In 2006, according to the US Census Bureau, there were approximately 14 million single parents in this country, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.6 million children. Eighty-three percent of single parents are money saving mothers, and 30.3 percent of all single parents receive public assistance.
Child care subsidies and public health insurance can help with closing the gap between low income and what it takes to make ends meet. Not all low-income families receive the benefits for which they are financially eligible. Families who receive multiple work supports can lose assistance before they reach self-sufficiency. Single parents often struggle with buying basic necessities and paying bills and usually live paycheck to paycheck. Single parents often do not have any savings and are in debt. Here are 10 easy tips for single parents on saving money:
1. Buy a Used Car: Buy or trade in your current car for a used car with a cheaper note. This will either eliminate your car note or save you $50 to $200 a month on your car payment.
2. Use Coupons: Buy whatever items are on sale or buy items with coupons. This can save you $50 to $300 a month. There have been instances where shoppers had a total bill of $200 and ended up paying $5 using coupons and buying items on sale.
3. Buy everything generic: household items, clothing, prescriptions, toiletries, dry goods, canned goods, paper products, etc. This will save you on average $5 to $50 a month.
4. Buy Washable Clothes: Buy clothes that do not require dry cleaning. This will save you on average $50 to $150 a month.
5. Image: Do you own hair and nails and buy your makeup from a drugstore, such as CVS or Rite Aid. This will save you on average $40 to $100 a month.
6. Gas: Buy regular gas for your car unless the owner’s manual suggests otherwise. Find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood to purchase. This will save you on average $.05 to $.20 per gallon.
7. Shop at Discount Stores: Buy household items in bulk, such as paper products, cleaning supplies at discount stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, etc. This will save you on average $5 to $50 a month.
8. Reduce expenses: Reduce or cancel your cable plan, cell phone or Internet service, or get the cheapest plan available. This can save you $20 to $100 a month.
9. Buy groceries at superstores: Buy your groceries at superstores or wholesale stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam’s Club, etc. Buy nuts, grains, spices, legumes at wholesale or health food stores. This will save you $30 to $200 a month on processing costs charged at regular grocery stores.
10. Fun with Kids: Check your local library or newspaper to find free activities that you can do to with your kids. This can save anywhere from $5-$100 a month.