How To Effectively Budget As a Single Parent

effectively budget as a single parent

Finances are a hard subject to discuss as a couple, even harder to deal with as a single parent. No matter what stage your children may be in life, they are expensive. As a single parent, you have to learn to live on a budget to make sure ends meet. Here are a few tips on how to effectively budget as a single parent.

How To Effectively Budget As a Single Parent

Children add a certain spark to your life that you never even knew was missing. But, they can still be quite expensive to take care of. These tips can help you effectively budget as a single parent.

Income vs. Expenses – What’s Your Budget?

The first step to an effective budget is to look at your income and expenses. If you are spending more than you are making, there is a problem. Nowadays, one job just won’t pay the bills so you will need to look at getting a side gig. It always helps to have some extra money for any unexpected emergencies.

After looking at your income, you will need to check your expenses. When you think of how to effectively budget as a single parent, your expenses are important. Your expenses can include:

  • rent/mortgage
  • car
  • utilities (electricity, water, gas, cell phone)
  • investing

And the list continues. The key to assessing your expenses is to figure out what is a necessity and what isn’t. Simply put, if you don’t need it, get rid of it.

Make a Plan for Your Budget

Budgeting requires planning. In order to effectively budget as a single parent, you will need a strategy in place to achieve your budgeting goals. How long will it take you to achieve your goals? A month? A year? What do you hope to gain from your budget? What needs are you trying to meet? Is this budget tactic going to be short-term or long-term? Sit down and write out your budgeting plan in order to reach your goals.

Pay Off Your Debts

If your debt is a huge problem for you, a budget can definitely help. Paying off your debts will help you maintain your budget. Start eliminating your debt by setting aside money just for this instance. You can choose to pay off your small debts first but it is best to pay off the largest debts and work through the rest.

Track Your Progress

Make sure to record your progress as you go. Keep track of your:

  • income
  • spending habits
  • debt payoff goals

It will help you keep an accurate track of where you are with your financial goals. This can help ensure that you continue to effectively budget as a single parent.

Budget Enough to Invest in Your Future

Your budget should include a goal for investing. Set aside funds to invest in yourself as well as your children. This will include investing enough money for your retirement. Remember, a little can go a long way.


It can be tough as a single parent, especially financially. Bills don’t stop and the needs of your children, as well as your future, are just as important. You can effectively budget as a single parent if you just follow these tips. Do you think these tips can help you on your financial journey? Let us know below.

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