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21 Ways to Save Money - that really work!

Michelle Lee | Mummy Blog | 9 February 2012

Stock Photo

Saving money is not rocket science;

it only requires the discipline to follow a bunch of small, relatively simple-to-implement steps. These steps may seem daunting to a single mum but can profoundly affect your budget and your sense of well-being.

1. Cook more

Line your pockets instead of the pockets of restaurateurs by increasing the meals you cook at home, including breakfast; make coffee at home.

2. Home-made lunch:

Pack your lunches; add some snacks and soft drinks or bottles of water and you can stop feeding the vending machines.

3. Plan before shopping:

Read junk mail, cut discount vouchers and plan your attack before hitting the supermarkets. Limit your shopping time to avoid temptation.

4. Buy in quantity but with care

Non-perishable food can be bought in bulk when on sale. Be sure to check sell-by and expirations dates, and when necessary freeze items promptly. You can now buy special storage bags from the sandwich bag aisle in the supermarket that will extend the life of fresh fruit and vegetables to minimise waste and save having to replace the same perishables every week.

5. Go generic

Most generic foods taste as good as name brands. Keep track of which you enjoy and which you do not.

6. Reuse packaging

Use bread bags instead of plastic wrap and save on small trash bags by using plastic grocery store bags.

7. Stop buying bottled water

Tap water is much cheaper. If you or your child does not like the taste of tap water, invest in a water filter.

8. Consolidate credit card debt

Ideally, you will not have credit card debt but if you do then consolidate the balances to a lower interest card.

9. Never pay annual credit card fees

Use only cards that do not charge a fee.

10. Pay your bills with an eye to saving

Avoid late fees as well as monthly billing fees and the cost of stamps by setting up automatic payments either with a bank or by credit card.

11. Avoid bank fees

Wean yourself from ATM transactions or at least be sure you know which ATM machines you can use without charge and use only those.

12. Choose one phone

If you feel you must have a cell phone in case of an emergency with your child, then consider losing the landline. This may not always be feasible but if possible eliminate one or the other.

13. Plan before buying

This is especially important for big-ticket items but applies to everything. Once you realize how much a few minutes on the internet can save you on purchases, you will find it easier to avoid impulse buying.

14. Develop the Deal of the Day Habit

"Daily deals" websites can provide significant savings. Check them every day.

15. Refuse to be car-poor

Keep your current vehicle as long as possible, and when it becomes necessary to replace it, choose a used car.

16. Walk or bike when possible

Leave the car at home whenever you can and walk or bike to do your errands.

17. Watch electricity consumption

Switching appliances such as televisions and computers off at the wall, rather than simply turning them off; as well as putting heating and airconditioning units on a timer can lower electricity bills.

18. Save on DVDs

Instead of store memberships use online services for renting DVDs or check out older movies for free from your local library.

19. Save at the movies

Make an evening at the movie theater an afternoon or morning instead and save on tickets. Eat right before you go and/or sneak a few snacks in with you.

20. Make holidays affordable

Single mums need and deserve holidays like everyone else. Cut costs by planning ahead.

21. Steer clear of big spending friends

Hanging with people who can afford to eat-out and buy the latest fashion will spoil your resolve to save money.

These tips can help anyone, but are especially important when you are living on one income - and there are plenty more ideas for saving if you just look for them!

Michelle Lee is a mum and a marketing consultant for Groupon Australia, a daily deals website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies.





This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of SingleMum.com.au. The views of the author are not necessarily representative of those of SingleMum.com.au. This article contains only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. Read the full Singlemum.com.au Disclaimer here


What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

Please remember the bigger font words,because we will use it often in our website.