Being a single mom requires a serious juggling act to make sure that all ends meet. I continuously look for where I can cut costs and increase my savings. I am always looking for a way to save money because my income is the only one that we have. God forbid if I lose my job, what would happen next?
I was watching the Steve Harvey Show about a week ago, and one of the segments focused on a single mom who was living paycheck to paycheck with about $150,000 in debt. A financial coach was on the show, who assessed her income and expenditures and developed a plan for her to start breaking through her money troubles and breaking the cycle. During the segment, the financial coach mentioned several tips that would help you get out of debt.
Here are some of the tips that were referenced during the show.
At a very high level, the tips referenced were:
1. Set budget. Pay attention to what’s coming and what’s going out of your account very carefully. You’ll have a better assessment of where your money is going, and you’ll be more careful in how you spend your money.
2. Cut back. Although we don’t want to cut back on that salon trip or on buying those new pair of shoes, we should cut back in order to make sure we can make ends meet.
3. Allocate tax refund. Before your receive your tax refund, figure out how you’re going to spend it. Come up with a plan and stick with it.
4. Build credit. Having credit isn’t a bad thing, abusing credit is. Focus on reducing balances and building up your credit profile.
One tip that really stood out to me was the ability to cut back on costs. There is always some wiggle room to reduce costs. Part of my mission for 2015 has been to cut back on costs and start saving some money.
One of the ways that I will meet this goal, which was actually recommended by the financial coach, is to cancel my cable. I have been thinking about cancelling for quite some time but needed the right push to make it happen.
I finally sucked it up and cut the cord…
There are a number of reasons why I’m finally cancelling our cable, and I would like to share them with you.
1. Cutting back on costs. I just mentioned this reason above, but it is worth being reiterated. I currently pay about $130 for cable. This cost is separate from the almost $50 that I spend on Internet services. If I cancel cable, that is an automatic $130 that I’m saving each month.
2. There are NUMEROUS options outside of cable. There are so many options available, including Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu, and Redbox, to name a few. And they cost significantly cheaper than cable.
3. Spend more time together as a family. Without cable, I find myself spending more time with Micah, whether we’re watching a movie together or just watching one of his favorite shows. And we turn off the TV a lot more too. We have been spending time together playing with his train tracks or building blocks. The TV is no longer the center piece of the living room – it’s now us.
4. Get rid of the ‘there’s nothing on’ syndrome. How many times is the television just on for the sake of being on when you have cable? When you have cable, you spend a lot of time just flipping through the channels, challenged by the numerous channels with nothing that interests you. Without cable, you can’t just have the TV on. There will be nothing on. Without cable, you have to be very deliberate in what you want to watch.
5. The commercials were killing me. I have never seen more commercials in my life until the holiday season came around. The shows that previously only had two commercials now had about 6 or 7. The commercials only worked to convince a child that they wanted a particular item or give parents a reason to buy just one more thing for their child for the holidays. Once cable was gone, the temptation to buy was gone too.
6. No more waiting for the cable guy. I have spent many days sitting around waiting for the cable guy to come over to fix something. I actually spent the first 3 weeks after moving into our new apartment without cable, waiting for the cable guy to show up and fix my cable service. And recently, my friend Titi waited for the cable guy to show up only to find out that the appointment was cancelled and they didn’t inform her.
7. Influence while I sleep. It’s so easy to fall asleep with the television on when I have cable. And there are numerous times when I’ve woken up to some questionable things on television, especially on Cartoon Network. They show some really freaky things late at night, and sleeping with it on is equally scary. Without cable, even if I fall asleep, the show will just turn off. Questionable things will not continue playing in the background while we sleep.
Have you cancelled your cable service? Are you thinking about cancelling your cable? Why?
This post is part of the Ask Epic Mommy series, focused on providing tips to help single parents…and all parents overall.
I hope you enjoyed this post and future posts!
One of the things that I’ve heard from fellow single parents is that they fear judgment from others, whether through blog comments or in person. I want to create somewhat of a safe haven for fellow single parents and other parents to share their thoughts, issues, and concerns without fearing judgment. Because we always need somewhere to go to talk to someone that understands what we’re going through. Every week, it will be a little different. I will be sharing my own posts focused on single motherhood, co-parenting, and much more, along with advice for other single parents. Additionally, I’ll be sharing stories from other single parents, and we can all learn and grow together. If this series becomes popular as I plan it to be, I intend to open a Facebook group for even further discussion and inspiration. I’m also looking for contributors on this series, so if you’re interested in joining the team, please let me know!