If your bills are piling up faster than your bank notes, then something has to change. Whether you’ve had an unexpected cost or you simply struggle to manage your money, there’s going to come a time when you need to seek help. If that time is now, then read on. I’ve compiled six of the most helpful tips for managing expenses on a low income.
It’s tempting to put everything on your credit card and worry about it later. However, that ‘later date’ will arrive soon enough, so why not look for low interest loans for low to middle-income earners instead?
While credit cards may not be the wisest option, there are plenty of reliable, responsible lenders out there who are only too willing to give you a hand up when you need it. Just remember to borrow within your means and understand the repayment criteria.
See a Budget Advisor
Not everyone knows what it takes to manage their finances sensibly, but everyone can learn that skill. For those who are trying to juggle a low income with high expenses, a budget advisor may be the answer.
They can help you work out how to stretch your income, how to manage your debt levels, and how to prepare for those unexpected costs. Budget services are often affordable or free, so there’s no excuse not to utilize them for your family’s benefit.
Start a Side Hustle
Your primary income may be low, but what if you could make use of an untapped skillset to pick something else up on the side? Rack your brain to think of ways you can earn extra money. Are you an avid gardener, or do you love walking dogs? What about writing or graphic design? Use your free time to make money that can help manage your expenses.
Creativity in the Kitchen
The average grocery bill is between $286 to $500 per household every month. For some people, that’s entirely manageable, but for others, it’s stressful trying to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are many cheap ingredients that can be transformed into filling and nutritious meals for the whole family.
Pasta, rice, and ground beef can form the basis of many a delicious family dinner, with plenty of leftovers to become lunch the next day.
Avoid Impulse Buys
Buying grocery items with coupons can translate to significant savings, but only when you’re smart with them. Do you really need 16 gallons of orange juice because the unit rate is cheaper than usual? If you want to manage your expenses on a low income, then avoid impulse buys.
Write a strict grocery list and stick to it. If you are using coupons, ask yourself this question: would I buy that product without a coupon? If the answer is no, then leave it out of your cart.
Chase Free Money
As a rule, nothing in life is free, but what if we told you some things are? If you’re a family on a low income, you may be entitled to earned income tax credit (EITC). In some cases, these credits can result in a tax refund of a considerable sum. Find out more information on your possible entitlements from the IRS. Managing expenses when your income isn’t at the level you wish it was can be tough. Fortunately, there are management techniques that can help you make the best of a bad situation. Take on a second job, get creative at mealtimes, or take out a low-interest loan to help you through a bad patch. With the right measures, you can come out on top.