Budget Living: How You Can Reduce Your Living Costs

Reduced wages, furlough, and job insecurity are a reality for millions of people in the wake of the pandemic. This means that many people are left to seek part-time work or new jobs. You may be looking to avoid dipping into your savings at this time, as no one can predict how long this economic upheaval will last.

Go over your finances and look into how you can make different choices. Even your home may be a source of lessening your financial worries. Refinancing options for your mortgage can leave you with a much lower premium to pay because you have been accruing equity with every year you have lived in the house.

Consolidating your debt can also help you streamline and pay down your credit card debt and any remaining student loan debt with less hassle. You may also want to make your local credit union into your primary banking service as they charge fewer fees and can also help you manage your payments and insurance premiums.

Budgeting does not have to be hard. It is simply learning how to adjust your life to ensure your financial future.

Keep Saving

It might give you pause, but even with your reduced income, you need to keep saving. You can out away much less but make an effort to save up to 10% of your paycheck before spending it on necessities. If the situation gets worse, you will be in a better place due to those savings than if you had bought more expensive food with the money.

A few people work two jobs, one main job to earn their paycheck and a side hustle to earn money towards their savings. This will be exhausting, and you will be tired all the time. If you can do something for a year or so to get into a better financial situation, you should consider doing it.

But try to seek a side hustle that you can do from home so you still get to see your family as much as you can. This will allow you to bear the tiredness with more equilibrium as you will be constantly reminded of why you are working so hard.

computing finances

Marital Finances

You and your spouse need to have a detailed discussion about your finances. You two need to hammer out a budget, visit a financial advisor, and figure out a way to help each other keep your family well-fed and comfortable.

Perhaps you two can manage your shifts at work so that one of you is at home with the children at all times. You could even start a business together out of your home so you can support each other in keeping things running at home while earning extra money.

Now is not the time to stick to the original plan you had for your family and marriage. It’s time to come up with a relief effort plan to help you two return to the original plan.

If the pressures of working through these tough times affect your marriage, you need to find a way to budget for a counselor. You need each other, and it will be easier to recover from your situation with a partner. If it is impossible to pay for a counselor, seek an online counseling service that can aid you to heal your connection.

Meal Planning

Going to the grocery store without a list is not a financially sound activity. You need to sit down and plan out every meal you will feed your family over the next week or two. Write down the ingredients to make each meal and see what can be repurposed for other meals or into fun leftover snacks.

For instance, leftover bolognese can be made into sloppy joes. Bread that is going stale can be made into bread pudding or toasted and made into croutons for soup.

Once you hammer out a list of ingredients for the week, find out which stores and supermarkets have the best deals. You can save more money in the long term by getting a case of tomato sauce from Costco than from buying single jars. If your family enjoys tomato-based foods regularly, then you are saving money.

Also, many supermarkets offer rewards plans for members, and frequent shoppers or people who buy in bulk can enjoy them. You can use points to buy necessities or treats. You might even receive coupons and vouchers to reduce the amount you have to spend. Look for websites that offer coupons to pizza places and ice cream parlors to get additional savings and allow your family to enjoy a treat.

Now is the time to focus on fun activities your family can do together without spending money. Perhaps make your own popcorn and have a movie night. You can also set up a tent in your backyard and go camping with your kids. You can turn off all the lights in the house and give yourself a chance to lessen your power bill a bit. Tell ghost stories, show them how to grill sausages and make s’mores, and play campfire games.

Your children are much more likely to appreciate this connection and the time you are spending with them. When they grow up, their memories will be of precious times spent with their loving parents rather than any lack of money and expensive toys.

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