Parents have a lot of extra expenses to think about each month compared to standard home-owning adults. You don’t just need to think about food for you and your partner anymore or clothing expenses now and again. Instead, it would be best if you considered the needs of a constantly-growing child who always needs to be topped up with supplies.
If you’re a single parent, the challenge of bringing up a kid on a small income can be a huge one to overcome. You might even have months when you feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are still ways for single mothers to make ends meet when times get tough.
1. Look for Help with Your Baby
One of the first things you need to do when expecting a child as a single mother is to check out the Grant from the government called the Sure Start Grant. This payment is available to people with a low income who need to look after a child. You can find out more about who is eligible for the grant on the Gov UK website.
Additionally, while you’re pregnant, remember that all expectant mothers are entitled to free NHS dental care and prescriptions for up to a year following the birth of your youngster. If you’re not sure exactly what kind of help you can get, consider speaking to someone from the citizen’s advice bureau.
2. Spread Big Costs Out
If you’re having a new baby as a single mom, then you’ll know that you’ve got some considerable expenses to deal with. As well as long-term costs like formula and food, you’re going to need to think about things like car seats, prams, and cribs too. So with that in mind, it’s worth asking yourself whether it might be easier to spread the costs of some of your major expenses out.
A personal loan will help to cut down a huge expense into more manageable monthly payments. This should also mean that you can keep any savings you have aside in an emergency account if anything goes wrong with your home or job.
3. Look for Help with Childcare
One of the most expensive things you’ll have to deal with as a single mother is childcare. If you’re going to be working to bring in an income, then you can’t always be there to care for your child. But, with a little luck, you’ll have friends and family members around you that can offer some support at times. You might also consider joining a local single mother’s group in your area where you can find trustworthy people to assist with babysitting.
Remember, the UK government also provides access to up to 15 hours of free early learning and care every week for children under the age of 4 for 38 weeks of the year. Again, you can speak to a citizen’s advice bureau representative to find a location that’s suitable for you and your child.
4. Join Communities
As we mentioned above, groups can be an excellent resource for single mothers. Whether on Facebook or in-person, the right groups could help you find cheap childcare options, and you can also get some extra emotional support from people who are in a similar situation to you. Remember, raising a child alone isn’t always easy. At the same time, a community will also be a great place to learn about sales, free events, and other useful things happening in your area.
You can use your Facebook group to determine if any free activities are happening for children on weekends when you want to spend bonding moments with your youngsters. You might also track down some helpful information about money-off vouchers for your favourite stores too. So don’t be afraid to join a few different groups to get the most benefits possible.
5. Be Ready to Adapt
Finally, remember that as a parent, your life is going to change pretty frequently. The expenses that you associate with raising your child are likely to adjust and differ as your youngster continues to grow. With that in mind, make sure that you’re ready to adapt. Don’t be afraid to sit down with your budget at times and ask yourself whether it’s still working for you. If it isn’t, you may need to look for additional places to cut costs, like changing your electricity supplier or getting a slower band of broadband.
You can also consider taking on extra work as a way of making more money for your monthly income. There are plenty of companies that will hire mothers online today in schedules that work for them.