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How To Improve Your Cash Flow As A Single Parent With These 20 Tips

Posted By peronalfynance40 119 days ago on Finance - As a single parent, it can be challenging to stick to a set budget and grow wealth at the same time. I’m also a freelancer so my income can be irregular at times. Over the years, I developed a system of hacks to help me save money and improve my cash flow. Here is how to improve your cash flow as a single parent. 1. Set Your Budget I use the Personal Capital app, a spiral notebook, and my Chime bank account as my main tools for creating my budget. You can create your budget with a spreadsheet or with pen and paper. Start by writing down your most important fixed expenses such as the rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, childcare, and clothing. Write down the due dates of those bills then write down your miscellaneous expenses such as subscriptions and eating out. Cut out all unnecessary expenses from your budget. 2. Get An Emergency Fund Single parents often have a lot on their plates financially, so it is vital that you have an emergency fund on hand that you can access money from when unexpected expenses arrive. I use both my high-yield savings account and my Acorns account as emergency funds and recently, the funds I saved in my Acorns account for over two years came in handy when I needed to pay an unexpected bill. 3. Boost Your Retirement Savings If you’re a single parent, you can improve your cash flow in your later years by boosting your retirement savings now. One of the best ways to do this is to open a Roth IRA. When you open a Roth IRA account, your contributions are after-tax so they will be tax-free. Not only that, but you can use the account’s funds to purchase investments that will grow your money. All earnings on your original contributions will grow tax-free, and when you turn 59 and a half, you can withdraw your funds tax-free too. 4. Pay Down High-Interest Debts When you pay down high-interest debts, you improve your cash flow and this means you have more funds for saving and investing. Obtain a credit report from and you’ll see reports from these credit bureaus; TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Contact your creditors and work out a payment plan that best suits your needs. 5. Take Advantage of Government Benefits While you want to eventually wean yourself off government benefits, there’s nothing wrong with using them when you fall on hard times. If you’re currently receiving unemployment benefits, use most of them for your fixed expenses then add the remaining funds to your emergency savings. Other government benefits you can use include Medicaid, SNAP benefits, and WIC benefits. 6. Get The Most Out Of Your Health Insurance Healthcare expenses can be costly, so this is why you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your health insurance policy. Make sure you go to the doctors that are within your network so that you can avoid high out-of-pocket costs. If your employer offers a flexible savings account, contribute a portion of your check to it. You can use the funds in this account to pay for medical expenses not covered by your insurance policy. You can also save money on health insurance by using your employer-sponsored health benefits. 7. Get A Side Hustle The Internet is filled with amazing opportunities to get a side hustle going so that you can improve your cash flow. I recently wrote an article called 20 Creative Side Hustles That Go Beyond Blogging. In this post, I list both online and offline side hustles that are fun, profitable, and flexible for a variety of schedules. Once you earn money from your side hustles, use it mainly for paying bills, emergency savings, caring for the kids, and investing for wealth. 8. Start a 529 College Savings Plan If you want to avoid debt when it’s time for your child to attend college, now is the time to set up a 529 college savings plan for him so that you can take advantage of compound interest and increased savings. Once you set up a 529 plan, you can invest those funds and then the earnings will grow tax-free. By establishing college savings, you can prepare for your child’s future without sacrificing your retirement. 9. Learn About Other Successful Single Parents Read articles, listen to podcasts, and watch Youtube videos about successful single parents who are thriving financially. There are numerous stories about single parents who got out of debt, who bought homes, started businesses, and who succeeded with investing. Their stories and advice can help you do better with your finances. 10. Look For New Career Opportunities Sometimes you can improve your cash flow just by seeking out new career opportunities. If you’re currently employed, speak with your boss about possibly training for a new position there. However, if you find that there isn’t much room for growth there, consider looking for a new job. Another idea would be to obtain more education if you want to enter a new field altogether. Here is a list of the most high-paying and in-demand jobs. 11. Cancel Any Unnecessary Subscriptions Your child may love those fun gaming apps on your phone, but is it really necessary to have eight of them all at once? If you want to save more money, it’s a good idea to cancel all unnecessary subscriptions. On the other hand, it is okay to keep a few subscriptions if they serve a good purpose. An example of this is an email marketing service that assists you with reaching your blog’s subscribers. Or your budgeting app gives you an idea of what your current finances look like. 12. Find Creative Ways To Shop for Groceries Since the majority of your budget will include food expenses, you’ll need to find creative ways to save money on groceries. Eat as many leftovers as possible during the week, and another idea would be to prepare large meals and freeze them for later consumption. Buy mostly sales items at the supermarket and get generic brand foods instead of the name-brand ones. Write down a list of all pantry items that you ran out of then only shop for those. This saves you money and keeps you from purchasing duplicate items. 13. Ditch Expensive Cable On average, cable costs over $200 per month. Think about what you can do with an extra $200 each month. There are alternatives to cable that are more affordable and still entertaining. If you have a smart TV enabled with Roku, you can watch Youtube and a wide variety of channels. Speaking of Youtube, you can find everything from local news rebroadcasts to documentaries. 14. Slash Your Utility Bills There are several ways to reduce your high utility bills. Some measures you can take include: Taking shorter showers Unplugging small appliances when not in use Cleaning your air conditioner’s filters periodically Not washing clothes in hot water Repairing leaky faucets Conducting an energy audit 15. Get A Support System It is wise to get a support system who can help you improve your cash flow as a single parent. Instead of paying high prices for daycare, ask a relative or trusted friend to watch your child when you’re at work. Maybe your brothers and sisters can promote your side business by telling others about what you’re selling and demonstrate how the products work. 16. Start Investing One of the best ways to improve your cash flow for years to come is to invest as early as possible. The reason why investing matters to your financial stability is that the money you deposit into your investment account grows thanks to the principle of compound interest. So on a daily basis, you’re earning dividends from the stocks and bonds you purchased. I actually have two brokerage accounts. My main one is allocated as my main investment account for long-term growth and my second one is for regular monthly income. 17. Educate Yourself About Personal Finance There are ways to educate yourself about personal finance for free and cheap. Visit the library and check out these helpful books about money management. Read good personal finance websites such as Forbes, NerdWallet, Investopedia, MoneyCrashers, and Wisebread. Watch credible personal finance Youtube channels. When you educate yourself about finances, you make better choices and grow wealth. 18. Learn DIY Skills Not everything can be done DIY, but it’s still a good idea to have a stash of handy DIY skills so that you can save money and not pay professionals as frequently. Thanks to blogs, home improvement shows, and online videos, you can become handy around the house in no time. 19. Date Intentionally If you’re interested in a relationship that leads to marriage, then you should date with intention. Write down a list of all the qualities that are the most important to you and why. You want to date someone who will not take advantage of you financially or whose philosophy about money management doesn’t match yours. If your potential partner doesn’t have a strong work ethic and doesn’t care about getting out of debt, this could be problematic. 20. Say No To The Kids Occasionally You don’t have to buy your kids a snack every time you take them to the park. It is not going to hurt them if you don’t throw them a big party for every birthday. Kids need to learn that in the real world, they will not get everything they want in life. By telling them no at times, they learn this lesson. Single parents can improve their cash flow by implementing these 20 tips into their daily lives. The success won’t happen overnight, but in time things will gradually get better.

The post How To Improve Your Cash Flow As A Single Parent With These 20 Tips appeared first on Adventures in Frugal Living.

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