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8 Ways to Live Comfortably on a Single Income



 

By Roger Banks

 

With escalating inflation and a recession looming overhead, it can be very difficult to raise a family on single income. If unfortunately, you happen to be living on one income, you leave yourself vulnerable to losing that source of income at anytime.

 

Therefore, it is important that you know how to protect your family financially during tough days, in case that only source of income you heavily depended ever dries up temporarily.

 

First of all, you should have a savings account, and make sure to deposit into that account on a regular basis. If you ever lose your income source for any length of time due to unforeseen circumstances such as a job loss, then you won’t have to worry too much about money. This reserve of savings is your safety net that allows you to pay for your daily living exepnses such as food and transportation.

 

It does not matter how much cash you save, as long as you put aside some money regularly. Even if your savings is not making much interest, at least you will have a little extra cash to tide over your financial difficulties.

 

You also want to diversify that source of income no matter how small the amount. Invest it into a Certificate of Deposit or Time Deposit (in some countries) and let your savings accrue a little more interest than regular savings account. Although you may not earn high interest, after a long enough period of time, it can come in handy if your bills go up due to higher interest rates or ballooning payments.

Your next best strategy is to turn your one income
to a steady source of income. Try to get a job that pays at least weekly, as you never know what can possibly happen over the course of a month, or even a short two week period. Keep in mind that bills have to be paid, and that requires money.

 

Make sure you live within a budget and adhere to it. It makes no sense to write out a budget and slowly deviate from it as you move forward. If you exceed your budget on a single income, you will get into debt, and have problems making ends meet.

 

Money Saving Tips for Single Income Family

 

1. Avoid the credit card, and use cash to pay for your purchases whenever possible. The reason is very simple. It is often harder to keep track on money spent if you use plastic. Also, paying your credit card bills late will incur late fees and unnecessary charges. Therefore, make prompt payments.



2. Decide how much of your income is to be spent monthly. Determine the amount for things such as grocery, entertainment, education, transport and others. Also, remember to set a miscellaneous budget for festive holidays and birthdays. You don’t have to spend a fortune on gifts to impress others. It is often your thoughts that make a gift truly beautiful.



3.
Living on a single income does not mean you have to give up the things that you used to enjoy. The secret is to look for cheaper alternatives or hunt for bargains online. For example, if you are going to travel and plan to stay in a motel, call the motels’ customer service directly to negotiate rates. It often results in bigger savings and greater discounts.
 


4. Use coupons and plan your menus around what is on special at your local grocery stores. Better yet, use leftovers for your next meal. Leftover rice can be transform into a one-dish Oriental fried rice, and leftover mashed potato can be made into crisp potato patties.

 

5. Buy movies DVDs, music CDs, books, toys and other items at garage sales for pennies instead of buying them new. You may also be able to find clothing and furniture at much reduced cost at thrift shops or The Salvation Army.

 

6. Alternatively, use your local library to borrow free movies and books. Or, ask your friends and neighbors.

 

7. Plan your errands and outings so you can do more in one trip and save on petrol. Consider having one vehicle for the family. Traval by buses and trains if your destination is accessible by public transport. Or, ride a bicycle to run short-distance errands.

 

8. Cut your utility bills by turning off lights, radios, and electronics when not in use. Do not leave it on standby, and switch off at the socket. Consider replacing light bulbs with energy-saving bulbs. They may be expensive at first but you save quite a bit in the long run.
 

Keep your heat set at the lowest comfortable setting, and set your air-conditioner cool at 25 degrees Celsius.


 

Speaking from experience, living on a single income is not easy. But with careful budgeting and planning, you can live comfortably. A word of wisdom from my father – do not spend more than you make, do not borrow what you cannot pay. My father is not a rich man but he is a surviving one.

 

 

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