The all-important question of how to maximize savings is asked by nearly everyone in the country. Whether you eat out less, cut down on credit card spending or coupon shop every week, there are a variety of ways to keep your money right where it belongs: In the bank. For single mothers, saving money and maximizing income is much harder. They often work more than one job, pay for childcare and must balance time between taking care of their children and going to work. Government help for single mothers is extremely vital to those who live in major metropolitan areas because salary levels tend to be stagnant while housing prices are sky high.
Saving Money is Possible, But Attention to Detail is a Must
Like everyone else, single mothers can save a significant amount of money if they pay attention to their bills and expenses.
The vast majority of American consumers spend most of their time on-the-go and working, leaving them with no chance for eating at home or preparing their lunch in the morning before they head to work. To save money, single mothers can prepare a quick lunch in less than five minutes at the same time that they are preparing meals for their children. Five minutes seems like a drop in the bucket when compared to the hectic day that lays ahead.
Shopping habits should also carefully be monitored. In big cities like New York and Los Angeles, shopping opportunities are waiting at every corner, and a new set of shoes or new television is always pulling people in. Keep your shopping sprees to a minimum, and try to focus most of your shopping around the holidays when the best deals come to light.
When it comes to grocery shopping, everyone tends to overspend as well. Avoid this by keeping a consistent list of items that you buy every week and look for coupons as much as possible.
Assistance for Single Mothers in Big Cities
Big city life can be exciting and stressful at the same time. While there is a lot to do for both single mothers and their children, the cost of basic amenities can skyrocket very fast.
Government assistance for single mothers can really make an impact to those living in cities like Philadelphia or New York. There are a variety of programs that can greatly reduce the amount of money single mothers spend every month on food, housing and other basic necessities.
- Medicaid – This program is designed to cover medical expenses for low income individuals and families. Most Children who live in low income households can easily qualify if single mothers fill out a few simple forms online, potentially saving them thousands of dollars per year in monthly premiums.
- Subsidized Housing – Monthly rent payments have always been the biggest bank account drain for single mothers. When it comes to housing, there are a variety of single mom assistance programs available. Prospective applicants can fill out an application, submit income verification documents and begin looking for their future apartment once they’ve been accepted into the program. Once a place has been found, the government will subsidized a portion of their monthly rent payment.
- Food Stamps – For single mothers who struggle to bring home enough money to provide a decent meal, food stamps can one of the most useful assistance for single mothers available. The amount of food stamps a single mother receives depends on their current income level, number of children in the household and more. Since food is often much more expensive in big cities, this government benefit can have a huge impact on a single mother’s quality of life.
Maximizing Savings with Tax Deductions
No one likes tax season, even if they think they might get a tax deduction. For single mothers, tax season means having to fill out piles of paperwork, potentially dealing with costly tax accountants on possibly having to owe the government money. Fortunately, there are a number of different tax deductions and tax breaks that can used to maximize income tax returns in April.
When filing taxes, assistance for single moms comes in the form of certain boxes that must be checked or forms that must be filled out when filing taxes. The most important of these is the Earned Income Credit. This tax benefit allows single mothers to get a tax break if they make less than $52,000 per year. While there are some restrictions in place that don’t allow everyone to apply for this credit, the vast majority of single mothers should have no problem.
Another great way to save money on taxes is to ensure you maximize your dependents. The more dependents you have the more money you receive on pay day. There is a limit to how many dependents you can claim however, every child you have must be claimed as a dependent when April rolls around.
How to Apply for Tax Deductions and Other Tax-Related Single Mom Help
If you’re unsure about how many children you can claim on your tax forms and if you’d like to know how much money you’ll receive when refunds are handed out, it’s best to contact a reputable and trustworthy tax accountant. A variety of free tax resources are available, including making a phone call to the IRS, contacting your local city government or filing your taxes online.