How to Save Money on a Low Income and Still Enjoy Life
Can you still save money if you are living on a low income? With a few adjustments to your finances and a little creativity you can pay your bills, save money, and live your life. Take control of your budget and let go of financial stress. Here’s how to do it.
Find Out Where the Money Is Going and Cut the Excess
Get out a pen, paper, and calculator, have a seat and get started. Write down all your monthly expenses. What can you eliminate, change, or reduce, without sacrificing your quality of life? Keep in mind, sticking with a budget on a low income doesn’t mean you have to suffer – it just means that you have to be creative. There are probably plenty of areas on your list where you can save money, you just may not be aware of them yet.
- Instead of buying your coffee on the way to work, brew your morning pick-me-up at home.
- Prepare your meals at home instead of eating out (feeling bored? Check out some of these ideas!)
- Ride your bike, walk or use public transportation to cut down your fuel costs, and get some free exercise!
- Take books out from the library instead of buying new ones.
- Instead of a holiday try slow travel, and try living with locals instead of staying in expensive hotels.
- Can you reduce your utility bills by using less electricity, heat, and water at home?
You can save a lot of money, feel empowered, and even have some fun by doing things yourself. Do you spend a lot on beauty products? Try making your own creams, cleansers, and bath products. What about cleaning supplies? With simple, inexpensive items like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils, you can make most of your necessary household cleaning items yourself.
Another way to save is by growing some of your own food. Whether you have outdoor space for a vegetable garden or can only fit a few pots for fresh herbs and lettuces in a sunny window, home gardening will reduce your grocery budget and provide you with an abundance of delicious, fresh veggies.
Restructure Your Bills
Another way to lower your expenses and have more, even on a tight budget, is to restructure your bills. Things like cable, phone, and car insurance may be necessary, but are you overpaying? Check with your providers to make sure you are using the most cost-effective option for your needs. If you don’t watch a lot of TV and you are not a heavy home internet user, then consider cancelling these bills. You can access free Wi-Fi services at the library or local coffee shops instead of paying a hefty monthly bill for services that you barely use. You may even end up spending more time on other, more fulfilling activities like reading or art.
Make getting out of debt a priority. The more you pay down your debt, the more money you will have to save for the future, to invest, or to use to enjoy your life. You can start by tackling your highest interest rate debts first – typically your credit cards. Then, as each credit card or loan is paid off, use the money that you were using to pay it off to tackle the debt with the next highest interest.
Reduce Your Food, Clothing, and Entertainment Expenses
Do you know how to save money on groceries and still eat healthy, delicious food? Use these three money saving tricks at the grocery store:
- Buy in bulk. Things like grains, legumes, dried fruit, coffee, and tea will cost significantly less when you shop in the bulk section of your grocery store.
- Look for the store brand. You can save and still get what you need by choosing the store brand. Simple goods like soap, pasta, canned fruits and veggies, cheese and milk may have the same contents as other higher-priced brand name options.
- Check out what is on sale. You don’t need to spend an hour cutting coupons before you shop, but a quick look at what is on sale can save you money on your weekly grocery bill.
You can easily reduce your clothing and entertainment spending simply by cutting back. If you don’t need a new shirt, then don’t buy it. If you want to go out, then find out if there are any free or low cost community events that you could enjoy before springing for an expensive night out.
Make a New Budget, Enjoy Your New Life
To get started:
- Make a list of your expenses.
- Make a list of what you can do to save – DIY projects, money saving grocery shopping, prioritizing high-interest debts, cancelling or reducing services, and overall just simplifying your life.
- Write out a new budget – the one that allows you to have everything you need, put a little extra money away into savings, and enjoy your life.
Knowing how to budget on a low income, by being creative, positive, and proactive, is the secret to enjoying your life, having plenty, and saying goodbye to financial stress.
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