The cost of raising a child in the US is around $233,000, according to the USDA. Aside from food, shelter, and transportation, other expenses such as child care and health care are also included in this figure.
In 2017, a study revealed that the cost of raising a child for single parents is more than twice that of married couples. It found that households with a pre-tax income of less than $59,000 annually are more likely to spend more than the average household income.
Although single parents have the same responsibilities as other families, they typically have lower incomes. This is because there is only one breadwinner in a household. Various strategies can help single parents save money.
Save on Groceries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that single-parent households spent the highest percentage of their income on food in 2019.
Since food is one of the most significant expenses for single parents, they must figure out how to save money on groceries. Doing so can help them avoid going over budget. A straightforward way to do this is to shop at a budget-friendly grocery store.
Another way to save money on groceries is by using cash-back and coupon apps, such as Ibotta and Fetch Rewards. These can help you save on household essentials and grocery shopping. If you’re a single mom or have teenagers at home, these apps can also help you find deals on menstrual products. Although these apps won’t significantly reduce your grocery bill, they can still help you save money.
One of the most effective ways for single parents to save money is by using Amazon’s subscription and savings program. This can help them get exclusive discounts on their purchases. This can help simplify their life and prevent them from going to the store to restock their household essentials.
Although most products on Amazon give a 5% discount for setting up delivery, you can also get a 15% discount if you add multiple products to your subscription. You can set up a subscription for free and let Amazon do the rest for you. You can also cancel or edit your subscription at any time. Amazon will send you an email reminder once your order has been placed to ensure you’re still buying the items you need.
The average cost of child care in a center is around $1,230 a month, a significant portion of a family’s income. Finding ways to reduce the cost of child care can be a huge relief for your budget. To learn more about your state’s financial assistance programs, check out ChildCare.gov. There, you can find a variety of resources and requirements.
One of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of child care is by checking for potential work or school assistance programs. For instance, some universities, colleges, and employers provide on-site childcare services. If you’re worried that your ability to work and pursue an education will be affected by the financial burden of childcare, look for establishments that provide it.
It’s also worth exploring the various benefits of childcare at service providers and retailers that you frequent. For instance, if you’re a gym user, you might want to check out the best membership. Gyms that offer drop-in care might be a good choice. Other establishments like the Mall of America and Ikea have similar programs.
Use Your Support
Although there are many ways that your support network can help you save money, babysitting and hand-me-downs are typically the most common requests.
Getting in the habit of carpooling can help you and your family save money on gas. If you’re planning on maintaining a social life without spending much money, you might want to host a game night or dinner with your friends.
Before you start working on these savings, ask your social circle and parent group to help you find ways to save money. For instance, you can create a babysitting circle to help your friends save money on food. You can also organize a group effort to prepare batch meals for the whole family.
Child Support Modifications
Depending on the state, child support payments may vary. However, if you’re currently receiving them, you must take the necessary steps to ensure your child gets the help they need.
Sometimes, you can also request a modification of your child support payments due to various life events. For instance, if you lose your job, your income may decrease, or the other parent’s earnings increase significantly.
If this circumstance has caused you to doubt that your child support payments are adequate, you can request a modification to increase the payments.
Although a court can approve a modification, it’s important to note that the other parent must also agree to the new arrangement. You must file a new case with the court if they can’t reach an agreement.
Child support is a decision made in the child’s best interest. If you’re considering a modification, it’s essential to speak with a family law attorney about the potential effects of the change.