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One Parent Families

One Parent Families

Few of us imagine going it alone when we think about children. Instead, we picture the traditional family unit, with two parents sharing home and responsibility. Sadly, that doesn’t always work out. Even couples who are happy together at the time of conception can fall apart.

The person you thought would always be around could suddenly disappear altogether. Even in the case of joint custody, you'll go from being a family unit to a single-parent family, and that can be tough on you and your kids.

Luckily, single-parent families are no longer a rare or scorned sight. Instead, we're living in a society which is accepting and accommodating to the one parent experience. While losing a parenting partner can still come as a blow, then, it's now easier than ever to raise children alone.  

Instead of assuming everything is over when their partner's leave, many single parents provide a whole new life for their kids. Whether you're new to single parenting or are looking for support, then, keep reading to find out all about the experience of the one-parent family.


Advantages of single-parent families

Not so long ago, single parents had to deal with a barrage of do-gooders, letting them know why single parenting put their kids at a disadvantage. Now, though, we're coming around to the more positive aspects of the single parenting journey, including -

 

Less home arguments

While parents might once have stayed together for the kids, then, it now seems that’s not the ideal solution we once thought. Instead, one parent families raise their kids in more peaceful and harmonious settings. You don’t need us to tell you how much better that’s liable to be for child development.

The best possible role model

Every parent hopes to be a good role model, and single parents achieve this goal more than most. Taking on a family single-handed requires guts, hard work, and dedication. These are all traits that you want your kids to witness and live up to. And, they’re not necessarily things that you would have to express if you were sharing the parenting burden.

Closer parent/child relationships

Many one parent families also enjoy closer parent/child relationships. This is because you will be the sole carer, and thus the person your children rely on for everything. The shared feeling of responsibility that often comes in one parent families can also work wonders for bringing your small unit together.


Single parent statistics


The consensus may be that one parent families are becoming more common, but it’s hard to see how much so without looking at the statistics behind the claim.

According to Gingerbread, for example, around one-quarter of dependent children come from single-parent families. That’s an astounding 3 million children, or an overall 22%. Of those single parents, approximately 90% are women, a fact which remains true even in the history of one-parent families.

Things are slowly changing in that respect, though, with the number of single fathers increasing incrementally over the last ten years.


Reasons for increase in single-parent families


While two-parent families still outweigh the one parent experience, single parents certainly aren’t the rarity they were a decade or two ago. It’s also important to note that campaigns like #singleparentstrength are making us more aware of this way of life. But, awareness alone isn’t entirely behind this increase in single parenting.


In reality, it’s hard to pinpoint one precise cause which stands out above others. Raising divorce rates do, undeniably, play a significant role here, with an average of 8.4 divorces in every 1,000 marriages.

Along the same vein, some studies suggest increases here are due to our stepping away from traditions like marriage and reducing the legal obligation to stay together. Whatever the leading cause, though, the fact remains that one-parent families are on the rise, and proud of it.

Single-parent family holidays

As much as single parenting is now about strength over shame, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a tough gig. Raising children is rife with stress and worry even when you have a partner to share the burden.

If you’re taking everything on your shoulders alone, then, it’s no surprise if you’re considering a single parent family holiday. This is, after all, the ideal opportunity for you all to get away without the constant pressure you can sometimes face at home.

The trouble is that, despite an increase in one-parent families, holiday packages often still cater to the nuclear family image. Hotels, for instance, usually charge for rooms on a 2-adult basis, meaning that single parents have to pay above the odds.

Activities, too, are often targeted at families of four or more. Luckily, some travel agents have taken note of this and are working to target the influx of one-parent families coming their way. 

Some travel agents now partner with hotels in specific locations to bring room prices down for single adult occupants. Other such agents have also developed entire tailored packages for one-parent families.

These include single-parent group holidays, and activities targeted towards this new and upcoming family dynamic. All making it easier for you and your kids to get away!


Single parent travel insurance

Despite improvements in the holidays available, many single parents still find travel insurance a bit of a nightmare. In fact, many insurers don’t even allow you to purchase a family policy unless two adults are travelling. That’s a real problem, and it’s something which needs to change to cater for the changing face of families.

