These days, it can be hard to survive with two people working in the household. If you are a single mother, making ends meet can be even more difficult. Stretching the budget and keeping your finances thin are probably already part of your daily life. Fortunately, there are many ways you can keep yourself afloat financially as a single mother.
Create a Budget
Regardless of whether you have one or two incomes, one of the keys to achieving financial stability is to create a budget. You will need to list your current income along with all your regular expenses. If you get child support or alimony, then you will also need to include this in your budget.
When creating your budget, you should always find ways to trim your expenses. For example, if you have a membership that you are not using, then you may want to consider getting rid of it. You can also cook meals at home instead of eating out on the weekends. Making simple adjustments in your lifestyle can help you save hundreds of dollars per month.
Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
There are certain tax breaks you may be eligible for. For example, if you make less than $75,000 per year, then you can get one tax credit for every dependent child that you have. The maximum tax credit is $1,000 per child.
If you make less than $38,646, then you can get an Earned Income Tax Credit. This is a credit that is for low-income individuals. Additionally, you may be able to get tax credits if you have children who are in college. You may also be able to deduct fees and tuition from your taxes.
Earn a Degree
If you have always wanted to further your education, then now is the perfect time to do it. Earning a degree can help you get a better job and make more money. This will make it easier for you to become financially independent. Select a degree program that fits your lifestyle, needs, and personality.
You may want to consider getting an online degree. There are many benefits that you can reap from going to school online, such as the ability to study at your own convenience. Going to school online is also a lot cheaper on average.
Make Extra Money
If you extra time on the weekends, then you should find a way to make some extra money. There are several things you can do to bring in a little extra cash. You can babysit children. You can also get a part-time job at a restaurant or a store. You could also tutor kids in your neighborhood while helping your own children with their homework.
Start an Emergency Account
It will be a lot easier to prepare for life's unexpected events if you have an emergency account. If you do not currently have a savings account, then you should start one as soon as possible. Try to deposit at least 5 to 10 percent of your check into an emergency account every time you get paid. For example, if your check is $500 per week, then you should deposit at least $50 to $100 in your account. You can quickly build up your savings account by making regular deposits.
If that seems like too much to start with check out our 52-week savings plan, it starts off slow and works up to saving $1,378 in a year.
Ask for Help
Many single parents are reluctant to ask for help. However, being stressed can take a toll on your health. This is why you should ask for help when you need it. For example, there are government programs that can help you with housing, food, and utilities. There are also non-profit organizations that can provide you with financial assistance.
Being a single parent is hard. Making ends meet is one of the many struggles that come along with being a single parent. Fortunately, setting a budget, getting a part-time job, starting an emergency fund, and taking advantage of tax breaks can help you.