Good budgeting is an essential and sometimes daunting task for the single parent – especially one with little income to budget. Here is a list of a few budgeting calculators that can help make budgeting feel a little less daunting.
- Budget Calculator: While there are numerous budget calculators online, this nifty calculator from an Austrailian website offers more categories for things you may not have thought of (and a few you won’t need) as well as an excel file download so you can play with it offline.
- Budget Calculator by Percentages: This calculator helps you budget by suggested percentage of income for each category. If you would like an Excel spreadsheet for these calculations I made one for you to download here –> Budget Tool This tool lacks a percentage for childcare built in, however, there are four open rows to input additional expenses.
- The Grocery Budget Calculator: (Below) Offered by Iowa State University Extention and Outreach, this tool calculates what you should be spending on groceries according to the USDA’s Low-Cost Food Plan. Interesting Fact: the federal poverty level is calculated according to the USDA’s thrifty food plan.
For the low-income single parent, the idea of a savings account is out of the picture. However, if you can put back $10 per week you will have more money in your savings account than 26 percent of adult Americans. Savings accounts offer low-interest rates these days, barely enough to make it worth your time to open one. However, every penny adds up and after a couple of years of continuous saving, you will have an adequate emergency cash stash. One reason low-income single parents have a difficult time is their lack of resources when dealing with unexpected expenses like when the car breaks down. When your car breaks down there are a few organizations that will help with repairs but you still have to get the car towed to the repair shop. Keep your emergency stash separate from your savings for Christmas or birthday gifts.
Join the conversation! Leave a comment and answer the following question – How do you make ends meet?