A budget is the only way most single moms manage to get through the month without falling behind on the monthly bills. Once income and expenses are finally juggled to total up to a semblance of equality and payment dates negotiated to coincide with payday, the single mom can sit back with a sigh of relief.
For some reason, the budget never seems to work when it comes to the money needed for food, gas and clothing allowances. The food is used up, the needle on the gas tank is near empty, and the money that was supposed to buy three shirts or blouses only covered the price of two.
This frustrating scenario doesn’t mean that there is a problem with the budget. It could just be the way the single mom shops.
Include Treats on the Shopping List
A boring grocery list, filled with items on sale that provide meals for the planned menu until payday is a good tool for sticking to the food budget. Then, a treat that mom or the kids love appears on the end display near the checkout counter, and there are a stack of coupons for the item hanging from the display. It’s been a long time since the family had one of their favorite treats, so you might feel the need to pick up a couple of the treats.
If this happens several times on grocery shopping sojourns, it could add up and use the money the single mom has set aside for bread and milk as it is used up.
Add a treat or two to the shopping list before you leave the house. This way, the price is included in the money you intended to spend. Not only will it prevent the guilt of the impulse buy, it will make you and your family feel special.
Pay at the Pump
If you have to go inside of the gas station or convenience store to pay for you gas or get change, you’ll be met with the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a filled display of snacks and the lottery ticket dispensing machine. If you can’t resist these temptations, you might as well just try to write them into your budget.
If the pump allows you to pay with your bank debit card and doesn’t charge a fee, use it when you fill up and avoid having to go inside altogether. At the end of the month, you may have some extra cash in your wallet.
Write it Down
Every time you make a purchase or donate to the office gift or charity fund, mark it down in a daily log. Most people are surprised at the amount of money they spend each month without realizing it. No matter how carefully you follow your budget in other areas, these small drains on your cash are using up the food and gas money.
For more information please visit www.singlemomfinancialhelp.com/