How to Live on a Low Income

Living on a low income can pose challenges. However, there are tips and tricks that can make it easier-- and may even allow one to live fairly well on such an income.

One of the first things to remember is that you are not alone. Many people have lived on low incomes, and many currently are doing so. While some have folded in the face of such limited means, others have embraced the challenge and done well within the parameters of a low income.

A key point to succeeding on a low income is to budget. While knowing one's budget is useful at any income level, it is even more important when there is less money with which to work. Budgeting allows one to plan for the future, avoid potential pitfalls, and stay out of debt.

The part about staying out of debt is especially important when one's income is low, because even small debts can seem herculean in that situation. What starts out as a fairly small debt can grow through high interest loans. Debt can also start a downward spiral where other things are shortchanged and soon there is a mountain of things that have fallen into arrears. That can set the stage for falling into such a financial hole that it is nearly impossible to dig out of without filing for bankruptcy.

Another thing to do is to prioritize. Know what is the most important things to put your money toward. Does something advance your goals? For instance, investing money into a course that helps land a higher paying job may be a better use of money than a weekly Friday night pizza.

A third suggestion for living on a low income is to give up bad habits. That means cutting out things such as smoking, which carries with it the potential for a number of other costs such as added healthcare needs and the associated for yourself and household members.

Another important element in living on a low income is finding ways of saving money. Look for discounts on items that are commonly used by the household. An app such as Checkout Saver can be helpful in this regard. The app also boasts a cashback feature and, quite helpfully, the opportunity to buy gift cards at a discount.

Discounted gift cards can actually be quite useful, too. That is true whether purchased for personal use or to give as gifts. This can allow one to stretch one's personal budget or to give a thoughtful gift without breaking the bank.

One other tip that anyone living on a low income should keep in mind is to learn to cook. Preparing food at home tends to be significantly cheaper than dining out, and it certainly tends to be healthier than grabbing something at the drive-through window. Dishes need not be complicated or expensive, and it is perfectly reasonable to start out with simple dishes and work one's way up to more complex ones.

Living on a low income can pose challenges. However, by following some basic tips, one can do it-- and maybe even do it quite well.

Filed under: Life

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