I recently discussed how budgeting as a single parent is more difficult than I expected. When I went out on my own my income dropped because I had to cancel some things and my expenses increased because I now had to pay rent. But, despite that, I have done what I could to break even and am now back on top, saving again and continuing with my money making challenge as well as living within my means and hopefully being an example to my daughters.
To cut expenses I:
Used up all he food we had – Sometimes it meant very basic meals, but I used what I had taken from my old house, then menu planned properly again, ensuring no food is wasted. I also experimented more with lentils and recipes from other countries.
Dropped unnecessary services – I don’t have pay TV and as a single parent just wouldn’t. I changed my mobile from $50 a month to $20 and am more selective with calls. I don’t have gas in this house and didn’t need as high insurance cover.
Centrelink – I do get some Government assistance at the moment, which might surprise some of you. If you are on Centrelink you get discounts on many of your bills, travel, medication, housing (I am not entitled to housing, but am eligible for some rent assistance).
Ask for discounts – Everywhere I go, I check to see if a discount is possible and rarely get knocked back.
Walked everywhere – I could have done this more, but the heat and 2 young kids made me want to use my car more than I should have.
Free fun – we used the library, played at parks, played with Christmas presents and I checked what was happening in my local area I could take them to that was free.
Basically, I went over my expenses with a fine-tooth comb. Anything that could be cut out completely went and I reduced every expense as much as possible. I didn’t take money with me most places. If I didn’t have cash or my card, I couldn’t spend.
To make money I:
Sold off the few items I could - I didn’t have a lot, but looked at what I didn’t want to move again and sold it for whatever I could on Facebook, eBay and Gumtree.
Sold my damaged books – a few copies of 365 Ways To Make Money got damaged when I moved so I sold them at a big discount and they sold out very quickly.
Looked for unclaimed money – I had 2 Medicare receipts I needed to cash in. I also searched everywhere for lost coins. I checked all my accounts with survey sites and things to see if there was any money or vouchers I could cash in.
Offered more services – I am still a hairdresser, so did a few people. I also sourced some more freelance work and worked on some new advertising options for my site.
What things have you done to cut expenses and make more money?