If you find yourself on the lower end of the income spectrum, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you need to pay and when you need to pay it.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to budget on a very low income without going over your allotted funds every month so that you can start saving money and getting out of debt more quickly. Here are ten tips on how to budget on a very low income.
Living On A Low Income Tips
1. Start a Budget
Setting a monthly budget is a great way to save money, regardless of your income. Give yourself a list of things you need to pay for and set a specific amount for everything. It is very important to be realistic when setting a budget and make sure you don’t exceed it.
Before you start figuring out your budget, take a look at your family’s spending habits. After that, it will be easier to create your financial plan. Also, there is great accounting software that can help you set an automatic budget according to your needs.
You can use these tools and techniques to design a budget that will help keep track of everything.
2. Track Your Spending
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After you set up your budget, it’s essential to know where all your money is going. Use a budget tracker such as Chunk Finance to keep track of your spending throughout each month. Even if you don’t quite follow through with your plan, tracking will show where you’re wasting money and allow you to adjust accordingly.
Such software and tools will make it so much easier to stick with your plan and stay within budget every month.
3. Make a Monthly Meal Plan
Planning out your meals is a simple way to keep costs down, make sure you’re getting enough nutrition, and prevent unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Write about making a monthly meal plan and how that is an important tip for budgeting on a very low income.
When you plan your meals for each month, it can also help ensure that you don’t get bored with what you eat and inspire your culinary creativity.
4. Figure Out Your Priorities
Budgeting is all about setting your priorities. Before you start budgeting, take time to reflect and determine your financial priorities. For example, are you focused on finding more discretionary income to save for fun stuff? Or do you need to work extra hard to pay off debt?
Whatever your budget priorities are, write them down and stick with them when making spending decisions. This will make it easier for you to find areas where expenses can be cut and establish your financial goals.
5. Keep Track of Everything
It can be difficult to budget your spending and savings when you have very little income, especially if you don’t live with other people or are just starting as an adult. It is important to keep track of every budget you save or spend.
Write down everything you need or want and keep track of how much it costs. Try to get your necessities (such as rent) taken care of before buying anything else.
6. Use Cash Only While Grocery Shopping
It’s tempting to use credit or debit when grocery shopping, but it’s important to keep things in perspective: For example, using cash only while grocery shopping is an effective way to teach yourself how much money you have available.
It can also help curb impulse purchases. If you go overboard and end up wasting your food budget one week, at least you will have developed some self-restraint and won’t be as likely to waste money again in the future.
7. Eliminate Bad Habits
Bad habits can be quite costly. Aside from being bad for your mental and physical health, they can easily eat up your entire budget.
Try giving up any bad habits like smoking, playing the lottery, gambling, and making impulse purchases to make yourself feel better. If you manage to cut off any of these things, you will quickly see a huge change in your budget.
8. Cut entertainment expenses
We are sure that Netflix is great, but it is not an essential expense. There are a lot of cost-free websites that allow you to watch anything you like, just like Netflix.
Plus, it is time to find some other entertainment activity rather than lay down on the sofa and watch an entire season in two days. For a change, you can go for a walk, hike, or organize a game night with your buddies at home.
9. Do a No Spend Month
This one may be the toughest, but it sure is the most effective. If you want to save money, plan at least one month where you will not spend on anything other than the necessary things. Making this effort will have a great effect on both your budget and your habits.
By doing a “no spend month,” you can see what kinds of expenses you can live without. Although it is a bit aggressive saving technique, it is okay to try it once in a while. It will help you create a habit of being more responsible and easily distinguish the things that are necessary and the things that are not.
10. Learn to Do It Yourself
Oh, the ultimate saving technique. You can always learn how to repair something on your own. When you are living on a low outcome, you cannot afford to immediately replace everything once it breaks or it needs fixing.
Learning how to DIY repairs instead of replacing things can save you a ton of money. Just go to YouTube and find a video that will show you how to do something, and you are all set up!
Living on a low income is not easy. Still, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything in life. No matter how little money you earn, there is always some room for savings.
If you start small, set up a budget, and try to stick to it, you will quickly notice the difference. Things like unplugging electrical appliances when not in use, bringing your lunch to work, or saving on transport will help you reach your income goals and become more financially stable.
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