Last Updated on November 12, 2020 by NandiNN
How to Live On A Tight Budget And Save Money
Do you think living on a tight budget is something to be embarrassed about? It’s unbelievable how many people think like this.
Did you know that almost half the population in the USA are living paycheck to paycheck?
That is insane.
Trying to make ends meet on a tight budget can also be extremely stressful for a lot of households.
But it is doable.
Some people have no choice but to get on board and tighten up their budgets instead of going into debt with unnecessary credit card bills.
We are going to share with you our favorite tips on how to live on a tight budget and still save money.
Living on a tight budget is not a shameful thing, it just means that you need to be wiser about how you spend what you have.
Everyone falls on rough times once in a while.
For example, 3 and a half years ago, I had just found out that I was pregnant and my workplace at the time fired me.
I didn’t know what I would do.
Guess what guys, I went home that day, cried for a week, and then came up with an epic plan.
And instead of going out and getting a personal loan (which is not necessarily a bad thing), I was able to come up with a great and still managed my new income and lived comfortably.
That’s why you will get all our best tips for living on a tight budget.
The best way of doing this is to really sit down and re-evaluate your budget and only spend money when you have to.
I know many of you believe that living on a tight budget is totally impossible, but honestly, with the right strategies in place, you can do it.
If you have not read my other post on the tips I share about the different ways to save money on a tight budget and still make $3,000 be sure to check it out.
Living a Simple Life With Little Money
Remember living on a tight budget does not mean that you are doomed. You need to take a hard look at your personal finances and find out how you can take back control of it.
That’s basically it!
A good place to start is to really stop letting your finances control you and use this powerful financial advice for women to help you improve your finances today.
Once you know what you are dealing with, you can go ahead and create a budget and stick to it.
Your lifestyle might change a little but what won’t kill you. It will only make you stronger as an individual, a couple, or a family.
With this in mind, how can you make living on a tight budget more fun and doable?
And if you haven’t already, this is a good time to think about starting a budget!
I am going to share my best tips on how to live on a tight budget, so get ready.
Before we get started on the best ways living on a tight budget is doable, we did want you to follow us on Facebook for more awesome ideas on saving or making more money. You can also follow us on Instagram for more tips.
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What does it mean to be on a tight budget?
A tight budget could mean so many different things for a lot of different people depending on the circumstances.
In other words, my tight budget may not necessarily be your tight budget.
According to the dictionary, “A tight Budget” is: involving a relatively small amount of money for planned spending!
When I lost my job, my husband and I went from a comfortable living situation to adjust our spending.
We didn’t necessarily move houses or sell our car (although I almost lost the car).
But we adjusted what we would normally spend and went on to live on one income for a majority of the time.
Today we are going to share our best tips on how you can live on a budget that makes sense to you and your situation.
This post is perfect for those that have any of these questions:
How do you live comfortably on a tight budget?
Or, how do you survive on a low-income budget?
How do you pay bills on a tight budget?
If you have any of these questions or more, we are so happy that you are here.
Learn to Live on a Small Budget
I have already mentioned this, but it is best that you understand that living on a budget is extremely hard but absolutely doable.
Learning to live on an even tighter budget can be hard for those that are used to a certain lifestyle.
I mean, have you watched Schitt’s Creek?
They went from luxurious to living in a small motel room.
As long as you can create a working budget, most people can safely learn to manage the money they have to live on.
This will require you to have money management skills that you can use to manage on little money.
Most people worry about how they can get by each month especially if bills are constantly pilling up.
But if you know exactly what you need then all the unnecessary expenses can be cut off.
Living on a budget just requires you to live within your means as much as you can.
How to Live Frugally and Happy: 7 Tips to Follow
We are going to share a few tips you can follow in order to be more comfortable especially if you only have one income to go by.
When I found myself suddenly pregnant and on bed rest 3.5 years ago, I knew we had to make some financial adjustments and sacrifices.
Apart from finding ways to make money while on maternity leave, I found other ways to make sure that my spouse and I were comfortable living on a tight budget as our lives depended on it.
