Many folks are finding it hard to make ends meet.
There is a real struggle to providing a home, keeping the refrigerator and cabinets full of food, supplying the right clothes for the season, and even maintaining automobiles.
It’s unfortunate and many of us struggle because we just don’t know smart money practices. Perhaps we live in cities being gentrified to the point of locals suffering poverty?
Perhaps wages are just too low and jobs too few to maintain basic living? When all of this arises, we must become stealthy and adopt “cheap living” practices.
Here are a few tips to help you along and help you rise above the struggles.
#1 Housing is a Must
The first area of our expenses one must review is the housing situation. If you own your home with no mortgage payments, saving for the taxes and insurance can be difficult.
It may very well be that it’s time to sell the home and look for more suitable housing in an area that will help us rather than harm us.
Relocating comes with its own issues such as looking for work and seeking out suitable transportation. The expense of moving can also be incredibly costly. Not to mention that you may have to wait for your home to sell before you can fully relocate.
If it helps, sit down with a trusted friend and plot a budget as if you were going to move and see what that looks like for you.
- If you are renting, how much space do you truly need?
- Can children share a room?
- Can you part with some of your things and start fresh?
When it comes to locating an affordable apartment, the choices can be difficult and you will be competing with other families who are in a similar situation.
If you meet the income requirements, consider applying for section 8 apartments. While there is still an unfortunate stigma attached to public housing, obtaining assistance can be the one thing that can help you temporarily improve your situation.
#2 You Can’t Go Hungry
One area many people seem to cut first is their food budget. You need to eat and maintain your health to avoid costly medical bills and to keep working. If your income is low enough, consider applying for SNAP Benefits.
Food stamps can help you alleviate your food costs and ensure that you are eating healthily during the rough time.
With or without SNAP benefits, do check with local food banks and church groups to help supplement your cabinets. It will ease your stress about feeding the family and allow you to spend a little bit less in the grocery stores.
#3 Automobiles Help Us and Hurt Us
If you live in a city or large town that provides mass transportation, stop using your car! Looking at the financial aspect, you can save a ton of money on a yearly bus pass than if you drive your car everywhere.
It doesn’t mean getting rid of your car, you can use it for when the bus isn’t running or for distance traveling. By using mass transit, you spend less on gas and less on repairs to your vehicle.
You may even be motivated to sell your car for the cash in your bank account to help on rainy days. If you live in an area where you can’t use mass transit and must rely on a car, learn some cheap ways to maintain it.
Take the time to learn basic maintenance (oil changes, filter changes, tire rotations) and minor repairs (replacing headlights, changing out spark plugs) so that you aren’t paying someone else unnecessarily to manage your vehicle.
You Can Get Through This
Frugal living is achievable for those that truly want to save their dollars. We understand it’s hard and we know you can get through this hardship. Don’t ignore the situation, sit down and figure it out. If you need help, there are tons of local programs that can help you navigate the budgeting and programs you need to get you back on your feet.
If you need help, there are tons of local programs that can help you navigate the budgeting and programs you need to get you back on your feet.
What are you doing to make ends meet during tough financial times? I would love to hear how you are dealing with these situations or how you overcame them. Share your thoughts and comments below.