A lot of us learn a relatively small income that can hardly cover all our expenses yet we want to live comfortable lives. Here are a few tips that can help you survive on that small salary;
Although it may be tempting to bury your head in the sand and bumble along in the hope that everything will be okay, this approach will ultimately lead to debt. Taking a long hard look at how much you have coming in and where it goes may be difficult, but it is the only true way to gain control of your finances.
There are many free online budgeting tools that can help you do this. It is as simple as creating a list of all the things you are paying out and when, and deducting the value of these from your income as you receive it. This exercise will help you to see if you are living beyond your means, and can also flag areas where you may be able to save money.
The next stage is to list your essential outgoings and deduct these from your income. What’s left is the amount you have free to spend on other things. It may be little or none at all, and sometimes you may not even have enough to cover your essentials. Knowing this is the first step towards dealing with it.
Cut Back and Shop Smart
When you see your budget down in black and white, it may surprise you to find how much you are spending on non-essential items. It’s important to feel like you can treat yourself now and again, just buying a sandwich each day is another financial drain that many people are oblivious to. This is an item you can easily substitute, creating an instant saving. Buy a travel cup and make your own coffee before you leave the house, and get into the habit of preparing yourself a packed lunch. This may have health as well as financial benefits!
Planning your weekly shopping trip around a list of meals can also help you to save. Instead of lobbing random items into the shopping trolley buy only what you need for the week and stick to your menu. Capitalise on supermarket deals when you can, and think about substituting own-brands for famous ones. Often the products are so similar the only place you’ll notice the difference is on your bank balance.
Get Savvy in the Home
Turning off lights and appliance standby lights can save money too. And if you have the choice, then taking a shower instead of a bath each day will save you money on your annual water and electricity bills. Indulge in a bath on a Sunday perhaps, and use some of the money you’ve saved to buy yourself a new book to read whilst you enjoy a soak!
Benefit from Benefits
Crisis loans are there to help, so if you are in dire need then find out if you can apply.
Living on a low income is hard work and you can feel like you are constantly fighting an uphill battle. But with a little effort and self-control you may find that making ends meet is easier than it looks, and whilst you still may not feel affluent, just being in control of your finances can help boost your energy and mood, and improve your quality of life.
Start a Side hustle
If you can’t cut costs anymore than you already have, consider diversifying your income by starting a side hustle to earn extra money. Aside from your full-time job, you can get a job on the side to provide another income source.
Many side hustles can be done right from your own home in your spare time. Think about what you’re good at doing, what kind of hobbies that can earn money, or what you already enjoy that can be turned into a side job.
Popular side hustles include freelance writing, data entry, and graphic design or a small business.