Wednesdays are my day to put out budgeting tips, and I do this mostly because living smaller is not a choice for a lot of folks who have to live smaller because it is the only way they can live. So I offer this article, which is pretty good:
I would add some additional hints (take it from someone who has lived with nearly nothing) –
- Take your “pride” and put it away, remember that and take help when it is offered. You can always “pay it forward” when you are able to.
- The library is your best friend – for movies, cds, books and for research if you are going to try side hustles.
- Find out where, when and the requirements for your local food banks…sometimes your choice might be “Pay a bill or eat” – knowing if you can get emergency provisions from a food bank (and where it is etc) can keep you from drowning in late fees for your bills.
- Talk to the people you owe money to – yes, even the utility company and the cell company…if you know you are going to be late, call and find out if you can get an extension or if they will please waive the late fee this one time…if you call BEFORE it is late, you may get consideration. And you may not, but at least you will establish you are a responsible person – and they may not ding your credit if you are letting them know ahead of time.
- Use free apps to determine where the cheapest gas is, if you have a car and plan accordingly.
- If you have a job where your clothing is important, find a good consignment shop and get high quality clothing that is gently used.
- Save your spare change somewhere and every so often (usually once every three months or so) roll it up, take it to your bank and PLAN to either pay off a bill or treat yourself to something. You may only have a few dollars, but it is good to treat yourself to something like a movie or a lunch out with a friend once in awhile or you will get depressed.
- Recycle and bring the plastic and aluminum cans to a place that will pay you. (If you are obsessive about it – you will wind up with a cleaner neighborhood, too, since people seem to toss water bottles everywhere).
If you have some hints on living on minimum wage (or close to minimum) – please share them in the comments. Life can be hard, but it is better when we share.