The rising cost of living is putting a strain on the wallets of most Canadians. But if you’re living on a single income – with or without kids – you may be feeling the extra pinch.
Some single-income households may need to practice some extra discipline when it comes to managing finances. So we’re sharing some tips that could help you get creative with your income so you can stretch it to help cover your wants and needs.
Set a monthly budget.
A monthly budget is your best friend when it comes to your finances. It can help you better plan for upcoming expenses while giving you a sense of where you may have some room to indulge in your wants from time to time.
Tip: A good budget shouldn’t limit you. When you earmark funds for different expenses like groceries or clothing, it allows you to mindfully spend your money without the fear of going overboard.
Although reviving the “ancient” art of letter correspondence may sound cool, don’t cancel your data plan just yet. Review your previous month’s expenses (your credit card statement could be helpful here), and see if there are any unhealthy spending habits you can cut back on.
Tip: Too much takeout? Do a search for quick and easy recipes.
Grocery shop with a game plan.
Now that you’ve allocated a portion of your income to groceries in your handy budget – wink, wink – you’re just about ready to head to the grocery store. But first, make a list, and stick to it. It’ll help you zero in on the aisles that stock what you need while keeping you away from the woodsy-scented three-wick candles.
Tip: Check your local flyers! Some grocery stores offer price matching, so if an item's available for less elsewhere, you could save on your grocery bill.
Build an emergency fund.
Everyone can benefit from building a healthy emergency fund in the event of job loss, or some unforeseen circumstance that pulls you away from work. Making small, regular contributions to your emergency fund can pay off in the long run.
Look beyond your day job.
Is there something you’re passionate about? The pandemic saw many Canadians taking on new hobbies or turning a skill into an additional stream of income. With the many ways available to market your talents these days, it might be worth brainstorming on some money-making ideas.
Have fun on a dime (or none).
We all need a day off, but that free time can come with pressure to needlessly spend money. Instead of dinners out, opt for hosting potlucks with friends instead. If you have kids, don’t overthink it — research shows that free play in nature is great for a child’s development, so let them get their hands dirty at a nearby park!