I have struggled to make ends meet many times. When I bought my first house, I bought it as a single person. I didn’t have a lot of money for groceries. Most of the time I ate grilled cheese and tomato soup, spaghetti with no sauce, or tortilla chips and cheese. Not the best food. I didn’t go out with friends, I didn’t have a sugar daddy or my parents subsidizing my income by helping me pay my bills. I just made it work.
When I got engaged, I sold my car. It helped us pay for my wedding (and so my parents didn’t have to pay for my entire wedding).
My point is this. You have to look at what money you have coming in and list what expenses you have to pay…and make sure you have more coming in that out.
If you are having family help you pay your bills, you are not living within your means and you need to take control and responsibility for your own expenses. Family loaning you money once in a while, is different, than your family providing your money every month. You need to have a plan to get away from someone helping you.
Television – Do you really need to have cable/satellite, could you have a smaller package, maybe one of the digital boxes would work or watching your tv shows online.
Cell phone – Would a prepaid phone be cheaper than a contract plan? You learn to live within your phone limits.
Entertaining – You cannot host parties or have friends over all the time and pick up the tab. Have them bring drinks and a dish to pass, to help pay for the party. You either do this, or stop entertaining.
Vacations – Sorry You don’t take trips if you cannot pay your bills. If people are giving you money to help pay your bills, you don’t go anywhere. You can go to the park and have a picnic, local art center, look for free things to do in your community.
Meals – You need to meal plan and eat healthy but cheaper. If someone is giving you money for food, use the money for food, not other things you can’t afford. You don’t eat out (or rarely do it). Feed yourself and family first and try to do it as healthy as possible. Grow a garden.
Paying off debt – If you have debt such as credit cards. Paying of the smallest bill first and then going to the next bill, applying the amount you paid on the previous bill, will help you get out of debt.
Extra activities – if your children want to be in extracurricular activities, find other items to cut out, in order to pay for them. Sacrifice for them or explain how they can’t do the activities.
Income – All able bodied adults should get a paying job to help pay the bills. Even those going to school (you learn to live on less sleep) can find some type of job to bring in income.
You want to gain financial freedom. Doing things outside of your means, gets you further behind.
These are hard rules, I know, I’ve been there. I’ve had to move home with my parents when I was in my 20s, to get myself out of debt. I lost friends because I wasn’t going and hanging out but I had no money (you find out who you true friends are during hard times).
I can say this worked for me and I hope it works for you!
Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families says
Great advice for people who are struggling. I know that living within your means is possible even if you have to go without Luxuries or find another way to earn more income. However, avoid get rich quick schemes.
I would agree get rich quick is more someone else getting rich, not you. Slow and steady wins the race to get out of debt.
Great, easy to follow, practical advice.
Thanks for sharing!