Two parents often struggle to provide for their kids at the best of times. Take away one, and it becomes a real fight for single moms to make ends meet.
It can be daunting to think of all the expenses that come with raising a child. School fees, healthcare, entertainment and general living expenses are a huge financial commitment, and if only one salary is responsible for covering these, proper money management becomes even more important.
Ntombi Mponda from Metropolitan provides some tips for single moms to help them stretch their rands further, when raising a family:
Don’t bear the burden alone
You may be a single parent, but you are not alone – never underestimate the value of your extended family and friends. Brothers, sisters, parents and even friends can form a great support network, offering encouragement, advice and assistance when needed.
Start a lift club with friends to take kids to and from school – saving you all money and time. Or, if you need to work overtime or on weekends, lean on family members to look after your kids, rather than paying a babysitter. The kids will also love the extra time spent with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
When you have kids, school fees and additional living expenses will add pressure to your finances. By drawing up a budget and having a plan in place, you are able to better manage these expenses each month.
Start saving for your child’s education as soon as you can. By making use of a savings policy, your money will be secure until you need to access it.
Be shopping-savvy and save
Take advantage of specials, coupons and rewards cards, to save money on your weekly grocery shopping. Buying in bulk and sticking to white label brands can also help you to trim your expenses further. Always shop around, and check the ‘rands-per-100g’ tags, before purchasing goods to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.
Second time lucky
If you are expecting for the first time, ask family and friends if they have any baby clothes, toys, cots, car seats etc. that they are no longer using, before buying new ones. If you have more than one child, keep clothes for your younger kids, and take advantage of the school’s second-hand clothing store to save on costly uniforms.
Honesty is the best policy: Always be open and honest with your children. If you are struggling financially it is better to explain the situation to them, so that they understand why you are unable to buy them certain things. Older kids can help by getting a weekend job to assist in contributing to household expenses.