The year 2020 is one for the history books. It started out with a two-week lockdown that ended with many restrictions in place for 7 to 8 months and even longer. As a result, for the first time in their years together, many hard-working families had to rely on a sole income instead of two. If you find yourself in the same position, listed below are a few ways to cut costs and continue to enjoy a good quality of life.
Pay Down Debt
Chances are good, your reliance on credit cards increased when your spouse lost their job. Thankfully, there are effective ways to reduce credit card balances completely. Applying for a consolidation loan through lenders like Old Dominion Associates will allow you to pay off credit cards and have one lower monthly payment. Another method is to pay off one credit card at a time, either the one with the highest interest rate or the one with the lowest balance.
When you only have one income, any emergency, such as a home or auto repair, that comes along can cause catastrophic damage to your finances. The money you plan to use for monthly bills now needs to go to cover the cost of the repair. If you plan ahead for a minor setback by opening an account just for these types of emergencies, the repair won’t prevent you from remaining current on your monthly obligations.
Second Time Around
Many people live on one income comfortably. That’s partly due to their commitment to finding the best prices on nearly anything they need. For example, second-hand shops have a large collection of furniture, clothing, and decor in good condition, for a much lower cost than the retail value. Estate and yard sales provide another resource for finding a quality product for short money.
Spending Less on Essentials
Food is something you need. However, that doesn’t mean you need to pay top dollar to eat well. Unbelievably, grocery stores don’t always have sales on the same items. This makes it easy to save money on each visit by reviewing the weekly fliers of several supermarkets in your area. Double-down on your savings by going onto one of the coupon sites and printing the ones that apply to your weekly list. Some stores offer rewards in the form of cash off purchases, free products, or discounts. Shop often at the stores to enjoy additional savings.
End Wasteful Spending
When you cut your income in half, there are some things you’ll need to eliminate from your budget. Wasteful spending is one of them. Ordering take-out a few times a week can consume a few hundred dollars each month. Coffee on the way to the office and eating lunch out will tack on a few hundred more. Just those few items can take nearly $500.00 a month from your budget. Eating meals at home and brown-bagging your lunch will allow you to use that money to pay down debt and eventually the money is yours.
Around holidays and other special events, having extra cash on hand helps. After all, most parents make a big deal out of their kids’ upcoming birthdays. A side hustle that requires only a few hours during the week will give you the cash you need and avoid borrowing from money reserved for bills. Lyft and Uber are popular. However, local stores often need part-time workers. If you prefer not to leave the home, online tutoring, web design and freelance writing are a few available.
Importance of a Budget
When money’s tight, a budget can be your lifesaver. It keeps you on track of your bills and expenses. It also discourages frivolous spending. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are companies online that provide free apps you can print.
If you fall into the group of people that either lost their jobs or are indefinitely laid-off due to the virus, you can maintain a good quality of life. Following a strict budget, eliminating waste, and spending less on the things you need, living on one income will work for you.