Many people are living on one income during the current recession and it is affecting not only the United States, but many other countries in the world as well .
Getting used to living with less money sometimes isn't easy, however if you follow some basic advice you should be able to make it just fine. You simply have to be more watchful with your finances and be willing to cut back on some expenses.
The first thing that you need to do is to create a budget that will detail your income as well as your expenses. First find out the total amount of money that you get each month from individual sources of income, such as from your job or government benefits.
After that, make a list of your current monthly expenses. Be sure to include everything that you spend money on each month, such as:
Once you have your list of expenses, see which ones could be eliminated or reduced. Be sure to ask yourself if every expense that you make each month is absolutely something that you could not go without.
For example, if you have satellite or cable television with 150 channels, ask yourself whether it is worth paying close to $100 a month for the privilege of getting channels which you rarely watch? Cut back your package to a more basic and less costly one. You could also get rid of your television expenses entirely by cutting the cable and sticking to over the air programming. Local channels are available for free, and many other television channels allow you to watch them for free over the internet.
When living on one income, you might also make some cutbacks on your food and grocery expenses. For instance avoid eating out unless you absolutely have to. It is a lot less expensive to prepare meals at home than to go eat at restaurants, after all why spend cash on someone else buying and preparing ingredients when doing it for yourself is so easy and so much cheaper. Grocery stores often have promotions on certain items each week and may also offer coupons that you can clip out of fliers. Make a habit of comparing food prices between different grocery stores in your area to see which one is the cheapest.
Even if you are living on one income, there are occasions when you need to buy certain items which can be quite costly such as:
One good way to save money on these items would be to purchase them in used or refurbished condition, rather than brand new. Flea markets, pawn shops and small retailers which specialize in selling used merchandise can offer you way better prices than if you bought these items brand new at a major retailer. For example, a new couch could cost thousands of dollars in a national furniture store, however buying a used one from a used furniture shop could set you back less than one hundred dollars.
If you have some services that you absolutely cannot cut, such as a cell phone or internet connection, it would be good to call the provider to see if they can do something to reduce your monthly bill.
Many times, if you say that you are living on one income and think that you might have to cancel because you can't afford their service, they will offer you a discount on your plan in order to retain you as a customer.
Cutting back need not be as painful as it first may seem and realistically we haven’t always had all the things we now take for granted and we lived quite happily without them.
Yes it may seem unfair to us now that we can’t have everything we want, but having huge debts around our necks is even worse. So finding ways to live within our budgets really should be everyone’s main priority especially during recession.