What do you do when money is already tight? Regardless of the reason of why money is tight, you must eat and keep the lights on.
So what can you do?
How can your family survive when there is no extra wiggle room in the budget?
Look at the food budget
There is always room to cut down in the food budget.
Here are just a few tips that can show immediate savings in your grocery budget.
*Eat less food
*Another great tip is to make a menu and then devise a grocery list from that. Below I have two grocery list examples that I use when shopping.
My biggest savings alone have come from hours of pouring over books on how to save money. From reading I have learned how to mend clothes better, use essential oils, make my own laundry soap, create a monthly menu plan, and tons of other useful frugal tips.
One of my all-time favorite books is Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family, by Steve and Annette Economides.
Switch to Cash
Instead of using debit cards or credit cards only pay with cash for daily transactions. Paying with cash is personal, making it more painful to part with. It causes you to pause before you pay.
Make it a goal
Is cash hard to come by right now?
Strive to cut down in every category, even if just by a little.
Can you stop your cable bill or sports channel package for a few months?
What about any online subscription packages that you really don’t use?
Having a goal to cut down by any means possible will result in more money for you to save in the long run. A few dollars here and a few dollars there really can add up.
Define Wants vs Needs
Our culture has conditioned us to think that we deserve to have everything and that shouldn’t have to do without.
BUT guess what? You would be surprised to find that you can actually do without a lot of things, and still be quite content!
Now is the time to take a good look at the things you spend your money on.
*Do you really need them or could you do without and use the money that you save to give your budget a little more wiggle room?
And if giving something up permanently sounds too difficult, maybe you would be willing to do it just temporarily until you get ahead a bit.
Now is the time to cut out anything you absolutely do not need.
Look at these for consideration.
Eating out is not a necessity.
New clothes, toys, or vehicles are not a necessity.
Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are not necessities.
*What can you completely eliminate from your budget for now or forever?
You are in survival mode and must do whatever it takes to pay the bills, keep the heat and lights on, and food on the table.
It is not time for buying presents or gifts for anybody. You must remind yourself that you need to feed your family before your great Aunt Hilda gets a Christmas present.
When Worse Comes to Worse
Stop worrying about your credit score.
If money is so tight and you are struggling to pay all of the bills, consider paying the credit cards and school loans last. Or do not pay until you’re more financially stable.
Credit card companies and school loan bankers will call you, they may even get demanding and threaten you, BUT they cannot touch you or your bank account.
Do not give electronic access to your bank account-UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES.
They can and will drain your entire account, with or without your permission. (Read here to see what Dave Ramsey has to say about credit card collectors)
Find a Side Hustle
This is where creativity can come in and pay off big time.
- What can you sell? Can you have a garage sale?
- What can you make and sell?
- What part time gig can you find?
- What services do you have to offer? Babysitting, bookkeeping, tutoring, fixing a car, sewing, repair, gardening?
Still looking for some helpful tips on how to live frugally? Check out some more great articles below.
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Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home