I am a single parent (21 with a 4 yo) and im in my 2nd semester of collage and i was wondering if anyone knew of any good sources for organization and budgeting tips.
I may not be good at some things (like parenting if you ask my 18 year old daughter), but I am good at managing my money!
I don’t know of any good sources except common sense. Definitely finish college…even if it means taking out school loans. But try to apply for Pell grants and other grants and scholarships. When I was a single mom, Pell grants helped me get through financially.
Don’t incur other debt if you can avoid it. Credit card debt is the worst! If you don’t have cash for something, you can’t afford it. I rotate 3 pair of pants and different shirts for work–that’s it! There are different schools of thought on whether it is better to buy a new or used car. I always opt for used but not too old, and I try to save enough to pay cash. If you don’t owe money on a car, you don’t have to carry full coverage on insurance (which is more expensive). Buy used books for school, and always try to sell them back. Buy your clothes, and especially your child’s clothes, from thrift stores. You can find great deals and even sometimes designer clothing there.
For entertainment, eat at home, check out movies and books from the library, or borrow friends from their collections. Take walks. Do counted cross stitch (takes a long time to finish so it’s cheap fun). Take your child to the park and the playground as opposed to places that cost money or just play at home. Look for free events at the library to take your child to. Plant a garden…entertainment and educational for your child and may give you stuff to eat.
Eat healthy. Vegetables are cheaper than meat. So bulk up on them. Macaroni and cheese might be cheap but you’ll pay for it in health costs when you don’t get the vitamins you need out of good eating. Lots of salads and soups! Don’t forget your grains…oatmeal for breakfast…REAL oatmeal (quick oats takes 1 minute to cook)..add your own raisins or apples and honey. And drink lots of water–use a re-fillable bottle–don’t purchase bottled water. It’s expensive and plastic is bad for the environment.