Being a single parent has many challenges compared to being in a relationship. The main one is always going to be that you need to support yourself and your children on your income. While you might get payments from your former partner to help out, chances are that you will still have to pay for a lot of it yourself. Here are some of our top tips to help you balance your books as a single parent.

Find Out Where You are Overspending

When trying to cut back, one of the best things you can do is work out if there is an area where you are overspending. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you cut back, but it can help you learn a little bit about your spending patterns.

For example, you might treat your family to a Friday night takeaway, as many other families do. However, you might be wasting money here by ordering excess food from an expensive place. Reassessing how you order this takeaway might help you to spend a bit more wisely and save some money without having to give it up entirely. You could try to find somewhere a bit cheaper, or you could take advantage of a meal deal that the restaurant might offer.

Cut the Cost of Your Car Insurance

Unless you live in London, there’s a good chance you are going to need a car. Owning a car can be expensive but there are still ways you can reduce the amount you pay each month.
For instance, choosing the highest gear possible within the current speed limit, accelerating gradually and avoiding hard braking can help improve your fuel efficiency, which could save you money in the long run.

The other major price consideration could be the cost of the car insurance. This is a necessary part of owning and driving a car so you need to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. Trying to find cheap car insurance can be difficult but you should be able to find a cheaper policy if you do enough research. To get you started, try to compare policies and find the right deal for you.

Buy Second-Hand

One place which many people overlook when trying to buy things for their family is the second-hand market. This is a great resource and it can be accessed in a whole variety of ways. From heading online to Facebook groups or going out to shops, fairs, and car boot sales, you never know exactly what you might be able to find when you shop second-hand.

Some people turn their noses up at the idea of something which is “pre-owned” but they are often missing out on some great deals. You can very easily find pieces which have been mis-bought. Want to pick up unworn clothes which are a fraction of their costs in the shop? This is going to be the easiest place for you to do so. Take a look online to see what you can find.

Being a single parent might have some restrictions compared to if you are a two-parent family. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice anything about the lifestyle you enjoy. With some careful thought and strategic buying, you can continue to enjoy a good quality life and provide a wonderful and fulfilling childhood experience for your kids. All you need to do is make sure that you are staying on top of your spending and you hopefully won’t have too many problems. A night with your personal accounts once a month might be all you need!