1. Cut Off Unnecessary Expenses
As soon as you know that you will need to live on one income, make the necessary adjustments quickly to cut off any and all unnecessary expenses.
These tips for living on one income go for anyone that may be tight on cash as well.
So go ahead and call that cable man and cut off that cable. In fact, does anyone still watch cable TV?
Do you have a house phone and even your cellphone? Do you really need the two?
I went ahead and disconnected my cell phone because I was home most of the time and I had my laptop and internet if I ever needed to look up anything.
Make the choice to get rid of one or both if you can make do.
Now go through all your utilities, re-occurring bills, and trim your expenses where necessary.
Think about everything you may pay for:
- Amazon Prime
- Magazine subscriptions
- Gym memberships
Remember, living on a tight budget requires you to make hard choices and sacrifices, so cut these unnecessary expenses.
Remember, you need to pay for rent, food, and actually needs in order to survive.
After you trim these expenses, you need to take it one step further if you really wish to survive and live on a tight budget.
Call your current billing cycle and ask if for better rates.
For example, if you do keep your phone line because you need it for an emergency, can they give the most basic of all plans?
Can you get a better rate on your car insurance even if it’s for 6 months?
My husband had a student loan and they managed to pause all payments for 6 months and this really helped us a lot seeing as we were on a tight budget.
2. Create A Plan for Living on One Income
If you know that you will be living on one income, you need to make a serious plan on how you will manage that income.
Who is making the money within the family? How much money are they bringing home after taxes?
Is the money enough that it will be able to cover all the necessary bills every month?
What happens if you can not pay your bills even when you have trimmed as many expenses as you possibly can?
Ask all of these questions openly and create a plan to address the shortfalls if any! You can’t ignore your mortgage otherwise you will lose your house.
For example, I created a plan of 30 ways to make money fast to pay for piling bills.
Also, do not ignore your debts!
Instead, I also had a plan for paying off debt fast even with a low income! Just sit down and make a plan that will work for the best.
You can even get the help of a financial advisor if you are not sure where to begin.
Most banks offer these services free of charge, so consult.
And if you are not sure what else you can cut and adjust, it’s always a great idea to track your daily spending and then do an adjustment based on that when you have a better idea.
Be sure to grab this spending tracker right now.
It’s completely free.
3. Create a Realistic Budget that Works
If you know that you are going to be living on a tight budget, you need to work with a budget! A good budget that will work when things are tight.
Write down to the penny exactly how much cash is coming in and how much will be spent on bills, food, and necessities.
If you haven’t already, please grab this spending tracker we mentioned above to help and keep you organized.
Make sure you are doing everything to track every single penny you are spending otherwise things might slide through the cracks.
I will give you a much clearer picture of where your hard-earned income is going.
Living on a tight budget requires you to become better at managing the money you do already have.
Hence we are stressing that you track every penny.
If money is not tracked accordingly and something is missed, you might overspend thinking you actually do have that money.
And spending money that you do not have will only get you further into the hole.
If you are not sure how to create a manageable budget, check out these FREE Monthly budget template printables you can use to start a household budget.
4. Spend Money Wisely When On A Tight Budget
You know you are living on a tight budget and that money will be much tighter on certain days.
This means you really need to learn how to spend money wisely now!
If you can look up specials on certain products you need, or if you can wait for that deal as well as consider shopping when things go on sale then please do that.
Doing simple things like this will keep you within your budget and you will have more money on hand.
Here are a few more ways to spend money wisely while living on a tight budget:
- Don’t eat out a lot, invite friends over and make meals together
- Avoid going to the movies frequently. Host a movie night instead
- Take the bus instead of driving around and wasting gas
- Find online shopping hacks to help save more money
- Shop for seasonal items when applicable
- Use a shopping list when you go grocery shopping
- Find ways to have fun at home instead of going out
- Work out from home and get rid of your gym membership
If you can find ways to cut out expenses while living on a tight budget, you will manage just perfectly!
