We live in a consumer society. It is difficult to stay out of debt and live on a budget. What if you have a small income and many expenses? How do you make your income stretch as far as you can? How can you consolidate debt so it’s not overtaking your expenses? We will explore the answer to these questions in this post.
Food and Clothing
If you have been following this blog for some time you might have read this post about saving at the grocery store, and this one about saving when buying clothes for your family. If buying used isn’t your desire buying end of the season will save you a bundle. At least two major clothing stores offer discounts for buying at their store often. You with these discounts, you can make out with several articles of quality clothing for you and your family. Food and clothing are not the only thing we need to worry about spend too much money on.
Eating out can easily suck up your funds! I know it is so easy to stop and your favorite restaurant and grab something to go. It is, however, very dangerous for your pocketbook. If staying on budget at restaurants is difficult, consider a tip from Dave Ramsey and do cash.
Set a budget amount and withdraw that amount in cash. When the cash is gone, no more eating out for the month! There are many cookbooks and websites that have weekly meal planning ideas and set plans. Taking the time to challenge yourself to be creative in the kitchen can help you stay in YOUR kitchen.
If you find yourself on a small budget with many consumer expenses, consider how you can consolidate those expenses. If credit card debt is the majority of your debt, consider a credit consolidation company like Trinity Debt Management. If you have been paying on your home and cars for some time, you could consider refinancing the loan to get a better interest rate. Keep in mind, you will need to have more than a specific amount of money for small loans like a vehicle to qualify for refinancing.
It will automatically extend your loan, be mindful to choose the shortest length. If you’re looking to consolidate your debt and pay it off quickly. Remember the behavior that made the consumer debt in the first place. Dave Ramsey says, “Personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge.” Our society makes it difficult to stay out of debt, but it is possible to still live within your means and get out of debt if life throws a curve ball.
Lastly, life’s curve ball can mean ends don’t quite meet. What can you do when that happens? This is a prime opportunity to consider creative ways to make extra money. If you’re wanting to know what that can look like Dan Miller has a whole book of free and low cost business ideas.
You can also look for side gigs on Upwork, Fivver, and web searches, but don’t let the frustration of not having money get you down. Think of it as an opportunity to think outside the box to finding the work that is something you enjoy and gives you the financial freedom you’re looking for.
In recapping, there are many areas of life that can easily eat up our monthly finances. We must be diligent to have a budget and stay within that budget for eating out, grocery shopping, and clothing to name a few. Consolidating your debt can be a good option for your debt to be managed easier with the understanding you must change the habit that led you to the debt. In the end, being tight on funds can be the best opportunity to finding work you love and finding that financial freedom through side gigs.
How have you lived on a budget and paid down your debt?