How To Survive And Thrive On A Single-Parent Income

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Photo: AP / Itsuo Inouye

Most people would rather live on multiple sources of income than one source. However, life doesn’t always give us what we want.

So, when it happens that you have to live on one income stream, how can you manage your resources and live comfortably within your means?  

There will be that day when you’re forced to figure things out on your own.  When that day gets here, you need to make sure that you’re ready.  As my mum always says:  “stay ready”.

Create a Budget

Budgets are meant to help you spend less than you earn. But it’s not enough to just create it. You should adhere to it. You MUST stick by it if you want to live comfortably. Start with a list of the absolute most important things. These are your basic needs. We’re talking about food, groceries, electricity, water, first aid kit, and rent.

Be Thrifty

No one likes being thrifty because many people often associate it with being cheap.  I do.   The truth however, is that doing this can help you live comfortably. Cut down on your compulsive buying habits. If it isn’t on the list, don’t buy it. Wait until you can really afford those really luscious boots, without having to put it on your credit card.

Always Have Something Set Aside

It’s difficult, but when you commit to setting something small aside every month, you’ll soon find that it’s possible. Call this your emergency fund. It could something as small as $100. Save this every month and avoid touching it unless there’s a genuine emergency.

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prioritise Your Expenses

If it’s not absolutely important, don’t. Create a list of priority items and work your way down within the stipulated budget. You’ll have time and the money to do all that when you have an extra income stream. But for now, only buy that which is necessary.

Purchase on Sale and In Bulk

Be on the lookout for deals, offers, sales, price slash offers and discount purchases. That way, you could save a whole lot more or buy a whole lot more items. Doing this alone can help you save over 40% of your intended budget. That’s money you could use for something else or as savings.

Look for Innovative Ways to Cut Spending

If your partner is committed to this, it will make it even more fun. Think about ways you can save a lot more money. It doesn’t have to be on unnecessary expenses alone. Consider taking a lunch pack to work instead of going out for lunch. This alone could save you over $600 a month. Look out for those basic commodities you need. For instance, items like tomato sauce, canned milk, chicken broth and other basic items are often on sale at super prices.

Coupons are Always Good

Coupons are the next best thing after the invention of bread. You could save anything from 5%-60% with coupons. So, check the internet for coupon offers and rebates.

Track your Expenses

This is a necessity. Most times, if you don’t keep track of your expenses, you won’t be able to tell just how much you spent unnecessarily. So, get a notepad and jot down all your expenses for the day. this will help you keep track of your expenses and most importantly, show you where your money is going.

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