Let’s be honest, budgeting can generally be a challenge for all of us, regardless of our social-economic status, let alone budgeting as a single mum with little lives that are dependent on you. It can feel like an uphill battle thinking of spending that extra 1,000 Kshs to make your kids happy.
However, not all hope is lost here are a few tips and tricks on how to budget as a single mum. You know what the best part is? You’ll be setting a good example for your kids in the future!
First, create a monthly spending budget allocating a certain amount of money to each spending category. This could include categories for child care and other details specific to your life as a single parent. Generally speaking, your net spendable income (after taxes) could be allocated (but not limited to) as follows:
- Rent: 30%
- Food: 12%
- Car maintenance: 14%
- Insurance: 5%
- Entertainment: 7%
- Clothing: 6%
- Savings: 5%
- Medical/Dental: 4%
- Miscellaneous: 7%
- Child Care: 5%
- Investments: 5%
- Plan out your groceries and meals for the week. Don’t be tempted to browse the aisles for what’s good. It’s all good!
- Invest in a Super-Envirofit jiko. Not only is it eco-friendly but cheaper to maintain.
- We all love some greasy takeout once in a while. This can still be part of the budget but plan ahead of time.
- Batch cook on the weekend and freeze for the week. This is the ultimate life-saver.
- Sell items you don’t use or need especially old baby stuff. You have an opportunity to de-clutter and make extra cash selling items. Facebook marketplaces should be your friend by now!
- It may sound counter-intuitive but don’t always buy cheap. When it comes to appliances, electronics and items that you will use for a while, don’t buy something that you will have to replace in a short while.
- Accept hand-me-downs kids items from friends and family because there are some that don’t need to be bought new.
- The beauty of nature is that it is free. Get outside more when you need a breather.
- Attend free events happening in your area or plan for upcoming events such as birthdays and dinner parties so you don’t have to scramble for your savings at the last minute.
- Play dates are your new weekend chill-outs. Not only is it cheap to put together but it is a good opportunity to bond with other mums and give your kids a chance to socialise.
Get your NHIF Insurance
- If you don’t have NHIF at the moment, you need to register as soon as possible. Medical expenses can really dig into your savings and its best to prepare for a rainy day.
- Expenses can arise unexpectedly in life, and while you cannot always predict them, you must know they can inevitably occur. Have a plan in mind on how you would spend money on a rainy day. Putting aside a savings amount of as little as 7% of your monthly income can go a long way in dealing with such situations.
Don’t make yourself anymore tempted to spend money than you already have. If you take a step back and really look at your life as a mum, you will realize your kids don’t need as much from you as you think they do. All they need is some love and attention.
Which budgeting hacks do you use to save money?
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