Today’s Tip: How To Live On A Budget
Yes living on a budget does suck, but it is what 97% of Americans are doing right now especially with the way the economy is doing. However, we do all need to be able to splurge a little and buy ourselves treats now and then- am I right?! It may seem next to impossible with your income but I have some tidbits of how to live on a budget and still afford those things you want. Cutting costs and saving money will help you in the long run!
The first thing you need to do is to sit down with a piece of paper, a pencil with eraser, and a calculator. Next, right down how much your take home pay is aka your monthly income at the top of the piece of paper (total per month) and below that start listing your bills (per month). For example: $1,500.00 and then in list form start listing things like Electric, Cable, etc. In order to live on a budget, you want to be aware of all bills you can’t figure out how much you have to play with or allocate to bills until you know all the pieces of the puzzle and what you’re working with. Once you’ve done that, start putting the amount you pay each month next to each listed bill. So if you know that your cell phone bill is always $100.00 put that next to the bill. You want to essentially tally up all the bills and deduct it from your monthly income. Whatever you are left with is what you have to calculate for things like gas/train, groceries, emergencies, etc. However, if you can cut corners here and there wouldn’t that help you to live on a budget? For instance, if you have credit cards and you want to try to lower your bills- do some research. Find out how much the apr (annual percentage rate) is for your purchases on that credit card. If you see one that has a 23.99% apr call that credit card company immediately and request them to work with you on lowering the apr. If they won’t work with you, try to do a balance transfer to another credit card with a lower apr. Some credit card companies offer 0 % apr for the first 12 months. If you are struggling and still cannot get it lowered, try paying off as much as you can towards that one bill (credit card) until a significant amount has been paid off.
You can also save money to buy yourself things by?eliminating wasting your money.?When you’re living on a budget, you can’t be buying yourself lunch everyday at work, buying that new shade of lipstick every time you go to the grocery store, and things like that. And with that notion – you don’t need that new high end barbecue sauce, you can do just fine with the store brand. If you know you have $50.00 for that entire month to buy yourself something, try saving it for the next month so you can double your money and have $100.00. There’s no need to buy your lunch everyday when you can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches each day. A can of tuna can go a long way! Or you can try doing what a lot of people are doing nowadays -cooking up a larger portion meal on Sunday, so that you have leftovers to last you during the week. If you don’t watch those 10 specialized channels on your cable tv. call them to get them removed – lowering your bill will help to live on a budget. There are many ways for people to live on a budget, it’s a matter of figuring out what works in your particular life to help you. Perhaps you are a college student and want to go on a clothes shopping spree but don’t even have a job. Save the holiday present money you get and use that towards it. The most important part of how to live on a budget, is to make sure, make sure, make sure, you stick with it! Everyone can get lost off the track sometimes, but you gotta pick yourself up, dust yourself up, and try again.
It may be very hard and testing to live on a budget, but I guarantee you there are many other people out there looking to do the same so try and help eachother out! For example, if you don’t have the money to go to the bar and drop $80.00 on beer and then $30.00 on that 2 a.m. diner run with the rest of the group, try inviting everyone over to yourplace for pizza night. Buying beer in bulk (package store) is a lot cheaper than buying a beer at the bar. And take turns with other friends in the hosting part so that the scenery changes and you don’t get bored. It’s all a matter of re-evaluating your life to make it more feasible to live on a budget. Remember the key is to save money! Good Luck & Enjoy 🙂