How to Live on a Limited Budget

by Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017
Make your money stretch!

How to Live on a Limited Budget. It may seem difficult to meet your family's needs and wants when you are working with a tight budget. Read on to find out how you can cut unnecessary expenses and make smart spending choices so that you will learn to live comfortably on a limited budget.

Step 1

Spend less on groceries, and use coupons. Make a grocery list including only the necessities, and stick to the list. Buy more fresh foods instead of frozen and packaged foods, which are more costly and hike up your grocery bill.

Step 2

Keep one low-interest credit card for emergencies only. Leave your credit card at home so you are less likely to use it, and carry cash or your debit card instead.

Step 3

Get creative. Look for sales when shopping for clothes, appliances or tools, and shop at discount stores whenever possible. If you happen to see a yard sale when you're out driving, stop and take a look. People often sell clothes and furniture that are practically brand new for less than half of the original price.

Step 4

Eliminate unnecessary bills, such as your cable bill. Sure it's fun to watch TV, but it's not necessary for your survival. If you can't stand to completely eliminate your cable, downgrade to a less expensive package.

Step 5

Call your cell phone company to make sure you are on the most efficient plan you could be on. If you consistently go over on your cell phone minutes, upgrading your plan will actually save you money in the long run. Another alternative is to stop using your phone so much during the day and save your long phone conversations for nights and weekends when you have free minutes.

Step 6

Conserve energy and save money by turning the heat down, using less water, washing your clothes in cold water and keeping the lights off in rooms that you are not using.

Step 7

Set long-term and short-term financial goals that are important to you and your family so that whenever you feel tempted to spend money on unnecessary items, the urge to reach your financial goals outweighs the temptation to spend.

Tips

  • Drink water instead of soda or alcohol, and quit smoking. Unhealthy habits are expensive and unnecessary. If you find that you are starting to fall behind on your bills or would like some help crafting a realistic budget for your family, visit a legitimate credit counseling service in your area. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling has a tool on its website that will help you find a reputable agency in your area.

Warnings

  • Don't buy fast food. Not only is it unhealthy, it's a waste of money.