These days, a lot of families have been forced to live on a single income. Almost everyone knows someone who has lost their job in this economy and replacing that income is not always easy This is why it is crucial to learn to live on what you got. In this case, that is a single income.
If this is the situation that you are dealing with, we have some advice for you. Take a look at 6 tips that can help you live on a single income.
1) Spend Less On Food
Keep on eating, just stop wasting money. If you are learning to live on a single income, there are certain things that you should avoid.
One of these things is meals out. This means restaurants, fast food and meal delivery. You should make every meal that you can at home. If you do not know how to cook, now is the time to learn. Luckily, the internet is a wealth of knowledge in this department.
Just cutting out meals out of the home and bringing your lunch to work can save the average family of four hundreds of dollars each month. There is more that can be done though. like meal planning.
With meal planning, you plan out all of your meals for a week and then buy just what you need to make them. This does away with the scatter shooting approach to grocery shopping and lets you cut down on food waste. Since we wast nearly 20 percent of the food that we buy, you can see how this can add up.
2) Stop Paying For Services You Can Do
If one person is staying home, chances are good that you have time to do a lot of the things that you have been paying for. Yes, that might mean that you have to cut your own lawn and clean your own house, but that is life.
Get creative with all of the other little services that you pay for. You might be surprised at what you can learn to do yourself. The internet, once again, is a great resource for this. Learn to do your own auto maintenance, home improvements and even your own pest control.
Cutting out all of those little things that you currently pay for can reduce your monthly expenses by hundreds of dollars.
3) Reduce Your Vehicle Spend
One income reduces the need for two vehicles. Can you get away with having just one vehicle? It might be inconvenient, but it can reduce your vehicle expenses by half. If you have two car payments, you could likely trade both vehicles in on one. Maximize your savings by making that one vehicle an economy one.
Should you need two vehicles, you still may be able to make some changes that can save you some money.
Look into refinancing or trading them in on a more economical choice of transportation. Also, if one of you is driving much less, call your insurer and tell them this. Many rates are based on the amount of miles that you drive.
4) Pay Off Your Revolving Debt
This is something that may cost you a little more in the short term but will save you big in the long term.
If you are carrying 10,000 dollars in debt and paying 20 percent interest, you are paying 2000 dollars a year in interest. That is over 160 dollars a month which is money that could be better used in other areas.
Make it a point to pay off your debt by doing two things. Stop using your credit cards and come up with a plan.
The most motivating plan is the Debt Snowball method. Simply put, you pay the minimum on all cards except one, you pay as much as you can on the lowest balance card. This lets you pay off that card faster, motivating you to continue. Do not underestimate the power of motivation.
5) Bring In Extra Money
Just because you are tring to live on a single income does not mean that they can not bring in some extra money.
There are a lot of ways to make extra money, even if you are stuck at home with kids. Search the classified for stay at home part time jobs. They may not pay much, but every dollar counts. Also, look into money saving apps. Applications like iBotta, for example, let you earn money back for things you already buy.
When it comes to extra money, every dollar counts at the end of the month. Even survey work can help provide an additional 20 to 50 dollars in gift cards which can be used for entertainment or even groceries.
6) Watch Your Utilities
With one person home all of the time, you run the risk of additional utility bills. Keep an eye on your costs to keep them steady or even reduce them. In fact, reducing them should really be your goal.
There are several easy ways to cut those costs. The easiest is your hot water heater. Most are set way too high. Why pay to keep 50 gallons of water sitting at 160 degrees when 140 degrees will do. This alone can cut your gas or electric bill by hundreds a year.
The next biggest utility killer is the HVAC system. You should dress for comfort and take the stress off the air conditioning or heater. This might mean bundling up a bit more in the winter or wearing a little less in the summer. Either option can let you move the thermostat a few degrees in the other direction to save some money.