Just reading this title may make you scoff, after all how many single moms are spending so much money that they can turn around and save $1000 in a month?
Following small and doable saving tips can help moms in long run, first they sound bit annoying but this old adage is always true “penny saved is a penny earned.”
I’ve decided to tackle this topic by looking at ways you can cut back on what you spend on certain items, with the understanding that you will probably simply apply those “savings” to other bills and necessities.
I’m pretty sure there’s no single mom out there who can put back $1000 a month in savings, so let’s just keep this real right?
1. Call your internet service provider and find out if you can reduce your bill in any way. While in many cases the internet is not a necessity it will make some of the following money saving ideas possible, so get the lowest rate you can on high speed internet. Many providers will lock you in to a low rate for a year then you can call back and see what sort of deals or offers they have.When I call in I usually get them to drop it at least $10. I used to pay almost $60 per month and now for the same service I’m down to $39. I have had it as low as $19.
2. Get rid of cable or satellite television. Yes, I know the kids need to watch cartoons and educational programs and you need some form of entertainment; after all you can’t just go to the movies every week. BUT, there are several options that make it affordable for you and the kids to watch what you want to without paying a cable or satellite company for channels you never watch. With Hulu Plus and Netflix you and the kids can watch just about any show or movie you want for less than $20 a month. If your cable or satellite provider is like the one we used to have the channels you really want to watch aren’t on the basic program, you have had to pay at least $50 a month, plus extra if you have more than one television and unit rental for each one. By the time it was all said and done a $49 a month plan was costing closer to $70.
3. Get a Magic Jack and give up your home phone service. Most home phone services cost a minimum of $50 a month plus any features like caller ID or call waiting easily making your bill around $75. Magic Jack is around $30 for a YEAR and you get call, waiting, caller ID, voicemail and free long distance. There is no bad side to Magic Jack service. We have had it for going on 5 years now and that yearly rate is much better than struggling to come up with $75 each month.
4. Shop for bulk items. Paper towels, toilet paper, soap, shampoo and other items that won’t go bad are usually priced much better when you buy them in bulk. You can do this at big lot stores and online.
5. Limit your driving. Gas is expensive. If at all possible do any errands and running around while you are already out. If you are on your way home from work and know that you have to go to the grocery store, stop before you go home. Going home then back out for groceries and then back home then out to pick up a kid from practice is just more trips than necessary. If you have to wait for a practice to be over don’t waste a trip back home. Keep a book in your car and sit and relax for a bit. Less gas, less running and less hectic activity for you.
6. Visit thrift shops and eBay for clothing and household items. You can get brand name clothing for a fraction of the cost.
7. Get crafty. Make your own laundry soap, dish detergent and cleaning products using low cost ingredients. Many times you can get the ingredients to make several months worth of products for less than what you’d spend at the store purchasing one bottle of each type of cleaner you want.
8. Start a vegetable garden. Save the money you would spend on fresh vegetables by growing your own. Many of these items can be canned or frozen to use year round.
9. Skip brand name products and use store brands. There are some things you just don’t want to compromise on but many store brand items are just as good or better.
10. Consider switching to a prepaid cell phone plan. What you pay per month for a smart phone plan with talk, text and data is probably around $100 a month on a plan. You can get the same thing with a little less data for $45. Use your computer for internet instead of your phone and that won’t be a problem.
11. Teach your kids to manage water and electricity usage. Turn off lights, keep showers short and don’t wash laundry or run the dishwasher until you have a full load. Hang clothing to dry whenever possible.
12. Kool-Aid drink mix can be a ridiculous expense. Did you know that the containers with sugar included are actually about 3 times the price what you pay for the powder packets of “flavor-aid” and sugar? Sure it’s convenient but if saving money is important then you’ll make the sacrifice.
13. Do your own manicures and pedicures alone or with a friend.
14. Hair cut and coloring can also be done yourself or with help from a friend.
15. Pay all bills possible online to save on the expense of paper checks and postage.
16. If you smoke you know it’s a nasty and expensive habit but you can save money by quitting or rolling your own. You can get a handy manual machine, a carton of filtered tubes and a bag of tobacco for what you pay for 4 packs of cigarettes.
17. Use the library or free online books rather than purchasing books for entertainment.
18. Set your thermostat a little warm in the summer and a little cool in the winter to keep heating and air from costing too much. An average temperature of 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer is doable.
19. Use newspapers for cleaning instead of paper towels, or wash and use microfiber towels.
20. Pay off credit cards as quickly as possible to get rid of high interest accounts.
21. Take steps to insulate your home and cut down on energy usage. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and can save you a great deal whether it is hot or cold outside.
Saving money may seem nearly impossible for a single mom, but at least you can cut down on your expenses and apply the savings somewhere else to help reduce your financial stress.
For more information please visit www.singlemomfinancialhelp.com/