6 Ways to Live Frugally on One Income is a guest post by Brian @ Health Insurance Comparison, an Australian health insurance site dedicated to bringing you the most comprehensive rates in the industry!
Only have one source of income? For a struggling college student, single professional or young family, sometimes you have to make the most of what you have. Making a few subtle changes and inserting them into your everyday life can make a difference is surviving – and thriving – when you’re living on just one income.
1. Budget, Budget, and Budget
There is no single thing that you can do to save money than budget. After all, budgeting will enable you to zone in on certain areas to increase awareness of your finances. How will you learn how to improve your financial perspective, if you don’t create, and stick to, a budget?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. From a spreadsheet or pen and paper to a simple budgeting app on your smartphone, there is only one point – to budget, and keep budgeting. It’s very simple.
2. Find Your Problem Area(s)
Where does your money go? Everyone has their areas where they need to exercise caution when spending money. Maybe it’s shoes, that great Italian restaurant, or online music downloads. Whatever it may be, work to identify it. Once you do, you can learn to curb it a little bit.
There’s nothing wrong with spending a little more in certain areas, but keeping it in check will allow you to live frugally and save money.
3. Stay In
Many people associate going out with a fun time. Invite some friends over for a fun night in – you can fix dinner, order out inexpensively, and enjoy movies, board games, do some video gaming, or find other forms of entertainment that won’t cost you a dime!
4. How Much Are You Spending on Lunch?
For those that typically eat out at lunchtime, you’re probably well aware of the costs. However, it’s not always that simple to bring lunch every day. Maybe there’s not that much time to do this on a daily basis, along with the desire to eat out every once in a while.
Integrate the paper bag gently. Try it once a week, and build up to taking your lunch on a daily basis. Also, be aware of great deals that can keep the price down. Sometimes learning how to eat out cheaper is just as easy as home cooking (or close enough to have impact in your finances).
5. Free Entertainment
From a stroll through the park to free concert, and museums, there are opportunities for free entertainment and cultural enhancement all around! Speaking of entertainment… how many forms of entertainment, do you have lying around your home? From the DVD player, Wii gaming console or computer, to the (still popular!) deck of cards, bat and ball, or Frisbee – there are a number of ways to amuse yourself without spending money.
6. Learn to Enjoy Frugal Living
Did you just find a great Mexican restaurant that had an early bird dinner special, making your meal $10 for two? Great! Combine that with the free zoo in a nearby town and that makes for an awesome date night.
Once frugal living becomes a part of your lifestyle, you’ll enjoy not wasting money. It isn’t about greed or having enough money for retirement or even for yourself – the point is that frugal living can be a part of your life that you enjoy.
Finally, following the clichés isn’t such a bad way to go when trying to stick to a budget. Have you heard these before… invest in your retirement, don’t eat out as much, watch your credit cards, check your car and learn to save…?
These little sayings seem to be everywhere. Why? Well, to be honest, they work. However, it takes discipline and an effort on the part of the person. There is no magical remedy for transforming your life into frugality.
Share your tips for one-income living with us… leave a comment below!