Raising children as a single parent means twice the work and cost. Luckily, there are ways to save money without having to work double shifts to support your family. Here are a few tips on how to save money as a single parent and sole breadwinner of the family:

Keep Debt in Check

If you have debt, it’s important to not let it spiral out of control. Overdraft or late fees seem minute individually, but they can eat up a large portion of your income if left unchecked. For example, Chase charges an overdraft fee of $34 for each item they have to cover on accounts that have a negative balance. Receiving multiple charges per month can make a large dent on your already restricted finances.

Don’t Do it Alone

Family and friends are there when you need them. Whenever possible, ask for help. Rather than pay someone to babysit your kids for a few hours, have a family member come over to look after them. Carpooling with neighbors when dropping kids off at school or having someone pick up a few items at the grocery may seem like small favors, but they can amount to great savings in time and money.

Find a Better Paying Job

It sounds simple and glaringly obvious, but this tip is often ignored by a lot of single parents who are busy working to provide for their families. Without a good job, saving money as a single parent is an uphill battle that you might not ever climb. In your spare time, take online courses that can yield a certification or license. Use those credentials to either command a higher salary at your current job or start a business of your own.

Get Everyone on Board

Your children, especially at a young age, may not get the concept of what a single parent is and how that affects your personal finances. Rather than try to give them every single item that they want on a whim, it’s better to explain to them the situation you are in so everyone is on board. Make the conversation as clear and simple as possible without getting into details.

Final Thoughts

Saving money as a single parent can literally mean life and death for the parent and his/her children. Without any savings, even the slightest financial mishap can create devastating lifestyle changes.