To all the stay-at-home mums out there and those on a pension, how do you manage to get by on a single income? I am finding it really stressful.

Posted anonymously, 26th July 2019

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  • Find things to do that don’t cost money. All those coffees and lunches out – they add up. Budget, meal plan and shop to a list. It is hard, but it is doable.

  • Frugal, buy things on special

  • To all you amazing Mums, you are an inspiration! I so admire how you manage on one income, especially with most things being so expensive these days. I wish I had your insight years ago. I endlessly worry about making ends meet. And to those single mums out there, u are so courageous and incredible.

  • Be frugal with everything. Every time you think about spending money, ask yourself if there is a cheaper alternative, or if you really need it. Small changes can make a big difference.

  • Work out your outgoing expenses and what comes in. Then decide what can be eliminated or cut down. Most companies will allow you to reduce payments. Next step is to budget your groceries, buy items that you can utilise, bake biscuits, freeze meals. It is hard but you can do it.

  • When we went down to one wage we kept spending as if we were still on 2 wages and ended up getting ourselves in trouble. We now budget, we follow the barefoot investors way of budgeting and it is working well for us. I also plan all our meals for the week and only buy for those meals. I buy our groceries online and try to buy everything on sale or home brand. We also contribute to our bills each pay e.g- we automatically put $100 onto our power bill each pay so it isn’t such a shock when the bill comes in.
    Good luck with everything! Financial pressure is horrible. xx

  • I am a single mum of an 18mth old and I stick to necessities only. I save every cent I can. I use very little electricity and with that said, in winter, I close the house up early, I leave the oven door open to warm the house after cooking dinner, we have throw rugs over us in the lounge room, extra blankets on beds and extra clothes on. I buy bulk groceries when on special and make huge meals and freeze them in portion sizes and reheat as needed. We walk to the local shop, playground, library etc instead of driving which saves fuel. We bake a lot which saves on buying treats and things. I sew, which means we save on clothes etc. Budgeting is always best!

  • Budget, budget, budget…and stick to it. Work out all living expenses, groceries, mortgage/rent bills and then divide by 52 to get a weekly figure. Keep track on a spreadsheet or in a notebook to make sure you are not overspending in areas. Each week roll over unused budgeted funds.
    Meal plan and prep, follow a grocery list. Stop impulse buying. Buy second hand where possible.
    Borrow books from the library instead of buying them.
    Have your coffee at home.
    Know exactly where your money is going.

  • Meal planning might help

  • I definitely look for specials and reduced items. I have a strict budget and stick to it. I use jody allens books and recipes as inspiration too. But really it’s amazing how much we buy that we don’t need .. meal planning makes a huge difference only buy exactly what your going to use for the weeks meals. I avoid aimlessly wandering in shops I definitely spend less time window shopping..which leads to impulse buying. Add some meat free meals to your regulars this saves money too.

  • Meal planning was a big thing for us, we were having so much wastage and throwing out expired foods. I now plan everything right down to snacks. Also before we had kids we would go out for tea twice a week, we’ve now stopped that. The barefoot investor is also a good read with some handy tips if you haven’t read already

  • So glad to hear that. :-)

  • Thank you so much to the Mums that have taken the time out of their busy schedule to give me advice. I really appreciate it. Your advice has been so helpful.

  • Indeed. Go to op shops. Sometimes you find completely new items at a ridiculously cheap price.
    In Facebook you can find groups of people that give away, for free, items no longer needed.
    Make good use of libraries and free activities indeed. I don’t drive. So I walk everywhere or take public transport.

  • I check catalogues each week and stock up on things when there is a really good special. I meal plan so I can buy some ingredients in bulk and have no food waste. I make all of our food from scratch. I research activities for the kids to find the affordable ones. We attend free and cheap activities as often as we can and take our own food wherever we go. I try to walk places when possible so we only fill up my car once a month usually. Sometimes you just need to consider whether you actually need something before spending the money. I have been selling old clothes through Facebook marketplace and then shopping at Savers when I need new clothes (I have lost a considerable amount of weight so clothes were definitely a necessity) It is all about prioritising.

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