A lot of us are earning a lot less than we perhaps once were. Maybe we’ve lost jobs, or clients or are simply finding the ever-rising cost of living is causing us to have less money every month. Let’s have a look at some top tips for how to survive on a low-income budget.
Create A Budget & Actually Stick To It
One of the things you need to do when asking the question of how to survive on a low income budget, is actually make and stick to a budget. Many of us write down how much we have to spend, but stray from those figures. Having a budget might be withdrawing that amount in cash and leaving your card at home so you can’t spend more. It might mean saying no to nights out with friends but if they are friends, they should understand your financial situation. A low income doesn’t mean you can’t live, you just need to live within your means. This is the biggest tip on the list, to live within your means and learn to stick to your budget – you can learn more tips about sticking to your budget here.
What Is Your Total Cost Of Living?
Firstly, you need to look at how much you spend every month in order to live. The cost of living differs from town to town, postcode to postcode. Look at the average rental cost, house price, annual council tax price. Find out how much you spend on utilities in the area you live compared to somewhere else you could move to. Do you live near to a budget supermarket? How much do you spend on commuting every week? Could you move closer to work, even if it was slightly more expensive but save money on your daily commute? You might save time as well which you could then put to good use, maybe with a side hustle.
Rent Out A Spare Room
You might not have wanted to be at this point in your life and be starting to consider a roommate. However, if you are struggling to make mortgage payments and you have a spare room, why not rent it out? Not only will you have company, you’ll be earning a monthly income by simply having someone living with you. If you’ve been covering the payments, you’ll be able to start saving some cash whilst living more comfortably. You’ll need to check if there is anything you need to do before having someone live with you. Take a look at this Citizens Advice article about taking in a lodger.
Nights In Over Nights Out
With someone else in the house, it might be easier to enjoy nights in. If we live alone it’s so much easier to be drawn out by friends and family. But nights out tend to cost money. A few drinks, a meal or a cinema ticket can add up. If you’re doing this two or three times a week, that’s a huge wedge of money you’re spending on going out. Nights out are expensive. When we say nights in though, we mean cooking for ourselves, maybe watching a film on the TV or getting out those board games from the cupboard.
Change Where You Shop
Changing where you do your shopping can help how to survive on a low income budget. Choosing budget supermarkets instead of more expensive ones will help keep your weekly food budget down. Changing the brand you buy will do that too. Bulk buying staples will cut the price you pay and cooking from scratch instead of buying ready meals will save money and be healthier too. Cooking for yourself is cheaper than buying a takeaway so fill up the fridge at a budget shop and make use of your freezer by batch cooking meals.
Have you considered the 50/30/20 budget method?