I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs through my life, at one stage I was living on welfare and remember I had to visit my local St Vincent De Paul to get a food hamper just to make it through to my next payment. So I know it can be quite difficult to live on very little money, but the good news is it’s possible as long as you budget.
Now I know you might cringe at the idea of having to “budget” your living, but it’s the only way to make sure you will have enough stored away for that rainy day, and believe me, that rainy day WILL COME.
So the first task is to actually make your budget, which really isn’t all that hard. It’s a simple matter of adding up all your yearly expenses, dividing them by the frequency by which you get paid, getting over the initial shock (because there will be a shock), then adjusting things a little to make sure you can manage.
OK, give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve made your budget and you are ready to get started implementing it. Living within a budget can be intimidating to say the least, you know where your money is going and to whom, but how do you live with what is left over?
Living within a budget takes a bit of effort on your part.
Here are 6 ways you can make living within a budget work.
- Seasonal sales are one way to keep your spending on target and still get what you need. Christmas, Easter, Halloween and back to school sales usually start weeks ahead of schedule. You can get some super cheap deals if you can manage to wait it out and get to the sales a few days before they end.
- Find out what days your grocery stores mark down these products (usually Tuesdays) and be there early to get the best choices. You shouldn’t buy more than you can use since tossing food is a waste of your money.
- Keep an eye on your favorite grocery stores and figure out the best times and days to shop. Knowing when you’ll find the best selection at the lowest prices can make quite a difference in your grocery budget. I use this method all the time to buy a cake or some treat I know they mark down at night to sell, otherwise they will toss it out when the store closes.
- Shop on the last and first days of the sale. Shopping on the first day means you can pretty much get what you want at lower prices. On the other hand, waiting until the last day may mean the prices will drop even lower so the store can get rid of the products. The selection might be limited, but you can really score some great deals by waiting it out. Remember, they are only deals if you really need the stuff.
- Shopping online is one simple way to budget your money. Because you are shopping in your own home, there is no rush and you can compare products and prices until you find just what you are looking for at a price that fits your budget. Be sure to budget shipping costs too. I often do this with eBay. I’ll see a product I might want in a catalogue or on the TV and 9 times out of 10 I’ll be able to find that same product for a lot less on eBay. Sometimes I’ve even decided not to but it during tht time it has taken me to research and find the item, thus stopping an impulse buy.
- Make a list of all the items that might fit within your budget, include their prices. This way you get the deals and you know exactly how much you will be spending.
Living within a budget takes a bit of effort on your part. Knowing when you’ll find the best selection at the lowest prices can make quite a difference in your grocery budget.