Whether you have been hit by a financial setback or you’re just trying to get out of debt, its time to get extreme and learn about simple cheap living.
People are experiencing financial setbacks a lot lately. Job loss statistics are up. Businesses are not open and unemployment is at an all time high. Where can you cut back when you feel like you can’t go any lower?
Its time to evaluate where your money is going and decide on a game plan.
Create a Cheap Living Plan
Its time to do the hard work. Take a deep breath and open up your online banking app. Make a list of all the things you have been spending money on for the last three months.
if you don’t have online banking than dig through your papers and find your bank statements.
Its time to get real. Its time to figure out what you have and what you need.
Here are some cheap living tips to focus on first.
Taking care of the four walls first is important. You need a place to live in. You need a way to stay warm. You need food and water. And you need transportation.
There are so many other things that you just don’t need.
In your cheap living plan, you are going to cut back to only the essential items. And then, you may need to cut down even further once you take a look at the list.
If it is just you, frugal living for one person can be the easiest way to live next to nothing. A family can still be done but its going to be more of a challenge.
If you have a savings account or an emergency fund, this its the time to use it.
Simplify Your Life
The cheapest way to live is to now owe anyone anything. Debt reduction and debt payoff is something that should be done before the situation gets bad.
If you still owe debts, there re things that can be done temporarily.
Call your credit card company and explain what is going on. The key to any debt company is good communication. They may be able to daive your payments for a number of months.
If the credit card comapny is not willing to do this for you, there are two choices. If you can find the money, make your minimum payments.
If you just don’t have it, let it go for now. Yes, it will be a hit on your credit but you’re in survival mode right now. You can take care of them later. You can’t get water from a stone.
Communication with your lender is key here. Many times banks, lenders, and credit unions have programs put in place for hardships just like this.
You might be able to skip some payments and have them tacked on to the end of the life of your loan.
Again, student loans have a number of different options. There are deferments, hardship agreements, and lower payment options. Call them and see what’s available. Now is not the time to be prideful.
As with other options above, communicate with your lender to give them the opportunity to help. There are federal and state programs put in place right now to help homeowners and renters stay in their homes.
Stop spending money
The time is now for a complete spending freeze. Do not spend money on anything that you do not have to spend money on.
Stop ordering from Amazon. Stop getting pizza delivery. You don’t really need any new clothes or shoes. Don’t go out unless it’s essential. Spend less money.
Learning how to live without going out to dinner, shopping for therapy, or spending too much entertaining oneself is not going to be easy.
It’s going to get extreme. A lot of people have no idea how to live without all the perks and are spending a lot of money unnecessarily.
Keep utility bills low
What you turn on today you will pay for tomorrow. Turn off everything. Unplug all of it.
Here are some more ideas on how to cut back on utilities.
- Use more task lighting than overhead lights. Get extreme and break out the candles if bright lights aren’t required.
- Turn off the air conditioning and open windows. Turn down the heat and put on a sweater.
- Cook outside. If you can cook over a fire, do that. Save on electric or gas and keep the house cooler.
- Take shorter showers. Turn on the water to get wet, turn it off to wash, then turn it on to rinse the soap off.
- Wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry.
Check out this article to learn more ways to save money on your utilities.
Pay your bill, if you can, and keep it as low as possible for the next month.
How to live on practically nothing
Its time to cut out all unessesay spending.
Cancel cable, internet (yes, internet), Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and any other subscription services you have. Use free wifi if you need one or rely on cell phone data.
Reevaluate your cell phone plan to see if you can cut back and join a cheaper plan. There are great prepay services that give you unlimited everything for $25 a month.
If it is just you, frugal living for one person can be the easiest way to live next to nothing.
Find free entertainment. We all need to have some fun even if we are living on little or no money.
Find some cheap things to do like walk to the park, find some music, go to the museum on a free day, or utilize the library.
Sell everything that you can. Put the boat up for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Sell the motorcycle, four-wheeler, snowmobile, and any other toys you have.
Go through your home and sell everything that isn’t nailed down.
Sell clothes, furniture, toys, books, do-dads, small kitchen appliances, anything you can find that you’re not using. Embrace minimalism. Here’s a great article explaining what minimalism is.
Go down to one car or sell ll the cars and use public transportation, bikes, or your feet to get where you need to go.
Cheaper housing alternatives
If your home’s mortgage is just too big and you are faced with a tough road ahead, selling your home and downsizing might be an option.
Moving in with family and splitting the costs or renting a less expensive apartment or room.
Living in a camper or van. Alternative living is a big thing now. Check out Youtube for some great ideas. Open your mind to other things besides that large mortgage payment.
There are many benefits to living in a smaller house. Smaller houses end up costing a lot less than you are paying now.
Rent out a part of your home to bring in more money. If you have a second room that you can give up or make your boys bunk together to rent out a bedroom to your college nephew this could help a lot toward that mortgage payment.
Meal plan to make simple cheap meals
Meal planning is essential to keeping food costs low. Understanding the prices while grocery shopping, sticking to a grocery list, and the way to eat on less than $50 a week will benefit you in this time of simple cheap living.
Having a good food stockpile is a great way to eat from your pantry. Foods like pasta, rice, and oatmeal are some cheap foods to eat.
Learning to make cheap meals like these will stretch the food money you do have.
Visit food pantries and food banks to supplement the food you have or will buy from the grocery stores.
Drink only water. If you need caffeine in the morning, consider tea instead. It’s cheaper. Skip milk, juice, and soda. Water is better for you and much cheaper.
Earn more money
If you’ve been affected by job loss, there are always ways to earn more money.
Delivering pizzas, mowing lawns, babysitting, and Uber there re always side hustles out there to be found. It might even be the right time to start a business.
Barter for what you need. Haircuts, car repairs, or food from someones garden can all be exchanged for the skills that you might have.
Embrace Frugal living
If you decide to live on only what you need and change your mindset, then it will make simple cheap living a lot less stressful and much more fun.
Think of it as a game. Use pictures are printable trackers to see shown much money you are not spending.
Noe of this is easy. When faced with a sudden loss of income, big changes need to happen and its not human nature to embrace change.
Give yourself a few minutes to understand the task at hand and sit with the idea that nothing will be the same tomorrow as it was yesterday.
Its all about learning to live cheaply unit this chapter is over. It may or may not be a long time but it will not be forever. The situation is not long term.
There will be a day when you can buy another motorcycle or boat. But right now, you need to learn how to be cheap and live frugally.