If you are like me, it can be difficult to manage a budget when you have student loans and other financial obligations to worry about. A part of my experience as a Volunteer In Service to America is to live in poverty, according to the region I am serving, for a year. Our goal as asset builders is to fight poverty by helping people become financially literate and save money to create a better life for themselves and their families, such as the current and future homeowners of the New Century IDA program. I am fortunate enough to live at home with my parents so I don’t have to worry about rent for now, but many VISTAs choose to relocate, meaning they have to learn to live on a very tight budget while simultaneously paying rent and any other monthly bills. For many of us, this is a small price to pay for the opportunity to serve our country and to fight poverty. We become advocates for budgeting and saving, and in turn, we become financially literate ourselves (or, that is the hope). (more…)
For those people who don’t make $40,000 plus a year or even $30,000 a year, here are a few ways you can save money in this horrible economy even if your income is low.
Ok, so you don’t make a lot of money and you’ve done all the usual recommendations to try and save money. It’s time to think outside the box and put your thinking caps on.
Here are three sure ways to help you save money even with a low income: (more…)
Considering his definition in a literal sense helps us see money in a new light. Even for the struggling income family or person, you CAN save some money each month, by putting a little away at a time. This requires a meticulous, systematic approach to budgeting and spending and requires a resolve to focus on decreasing spending so that savings becomes a priority. But you can also do some simple things every month that will help you save for a rainy day. (more…)
Getting by on a low income takes careful organisation – here are a few positive steps you can take to make it easier.
Work out your budget
First of all, you have to know what money is coming in and what’s going out – and when. Making a budget gives you a clear picture of where your money goes, and shows you where you might have a chance to save money. It will also help you see whether you are living within your means.
Look at ways to cut costs and shop smartly
It can be difficult to change the amount of money you have coming in – but you have much more control over what goes out. Your budget shows you where your money’s going, so you can see if there’s anything you can easily cut back on, or shop around for a better deal. (more…)
Wash laundry by hand to save money. Yup, that’s right. They still sell washboards at some hardware stores and all you need is a large pan to do it in. In fact, while I am living off grid in the middle of the forest, I wash all my laundry by using a plastic container and just using old fashioned scrubbing and wringing to get the job done. I save even more money by catching rainwater instead of buying bottled or city water. This will really help you save money if you have to do your wash at the Laundromat while trying to live on a low income. (more…)
Have an emergency fund and three months’ worth of income in a savings account just in case.
Avoid scams that rip off the poor: used car leasing, rent-to-own, banks, payday lenders, and buy here, pay here car lots.
Save save save! Save as much as you can, whenever you can. Shop on clearance, don’t impulse buy, and create a budget. Shop at the Goodwill or the thrift store instead of paying full price for clothing. Use coupons and if you go out to eat, choose the special instead of ordering off the menu. Know what your money is going to each month! (more…)
1) Housing is the biggest cost; share your rental house/apartment with one or more roommates. The money they contribute to your housing costs can be saved for an emergency fund. My husband and I did this while we were graduate students and while there is a decrease in privacy, you don’t have to allocate such a large portion of your income to housing costs.
2) Buy everything second hand. Everything. Furniture, clothes, shoes, cooking utensils. Thrift stores are utilized more heavily now than when we were students but it is still possible to get stuff that you can wear, use and sit on. Try and get family to give you their old, extra pieces of furniture for free. Don’t bother to buy any nice furniture until you have assets. Don’t buy too much furniture until you have your own house; you’ll just end up selling the stuff or lugging it all to the new place. (more…)