Page 24 - Alaska Parent Spring 2021
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 24 alaska parent spring 2021
By Christa Melnyk Hines
Life is expensive. Life with kids is even more expensive. So how do some parents who rely on one income not only survive, but still find ways to create a happy, well-rounded life for their families?
According to Leah Ingram, a money-saving expert and author of Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less, housing, transportation and education are the largest expenses facing today’s families. If
you can reduce spending in one of those areas, you’ll live more comfortably on less, she advises.
TIP: When making a purchase, ask yourself if it’s a need or a want. “If you can do without it, then don’t buy it.”
“For most Americans owning a home is the American dream. But for
so many people, especially families with children, renting in a good school district makes more sense than buying a home in a lower- quality school district,” Leah says.
Thinking about leaving your job to stay home with your children? First, create a spreadsheet that compares the costs of commuting and childcare versus how much you’ll save on those two expenses once you’re down to one income.
“Sometimes it actually makes more sense for both parents to continue to keep working,” she points out.
According to Pew Research, 31 percent of families live on a single income. Although many families make the choice, others are forced into the position.
Beth Beseau, whose children are ages 8 and 5, is the primary breadwinner in her family. “We’ve had to be flexible and willing to make adjustments in our lifestyle,” she says.
Her greatest challenge? Controlling the urge to impulse buy.
“When you’re making a purchase, you have to ask yourself if it’s a want or a need. If you can do without it, then don’t buy it,” she advises.
Decide how often you
can afford to dine out at restaurants as a family. Instead of hitting the drive- thru for coffee every morning, make your own at home. And brown bag your lunches for work and school.
Planning your family’s meals ahead of time can help you save money by curbing the need to pick up unhealthy fast food on the fly. Try planning your weekly meals around whatever specials your favorite grocer is offering that week. Or, head to a bulk

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