Being a single parent is not an easy task. You have to juggle work, childcare, bills, and home maintenance all by yourself. While you are trying to keep the ship afloat, it can be tough to find avenues to save money. However, with some smart planning and a few lifestyle changes, you can stretch your budget and put money away for the future. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.
Taxes can be complicated and time-consuming. When you have so many duties to take care of, it is just impossible to spend hours ensuring that your taxes are filed correctly. Hiring a local accountant in Australia to do your taxes can save you a whole host of headaches and a substantial sum of money. They can review your documents for accuracy and ensure that everything is submitted on time to avoid penalties.
Furthermore, an experienced accountant will be able to identify the deductions you are entitled to and help you to get the highest tax refund possible. This can include tax credits for single parents or people earning below a certain income level. They can also help you to plan your future finances more effectively and find ways for you to start saving up a nest egg for a vacation or your children’s education.
Most of the time, we are too exhausted after work to think about conjuring up any kitchen magic. As a result, we end up ordering takeout which not only costs more but is often less nutritious. It also makes you feel a little guilty knowing that you could be feeding your kids a home-cooked meal at a fraction of the cost. To avoid the expenditure and the dreaded mum guilt, try planning your meals for the week.
You can find numerous simple meal plans online that will take only a few hours to prepare on the weekend. Why not ask your kids to help and make it a family event? Once the food is cooked and frozen, you will have healthy meals on hand for days. A weekly meal plan can help you to stretch your grocery budget by avoiding last-minute grocery store trips or impulse buys that often end up in the rubbish bin.
If you do not have the time or energy to go shopping for groceries in person, you can easily get everything that you need by shopping online. At the price of fuel these days, this could even end up saving you money. Many sites offer exclusive deals on popular grocery and household items that are not offered in their brick-and-mortar branches. This can help to reduce your overall expenditure as well.
Another advantage of online shopping is that you can purchase in bulk. Since the goods are delivered to your doorstep, you can take advantage of bulk purchase prices for common household items such as milk or laundry detergent without worrying about carrying heavy bags. Making one large order instead of several small purchases will also save on delivery fees. This all adds up to significant savings over time.
Getting to school can be tough in a country as big as Australia. Instead of driving your kids to school each day or paying for expensive school buses, set up a carpool arrangement with a nearby parent. You can organise a rotating schedule to take the kids on alternate days. This is a great way to save fuel and reduce the workload for all the parents involved. The kids will also get the benefit of having friends to play with on the way to school.
Carpooling is similarly a great idea for adults as well. If you can get a lift to work, you will save quite a bit of money on gas and maintenance expenses for your car. If you are driving, carpool and rideshare apps can help you connect with passengers and make the most of your empty seats. Some highways also offer high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for cars with multiple passengers so you can get to your destination quicker.
Insurance may seem unnecessary when you are preoccupied with day-to-day expenses, but it can save your life when an unforeseen circumstance occurs. This is particularly true if you are living in a rental home with no landlord-provided insurance. Make sure you have a comprehensive home insurance plan that includes liability coverage to protect you in the event of a theft, accident, or damage in your home.
Medical insurance is also important, especially if you have little ones. Australian residents are eligible for government-subsidised Medicare. However, you should consider purchasing more comprehensive private health insurance that can ensure your income stream if you take time off work due to an illness or injury. The peace of mind of knowing that you and your kids are covered in the event of an emergency is priceless.
The above are just five of the ways that single mums can cut down on daily expenses and activities that eat up their free time. Being a single parent is tough, but with some planning and smart budgeting, you can make things a little easier for yourself and look after your sanity. You will also have more time to spend with your children and do the things that you enjoy the most.