We live on a one-income zero-based budget that is tight (no wiggle room). I can’t work due to health and have barely enough energy to care for my family/home. Sometimes people do have a finite budget and energy (contrary to some of the thoughts/ideas I read out there), so I’m wondering if there are others out there who can relate and would love to hear some of their tips/ideas? Tips like canceling cable, spending less on vacations, not going out, etc. don’t apply to us as we have cut those things already and much more. I know we’re not alone as there are many who live on disability, unemployment, and social security alone. I am thankful and blessed with all that we do have. Thank you in advance, and I agree that sharing with each really helps!
First I’ll touch on a few of the exact examples you gave us in the question and then I’ll dig in my brain for some more tips:)
- Cancelling Cable: I not only don’t have cable, I don’t even have a tv. They are expensive and personally I think, a time waster. We do have a desktop computer with a dvd drive so we can watch movies if we want. We get movies to rent only when I can get them with a free Redbox or Blockbuster code.
- Spending less on vacations: I know we all want and need vacations some times but when there is no money for them it’s time to stay home. I’m sure you know that the “staycation” has become popular lately. Find freebies to do around your town and nearby that you might not normally do, or pay a few bucks and check out a local museum for a day. I know that our local history museum has a day where you can get in for free and some days for a can of food.
- Use everything you have, even if it’s use is unexpected and not the norm. For example, the other day I made apple cider vinegar using the cores and peelings from apples that I got for free that I’d already used to make apple sauce. Before you through it away, wrack your mind for any other use that you might have for it.
- Take everything one step at a time, one day at a time. If you can put away $1 a day for a year into a savings account that’s great. If you can only afford to put away $1 a week for a year into a savings account, that’s great too. Do what you can with what you have.
- Look around and see if there’s anything you don’t need in your home or that you haven’t used in months and sell it. Take it to a consignment store, sell it on Ebay, have a rummage sale. Even making $25 or $50 can help pay bills.
- If you live in a cold climate don’t crank up the heat when it gets cold. Even we realized last year we can’t afford electric heat so we purchased a wood stove for this winter. Wear sweaters around the house and invest in an electric blanket for nighttime.