Luckily, while the industry is behind, some providers are now offering cover for single parent units. When seeking single parent travel insurance, then, you simply need to know the providers who offer deals which suit your situation. That way, you and your whole family will be able to enjoy holidays again, one parent and all.

Being a single parent can, undeniably, be tough. As you can see here, though, it’s fast on its way to getting easier, and your holiday hopes are the first things set to change!



Douglas Wilson
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5 ways to save money on your wedding

5 ways to save money on your wedding

With the cost of an average wedding running at over £20,000 this year, many couples find that they have to compromise on their dreams. Fiscal reality can be a bitter pill to swallow, and it can be tough to make ends meet.

However, while it is challenging to save money on your wedding, it isn't impossible.  Today we are going to look at five routes that could lower the budget of your wedding.  


Ask Your Friends and Family

Asking your friends and family for help is one of the best ways to lower the cost of any wedding. People are often far more generous with their time and expertise than they are when donating money.

In other words, asking guests to help could save you far more than you would receive if you simply asked for cash gifts. For example, the free app Honeyfund is a contemporary way to let your friends and family know you'd really prefer money instead of gifts on your big day.

However, you'll end up spending far more on vendors than you'll likely receive in cash from your guests. It's better to ask around and see whether you know someone who could save you having to hire so many vendors.

When you announce on social media that you plan to wed, you can start to put out feelers to check whether anyone you know could or would be willing to help.

You may not have a friend or relative who owns a bridal wear store but you may be lucky in other areas.

You may know someone who enjoys amateur photography, could they take your wedding photos? One of your friends may be a dab hand with Photoshop and could help you make the invitations.

You could forgo hiring a professional makeup artist if your best friend is excellent at makeup. Whether it's creating invitations, filming the wedding or helping out with a vehicle or venue, the possibilities are endless.

Even minor roles such as entertaining the kids can drive down the cost compared with hiring professional entertainers.  Who needs to hire a clown if your brother is great at balloon modeling?


Create a Wedding Budget

It's unromantic to think of money, but there's a financial aspect to all weddings, and you need to set a budget from the outset to stand a chance of saving money.

When you know whether any of your friends and family will be able to help, you should start to plan by discussing your budget. You must have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend and whether anyone will be helping you with contributions before you start contacting venues and professionals.

Creating a budget seems simple, but it is extremely complex to plan your cash flow and note the due dates for when vendors need to be paid.

Start by creating a rough timeline of when you'll need to settle invoices. The venue and certain vendors may require a deposit and then ask you to settle the balance on or soon after your wedding day.

Other vendors, such as wedding photographers may require payments long before then. If you want to send invites with professional photos, that photographer will likely not want to wait until your wedding day for you to settle your bill.

Creating a timeline will help you avoid expensive borrowing. Borrowing money on credit cards to pay for expenses is very expensive so it is best to plan your payments to avoid this.


Use a wedding planner app to help tailor your budget

There are a plethora of free apps that can help you plan your wedding and streamline your budget. From WeddingHappy, to Wedding Planner by The Knot, to Appy Couple, the options are vast.

It definitely worth checking out the Apple or Play store and reading the reviews for these free apps to choose the one that best fits your needs. For example, WeddingHappy designs a complete schedule with checklist and due dates making it one of the best free apps if you have no idea where to start!

Wedding Planner by The Knot also creates a wedding planners-style checklist but also contains a budget tool and gives you options to explore venues and contact vendors. This is great for exploring where you could save money as you can shop around to find the best deal.

Another free app worth mentioning is Appy Couple as it can both send invitations and collect RSVPs, two features that will save money compared with sending out physical invitations or paying a printing company to do so.  

Wedding planner apps can help you reduce the overall cost of your wedding without compromising on your plans.

Once you have a clear picture of the due dates and the number of vendors you need to hire, you can focus on filling in the missing details.

Azazie is a useful free app that helps anyone find the perfect wedding dress, for example. You can customize dresses and even have samples mailed to you. This makes shopping around far more convenient and helps you find what you want for less. 


