid making immediate purchases, instead, you should window shop from different sellers, so as to get the best price online. As you compare prices online, look for discounts and coupons that will be able to help you save a few more bucks.
- Buying Used Products
You can save a lot of money when you avoid buying new items. Garage sales and thrift stores are one of the simplest ways of saving money. Look for a contingent shop that sells what you like and prefer. The other side of buying second items is also selling second-hand items that you don’t use. Your clothing budget can be greatly reduced with this trick.
- Going Without
Most of us tend to say NO to our children when they want something, but then it’s also good to implement the same principle to ourselves when it comes to shopping. Focus more on your basic needs, and forego the luxuries.
- Having your cash to be automatically sent to your personal savings account
Since most of us find it hard to save, it’s best to have your bank send money directly to your savings account. It’s also recommended that your savings are kept in the money market account and has check writing privileges. This will make the money to be accessible to you in case of an emergency.
- Enrolling in Savings groups or clubs
Find if your local grocery stores have complimentary savings clubs for its customers. The bonus of enrolling in such clubs is that you have an opportunity to plan your monthly grocery shopping and also have an opportunity to enjoy different discounts and offers.
- Planning Your Meals
When it comes to proper meals and savings, many people fail to find the connection between these two and end up spending a lot of money on food. First, you need to plan ahead on what you will be eating as this will reduce the amount of money you spend on your groceries. Come up with a menu that you must adhere to and also avoid eating out as much as possible. You can use an online calendar to come up with your meal menu.
- Doubling and Freezing
If you have a favorite menu or recipe, you can double it. This will reduce your cooking expenses. Also, when you have extra food, don’t throw it away instead you should freeze it. Embrace the cook once and eat twice mechanism. This mechanism will motivate you in buying large quantities of food. This means you will need to invest in reliable and high-quality freezable dishes.
- Packed Lunches & Snacks
Have you ever thought how much you can save in a month if you decide to carry packed lunch or snacks to work or when going for an outdoor event as a family? Teach your kids at an early age the importance of packing their lunches. Juice boxes and hearty snacks can also help in reducing money spent on eating out.