How to Survive On a Tight Budget, and Still Have Fun
While professional negotiators can give you some relief from the agony of extreme debt, it’s still your responsibility to assess your lifestyle and adjust your budget accordingly, so that you don’t find yourself repeating mistakes.
After all, it’s not enough to simply get out of debt. If you want to maintain a happy lifestyle, you need to think about how you’re going to stay out of debt, too. This usually means implementing a budget that you can realistically stick to.
Living on a Tighter Budget
If you’re frequently stepping out to restaurants for dinner or meeting your friends for lunch in cafés, you probably already know you might be over-spending on luxuries that you can’t really afford. Living on a tighter budget doesn’t mean that you have to cut all the fun out of your life. Instead, you simply need to be more careful about the way you spend. For example:
- Head to a local library or free museum to spend time away from the house and fit in some relaxation. Many of these places host their own programs and events for entertainment.
- Check out your local newspaper or join Facebook pages to discover free events happening in your city. In the age of Netflix and music festivals, it’s easy to forget how many free amenities are still out there.
- Take up a healthy hobby. Walking in the park, swimming at your local pool, or heading out on a cycling trip aren’t just cheap entertainment – they’ll also help you get healthier!
Spend Less On Groceries
Entertainment isn’t the only thing you have to consider when attempting to get your finances back in order. You might also need to reconsider how you spend on essentials like groceries. You’ve probably heard this one before: if you stop to grab a latté from your favorite coffee shop on the way to work each morning, you’re spending cash that you could be saving. Invest in an inexpensive coffee press, learn to make your favorite drink, and take some strain off your wallet. You could save cash and become an artisanal coffee connoisseur all all at once! You could also try:
- Pack lunch for work. It may not seem like the most glamorous option, but packing your own lunch means you’ll save a lot of money, and you can pick your favorite foods every day. You’ll never have to be at the mercy of vending machines again.
- Buy Groceries in bulk. If you can buy some of the items that you use most often in bulk, it’s usually worth carving out extra storage space in your house for the savings you can achieve. Look around online for bulk offers too.
- Become a coupon-er. Don’t be afraid to do some comparison shopping if you want to find the best deals. If you’re an online shopper, check out promo code websites like RetailMeNot or try installing a browser extension like Ebates or Honey, so you don’t miss out on deals.
Fixing Your Financial Woes
Financial freedom can seem like a distant dream; a full 50% of Americans have less than a month of income saved aside for emergency expenses, and many of them live paycheck-to-paycheck despite holding full time jobs.
Many people find that they can lower the amount of money they spend by comparison shopping and carefully planning purchases and avoiding impulse buys. Before you can really start making the most out of your budget, you’ll need to make sure that your debt’s in check, and that might may mean engaging in debt negotiation in an effort to make your debt payments more affordable.
To learn more about easing the burden of debt, contact our office for a free consultation.