Streamline your venues

Once you have a clear idea of your overall plan and know the due dates, the next step towards shrinking your costs is to streamline your venues. Steamlining doesn't mean downsizing or settling for worse.

It means looking at your proposed venues and considering whether you could have the same quality and experience for a lower price.

Wedding Spot is a free iOS app that lets you find all venues available to you without having to spend days searching for your dream location. For instance, if you search for 'Weddings in Scotland', or 'Weddings in Yorkshire', you will receive a list of options available.

You can then narrow down your search based on your budget and other factors. You may find this a useful way of booking a venue in your desired location while still looking after your budget.

Streamlining also entails booking fewer venues to keep costs under control. Instead of booking separate venues for the wedding and the reception, you may be able to have both in the same location.

Many couples completely overlook conference centers as potential venues for their receptions and end up spending far more on alternative venues such as hotels or function rooms attached to bars or restaurants.

Conference centers can be one of the most convenient and cost-effective venues for a wedding as all catering and hospitality, from the wedding reception to the dinner can be booked economically through the center's management. The manager will often have first-hand local knowledge of the best vendors to hire and can help you get a great deal.


Could a wedding planner help save you money?

There's no definitive answer as to whether a wedding planner could save you money but there are questions you can ask and research you can do that will skew the odds in your favor.

While a wedding planner can help keep things stress-free, they can also negotiate with vendors for lower rates and help keep you within budget. The best way to find a reputable planner is by word of mouth.

When you meet with a planner, you need to get to know them and see whether there is a good connection. After the meeting, ask yourself whether you felt your ideas were heard and whether you got a strong sense the planner will work with your budget.

Ideally, ask the planner whether they have worked at the venue you have chosen and whether they will work with vendors, even if they haven't worked with them before. If they have a portfolio or video of weddings they have planned before, take a look and see.

You should establish whether the planner will take a commission or discount from any of the vendors they refer to you.

Ask if the planner will invoice you for all the vendor fees or if you need to pay each one of them yourself. Finally, check what the planner's refund or cancellation policy is and ask for a list of references.

Once you have chosen a suitable wedding planner, you can explore different options for reducing the cost of your wedding.

A planner with local knowledge and experience should be able to point you towards lower-cost venues and suppliers. If you have your heart set on one particular venue, an experienced planner may be able to suggest a lower-cost venue with a similar feel and ambience for you to view.

A good planner with experience of working with a range of budgets will likely be able to secure you better prices than you'd be able to find on your own.


Conclusion

These five thrifty ideas should help you reduce the cost of your wedding without making too many compromises.

A key theme throughout these ideas is the sense of finding lower-cost substitutes instead of inferior alternatives. With a little help and some creative thinking, you can have the wedding of your dreams while saving thousands of dollars.  

Money Saving Mummy
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Getting fit on a budget

Getting fit on a budget

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep a fit body and mind. But many people think they need to spend a lot of money on exercise--including equipment, gym memberships, and fancy accessories. There are many ways to save money and still get the workout you need to stay healthy. Here are five tips for spending less on physical fitness. 


  1. Ditch your gym membership.

How often do you go to the gym? The average cost of a gym membership is around £45 per month--but only about half of gym members go on a regular basis. That's a lot of money to pay for a service you're not using. Even if you use your gym some of the time, you could find other, less expensive, ways to work out. 

 

  1. Buy used sports equipment.

Trying new ways to work out is fun. But, to enjoy many activities, you'll need to purchase some type of sports equipment. When you want to buy sporting goods such as tennis rackets, kayaks, bicycles, roller skates, or weights, try used first. Many stores specialize in used equipment. Craigslist and online garage sale groups are also great places to get discount sporting goods.


  1. Exercise outdoors - it's free!

There are many fun, free ways to exercise outdoors, even in the winter. Running and walking are easy outdoor activities that don't require special equipment (just a comfortable pair of shoes). Many people enjoy hiking in all seasons. If you enjoy bicycle riding, check out the bicycle trails in your area. Joining a bicycle club is an excellent way to socialize while you exercise. 