5. Use Cash For Daily Expenses
Pay your regular bills as you normally would!
However, for all other expenses, try using cash. It’s much easier to control money going in or money going out if you have it in your hands.
Using a credit card or your debit card to shop will make you overspend. It’s is easier for people to tap here and there than to part with cash on hand.
Avoid going out of the house with your credit cards and debit cards at all costs if you can especially if you are really on a tight budget.
You will have no choice but stick to your budget and plan.
In fact, while living on one income, be sure to permanently or temporarily get rid of your cards.
From now on, when you go grocery shopping, or if you are pumping gas, try to use cash bills to pay.
I like to use the jar method, where I label the jars with all my expenses and grab the cash in that particular jar when needed.
For example, I will have a food jar, a transportation jar, and so on.
I will put my monthly allowance in the appropriate jar and when the money runs out, it runs out. This method will force you to properly manage your money.
It’s like giving yourself an allowance!
6. Understand Why You are Living on One Income
Living on a tight budget can be very stressful for a lot of people. And it can even be harder for those that are the only primary providers.
I know a lot of marriages and friendships that have broken up due to this fact.
If you are relying on the one person to provide for all your needs, it starts to get hard as things go on.
As a married person that was once living on a tight budget, I can tell you that things did get heated at times.
Having just one person handling all the finances is really unhealthy and can lead to a lot of resentment towards the person not bringing anything in.
It can only work if you both decide to get on the same page and work together.
It’s a good idea to think back and understand why you are in that situation in the first place.
By understanding the situation, you might find a little peace in that. So many people choose to live in this situation for many reasons such as:
- Just having a baby or raising a family
- Low employment rates in your area/ Lack of jobs
- Illness and disabilities that do not allow you to work
- Widow/ loss of family member/ forced to be a single parent
- Loss of job
They are so many reasons for living on one income or on a tight budget so definitely stay positive and stick to what is working for you and your family.
7. Find Ways To Increase Your Income
If money is really tight, find ways to increase your income if you are the one responsible for bringing in the money.
It could mean asking for raise at work, working longer hours, or temporally getting a part-time job.
And if you are the one staying at home, finding ways to make extra money from home should be your priority.
For example, you can find legit passive income ideas to help increase your income for extra cash.
Find out more about how one amazing lady made over $47, 000 working from home as a proofreader, or try using these apps that pay you real money!
You may also want to consider becoming a Pinterest Virtual Assistant on the side. Or even trying out these high paying side jobs to quickly make extra money to help around the house.
When we were really desperate during certain months, I want around my house and found 15 household items sell for quick cash.
If I didn’t do that, I was certain that I was going to lose my car.
I was so behind in car payments.
Once I was caught up, I knew that I didn’t want to be in this situation ever again, so I worked on creating an “in case of an emergency” binder for family.
I also decided to try out a money-saving challenge to help replenish my account.
You can find my personal money-saving challenges right here.
They helped me a lot back then and I still use them to this day when I need a boost in savings.
You can also choose to participate in my no-spend challenge that you can also get here.
Just try to find a way to bring extra income to make living on a tight budget possible and realistic.
Related Tips for Living on a budget:
- 7 Profitable Side Business Ideas to Start While Working A Full-time Job
- 7 Quick Ways to Make Extra Income Working Full time Fast
Living on An Extreme Budget
How about some of you who are living on a shoestring budget? How can you manage with the little to no money that you may have?
I really suggest meeting up with a financial adviser or a financial expert to help you get through living on an extreme budget.
Missing bill payment will not make the situation better for you, it’s best to get the help you can before things become ugly and it gets harder to get out of.
Remember, asking for help is not a bad thing.
YouTube is also a great resource for finding tips for living on a tight budget.
For example, I watched this amazing video where Jordan shares grocery shopping hacks and how to save big money at the groceries!
Did you like our list of tips for living on a tight budget?
If so, we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Be sure to tell us about any tips you may have about living on one income.
And don’t forget to sign up for this free-spending tracker today!
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