According to the 2016 Census, there are about 12 million single parent households within the United States. As the weather starts to heat up, everyone is itching to get out and have some fun. For the solo parent — the one who is doing it all and keeping the family going strong — that means it’s time to start setting the warm-weather agenda.
Feed your emergency fund
This is step 1. Why?
By having a stocked emergency fund as a single parent, you're taking preventative measures against taking on more debt. Since only one income coming in, car trouble or an unexpected doctor's visit can sink your financial ship without warning.
Having a safety net of at least $1,000 in a liquid savings account can help you deflect any unwelcome expense that comes your way. Check out these
Go on a staycation
Life on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a family getaway. Larger cities offer a plethora of free and low-cost family-friendly attractions, including parks, museums, and landmarks. Add to the savings by bringing along a cooler stocked with breakfast items and sandwich fixings.
Purge and sell
While it’s easy to cart those bins of old toys, clothes, and sports gear to the consignment shop, you can put more cash in your pocket if you do it yourself. Download an app such as offerupnow.com, and with a few clicks you’ll be on your way to selling off the surplus.
Growing yummy veggies in your own backyard patch is always a win-win. First of all, it’s a cheap way to fill your food stores in the fall. Plus, if you involve the kids with the planting, watering, and harvesting, they’ll be more eager to try those homegrown vegetables. To save money on getting started, scout out other gardeners and set up a seed exchange.
Do some DIY home maintenance
Before you fork over a couple hundred dollars for a house call, try the DIY route. With a little research, you may find it's surprisingly easy to maintain your own home or buy and replace faulty or broken parts yourself. Ask hardware store employees, comb through www.repairclinic.com, and pore over the many videos and blogs that walk you through the steps.
Save on activities
To get a break on sports and arts activities, take advantage of the early sign-up discount and ask about other opportunities to save. Some organizations have scholarships and discounts for parent volunteers. Finally, if you happen to have relatives who give gifts to your children for holidays and birthdays, ask if they would like to help cover these costs instead. The enrichment will do more for your kids than yet another toy to outgrow.
As always, while you're enjoying your warm-weather fun, be sure to use your Kasasa debit card so you can earn those cash rewards.