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According to the USDA, the cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 17 is around $233,000. Aside from food, shelter, and transportation, other expenses such as child care and health care are also significant.

In 2017, a study revealed that the expenses for raising a child are much higher for single-parent households than married couples. It found that the average household income of these parents was around $24,400, while that of married couples was around $36,300.

Although single parents have the same responsibilities as other families, they typically have lower incomes. This makes it more difficult for them to manage their finances when there is only one breadwinner. However, there are several ways that single parents can save money.

One of the most effective ways single parents can save money is by implementing intelligent personal finance strategies. These can include using an app like MoneyTap or budgeting through a monthly budget. Other systems can involve taking advantage of tax breaks and government assistance programs. Here are some easy ways for single parents to save money every day.

 

Review Grocery Spending

Single parents spend a lot of money on food, especially since their older children are home. So they must figure out how to save money on groceries. 

A straightforward way to do this is to go to a budget-friendly grocery store. One way to save money on groceries is by using apps like Ibotta and Fetch Rewards. These allow single parents to find deals on household essentials and grocery shopping. They can also use these apps to offset the pink tax on menstrual products. Although these apps won’t significantly reduce their grocery spending, any amount you can save counts.

Going to a warehouse store such as Costco or Sam’s Club can be a financial necessity if your savings exceed the membership fee. A stand-alone fridge can also help boost savings.

 

Save on Child Care

The average cost of child care in a center is around $1,230. This is a substantial financial burden that single parents can feel.

To learn more about financial assistance programs available in your state, check out ChildCare.gov. Various programs provide financial support to families with low income. These include Head Start programs that help children develop their social, emotional and mental skills. You can also find out about prekindergarten programs that are funded by the state.

Another way to reduce the cost of child care is by checking for programs that provide on-site care services. Some employers and universities also offer this type of assistance. If you cannot pursue education due to the financial burden of child care, look for other employers that provide this type of support.

If you have to pay for child care, look for a home-based care facility instead of a center-based program. According to the Center for American Progress, these facilities typically cost around $800 a month.

It’s also important to consider the various benefits of child care when you shop at retailers and service providers that you frequent. For instance, if you’re a gym user, you might want to sign up for a membership that includes child care. In addition, you can find childcare options at places such as Ikea and the Mall of America.

 

Use Your Support Network

One of the most common themes people talk about regarding parenthood savings is asking for help from their support network. Although childcare and hand-me-downs are typically the most common requests, there are other ways that your network can help you save.

One of the most common ways people can save money on gas is carpooling. Even basic ideas such as this can help reduce the amount of money you spend on transportation. 

Before you start planning how you can help your friends save money, ask your social circle to identify their needs. For instance, you can create a babysitting circle or get together on weekends to make batch meals for the entire gang. Doing something as simple as this can help ease the pressure on everyone and save money in the long run.

 

Although you are the sole parent of your child, you still have the responsibility of managing your finances. There are still ways that you can still spend time with your child and build memories.

Being a single parent doesn’t mean that you have to put up with every challenge that comes your way. While there will be moments of stress, the beauty of raising a child is still worth it.