This is day 3 of How to Live on One Income Guide. To read all the post in order start on Day 1 here.
Stop spending money on things you do not need. This is sometimes difficult when you are used to going out and buying yourself a little treat every now and then because you had two incomes. For me it’s a grande caramel macchiato from that famous coffee shop. I really do not need this as much as I know we need food on the table. Priorities change and goals are different after only one income is coming in.
Cut Back on Shopping
Before you purchase anything ask yourself, “how can this help our family?” If it can’t and you just want it, it is probably not a good choice with your limited income. I don’t know about you, but when I clean out closets and stuff. I hate that we have spent money on items we are just going to donate. It is like throwing money away. I have been getting rid of so many things and it is really freeing. There is less to clean, less to go through and less mess in general. Think if you want to bring something else into your home that is not going to benefit the family. This is a team effort.
Stop Buying Expensive Stuff
Start to look for the products that do the same thing or make them yourself for tons less. Start buying less processed food and buying just the basic ingredients to make food yourself. That is how this website came to be. I was amazed I didn’t need to buy biscuit mix, I could just make it myself and better. I am able to buy mostly organic ingredients and make my own snacks and treats healthier than the store version for a lot less.
Look at sales for clothing at the end of the season. When buying for your kids try buying a size larger to wear next year. Buy kids items that are easily layered and can be worn with a jacket or a shirt underneath. I like to purchase a couple of plain white and a plain black long sleeve shirt for each child. Then they can still wear their favorite short sleeved shirts all winter long. Then I have only purchased about five shirts for most of the winter.
How to Get Things You Really Want
Ask for gift cards and be specific. If your family loves to eat at a favorite restaurant, be sure to let people know you love eating at that restaurant. I often will mention I love coffee when I think someone is asking for gift ideas. It is OK to drop hints, especially around the holidays. If they are asking they really want to get you something you will use and will love. Go ahead and tell them what you like. I know I love to get people something they can use. Getting gift cards can really help stretch your budget and make others happy they were able to give you something you really wanted.
[Go to day 4 of How to Live on One Income]