Financial success is not determined by the amount of money you make, but it’s what you do with what you make that will determine whether you achieve your financial goals. If you eat out too often or you have impulsive buying habits, it may take you longer to save towards your goals. If you tend to shop at more expensive grocery stores for convenience rather than driving a few more miles to the cheaper stores, where you can buy cheaper in bulk, then your food expense will eat into your weekly budget.
With most single-parent families living close to the poverty line, learning and applying budgeting skills is critical to staying financially afloat.
According to statistics, the average single-parent household in Canada makes $39,000 per year while in the US the average is approximately $25,000 per household income.
Here are some simple ways to enjoy life while saving money
Make a grocery list before you head out
Planning out what you need and sticking to the list, is the best way to control your grocery costs and save time. It’s hard, but you have to resist the urge to wander into aisles where one bag of chips for $2 suddenly turns into 5 bags at $10 by the time you get to the check out.
Invite Friends to your Home Instead of Going Out
You know it’s more fun to go out to a public gathering place and socialize with friends but a couple of drinks, an appy, taxes and gratuity could add up to 50% of your weekly grocery budget. Host your event at home and ask your friends to bring drinks and appies instead. You can control your costs much better than being in a restaurant.
Review Bank Interest Rates
Search for promotional deals on credit card interest rates from various banks. Sometimes, banks lure new customers by offering a no interest balance transfer on credit card to get new customers to open up a line of credit or credit card with them. Contact your bank and ask them to meet or beat this promotional offer. They just may give you what you are asking for because they want to keep you as a customer.
Give Up Expensive Habits
If you spend money on cigarettes or alcohol on a daily or weekly basis, look at how much you can save by giving up these habits. It’s not an easy thing to do but look at programs that can help you wean yourself from these unhealthy habits.
Buy in Bulk for Better Savings
Not everyone can shop at Costco in bulk. For some, it doesn’t make sense to buy 12 cans of tomato sauce. But if you plan your meals wisely and use the same ingredients to create similar meals like spaghetti, cannelloni, lasagna and chicken casserole, you can save yourself money by buying in bulk. Buying dry ingredients and snacks in bulk rather than in packages can help you save a lot of money.
Freeze your Meals
If you create large portions of meals to save time, freeze it and save it for another day. Don’t let it go to waste.
Shop at Consignment and Second Hand Stores
For household items, sporting goods equipment and small appliances, try the consignment stores or second hand stores like Value Village or the Salvation Army first before buying brand new.
Do Price Comparison Shopping Online
For more expensive items, like electronics, furniture, and appliances, shop for deals online. Save yourself time and gas driving around to the various retailers to compare prices. Find what you want online that is within your budget and then narrow it down to one or two stores to visit. Print out the web page and bring it with you to the retailer if you are going to use the promo offer as a price beat strategy.
Buy Generic No-name Brands
You may notice that brand-named products are more expensive than generic ones. Whether you are shopping for prescribed medication or for food, generic or no-name brands will save you money and there is very little, if any, the difference in the quality. In some cases, you may even find that a no-name brand package may contain more in volume than the well-known brands.
Pack your Lunch
It’s tempting to eat out for lunch during your work week but if you take the time to pack your lunch by using dinner leftovers or making simple sandwiches, you will save a lot of money. Imagine if you spent $10 per day on lunch (including tips and taxes), that’s $200 per month which could be one grocery run to feed the family.
Share your money-saving tips and ideas in the comment below.