I can tell you from experience that it is possible to get by with a small amount of money. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Although the cost of everything keeps going up while our wages stay the same or barely increase, there are steps you can take to get by while going through a financial hardship. If you play it smart, you will not have as big a struggle.
When it comes to buying food, realize that your days of lobster and steak are over. Choosing less expensive foods is easy and obviously economical for you. Start by eliminating fast food restaurants completely. If you want to see how much you spend on these excursions, try putting the money you would have spent at these places into a jar. You would be surprised at how much money you will save. Take this money and apply it instead to a monthly bill or debt.
Have your coffee at home. The latte at the coffee shop will always taste better than when you brew it at home, but do yourself a favor and save many dollars a week refraining from your coffee shop stop. You can brew several cups of coffee at home for the price of one short coffee beverage at the coffee shop.
Clip and use coupons at the grocery store. When you are short on cash, every penny saved counts. Buy fresh foods as much as possible. Buying already prepared foods is much more expensive. Not only will you save money, you will save yourself from unwanted calories, preservatives, and fats. Before you go to the store, take the time to make out a menu and grocery list. Without a meal plan you are likely to buy many things you do not need as well as various items, none of which can be put together to make a meal. Beforehand meal planning will save you money on your grocery bill. Where I live, there is a stigma about buying off-brand items. Some people seem to think that you have to get pretty poor to buy off-brand. There is an entire grocery store in the town where I live designated for off-brand items. These foods and items are the same things of the same quality only in less popular packaging. I find I can save 35% to 45% on my grocery bill by buying this way. Be prepared to bag your own groceries as they are not going to pay someone to pack them for you princess. That’s another cost-cut they make to make low prices possible.
Be realistic about your clothing needs. You can likely get by with what you already have without having to add a lot to your wardrobe. If you do have clothing needs, shop at a second hand store to save money that you need for more necessary things such as food and water.
Get smart about saving energy. Turn down the heat in the winter and put on a sweater instead. Clean or replace your heating and cooling filters once a month. Close drapes at night to reduce heat loss. Be conscious of the amount of water you use. Install low-flow showerheads. Repair leaky faucets. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. Don’t overload dryers. Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Being aware of any energy-sapping habits you have and taking steps to save will save you dollars throughout the year.
Give up bad habits. Drinking, smoking, and your busy social life are likely to rob you of your cash in a hurry. Hydrate yourself with water, quit the nasty habit of smoking, and stay home. Putting money spent on these things into a savings account could pay off a debt in no time. This money, over time, could add up to a large enough amount to put a down-payment on a house or pay for a much needed get away later on. These are very expensive habits and habits that your well-being can do without.
It is possible to get by on a so-called “shoestring budget”. Put these steps into effect and see your finances start to at least level off. Work hard, continue to spend smart, and you will see the light as you work toward a stable financial future.