Surviving on a low income is something that more and more people have to do in this climate of economic instability. It can be a struggle to survive on a low income if you do not know how to budget properly and look after your money.
The most important thing to do when you are trying to survive on a low income is to stop borrowing money. If you continue to borrow money that you can’t afford to pay back, then all you will be doing is making your situation much worse. Do not apply for any more credit, and instead focus on paying back what you already owe.
Prioritise your debts so that the most important ones are paid first and so you still have enough money to live on. Try to work out a payment plan with any creditors, and do not be intimidated about asking; most of them will be happy to work out a payment plan that you can afford.
Create a budget and do your very best to stick to it. Allow yourself a set amount of money each month for food and one small luxury item. Do not go over your budget, and always think whether you need something or you just want it before you buy it.
Always shop around and get the best deal on everything. Whether it is a holiday, or your groceries, you should be trying to get the best price you can. Use comparison websites to determine the best deals.
Brush up on your creative and carpentry skills by mending things rather than buying new ones. If a top has a hole in it, then sew it up rather than throwing it out and buying a new one. Put up your own shelves rather than paying someone to do it for you. Embrace the spirit of thrift and make do and mend.
Check to see if you are entitled to any financial help, many councils and governments have schemes set in place to help those on a low income. If you are entitled to housing benefit then this could help you with your rent. Check online or with your local council to see if you could get help
Consider a second job to help supplement your income, taking in other people’s ironing is a popular way of making a little bit of extra money each week. Even if you only get a few hours work a week, every penny helps.
Running a car is incredibly expensive, so unless it is completely necessary, then consider either selling it or taking it off the road. If neither of those are an option, then simply cut down the amount you use it, walk to places that are easily accessible, and you will notice an improvement in your health and your wallet.