  1. Check out free or inexpensive classes.

Many larger cities offer free group classes. Ask around, or do an online search for your area. Working out with other people can help you stay motivated to meet your fitness goals while keeping more money in your pocket.


  1. Exercise at home.

There are many ways to exercise in your home for free. YouTube has a wealth of free videos for any type of exercise you're interested in--from yoga to martial arts. Your local library may also stock exercise DVDs. 


Exercise has many benefits for your physical and mental health. Save money while you exercise, and your mind, body, and wallet will thank you. 

 

 

Money Saving Mummy
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5 ways to save money on travel

5 ways to save money on travel

Travel is truly an enriching experience. The chance of landing your foot to unknown parts of the world is a unique and unforgettable experience, that's why it has topped the "Things I want to do before I die" list of many adventurers.

However, there are a lot of obstacles that keep people from reaching that dream. A lot of individuals are tied to their day jobs as sustenance for their daily lives.

Some of them can't afford the "nomadic" lifestyle due to priorities like housing, family, or even paying debts and bills. These things can put a traveler's dream on hold.

A limited budget isn't an excuse not to travel. There's always a way to save money, especially now that traveling has become one of the 'hot hobbies' over the past couple of years.

There is an increased demand for opportunities to travel, and a lot of businesses in the industry are offering things to supply that demand. If you do the right things, you can save up a traveling fund and live your dream.

This article points out 5 smart hacks to save up for traveling even with a limited budget. If you're interested to be a budget-wise traveler, read further to know more.

  1. Pick a flight schedule after holidays and special occasions.

A wise strategy to get the cheapest of deals in hotels, flights and attractions are picking tour dates just after the holidays. These include Christmas, half-term and long bank holiday weekends. Most of the time, holiday spots would tier up the prices on holidays because they are aware that people will take the chance to travel even with how pricey it would take. Be a smart traveler and pick a week or two after these dates to make things fit your budget.

 

  1. Accept short-term gigs for extra cash.

Millions of people earn an extra £100-300 per month just by looking for short-term 'gig' work on places like Upwork and Freelancer. If you have a special talent or hobby, you can search for a gig that you can do that relates to what you love doing the most. Are you into dogs? Perhaps you can find gigs where you can walk some dogs in your neighborhood. If you're into art, maybe you can start designing a business logo or make some merchandise designs. 

The great thing about this is you don't need to quit if you're done saving money. If your sole purpose is to keep the extra money for traveling, you can work for as little or as much as you want.

 

  1. Make use of travel promotions.

Travel promotions are virtually seen all over the web. Whether it's a newly opened location, a package deal for your family, or an accommodation at discounted prices, you can find a lot of promotions and avail it at eligible periods.

Often, these coupons can save you a lot of money. Websites like Orbitz and Travel Coupons are just some of the websites where you can find good travel deals. Before you purchase anything on your own, try to find websites who offer the equivalent deal for a discounted price.

 

  1. Develop money-saving habits.

A great way to save just a little more cash before your trip is doing some money-saving habits. Do you often eat in restaurants? Maybe you can try skipping the eat-out sessions to save at least £50 a week. A good alternative is preparing your lunch over the weekend to be brought on weekdays.

Maybe you can try skipping the coffee shop routine, going to the cinemas, or unnecessary shopping. Who knows, you might even enjoy these money-saving habits and continue to do them even after your trip.

 

  1. Make a budget plan.

If you're the type who can't keep his or her hands off unmonitored budgets, then creating a budget plan may be the best way to keep track of your goals. To do this, you need to have a special envelope or a box to keep your travel budget.

If you're worried about being tempted or you feel like this is unsafe, you can go the extra mile by making a bank account for your travel expenses. By doing this, you have a lesser chance of spending your travel budget for the wrong reasons, and even save more money just before your trip.

Be sure to take note of these tips, and you're sure to succeed in small steps. All dreams come from accomplishing small yet realistic steps. These small 'wins' in life are what ultimately point you towards accomplishing your travel goals.

Money Saving Mummy
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