14 May 2018

5 Frugal Tips for Families living on a Single Income


It's been very difficult for families of all shapes and sizes to make ends meet lately. However, few people feel the pinch quite like families on a single income. Whether someone in your clan has unexpectedly lost their job, or you're expecting a new child and know that someone's going to have to take some time off to care for the baby, it's important to know how you can cope with living on a single income.

While making ends meet on one income can be difficult, it's not impossible - particularly when you have the right tips and tricks to help you. The following ideas might give you the guidance you need to live comfortably with the cash you have.

1. Establish your Budget 
Whether you're living on one income, two, or even three, all families should have a well-established budget. Your budget is how you decide what you can reasonably afford to pay for things like your rent, utilities, and food, and what you need to cut back on. As a family, sit down and write a list of all the things you need to pay for each month, and all the money you have coming in.

Remember, as well as the one income coming from the working party in your group, you might also have access to government benefits too, like child tax credit or council tax allowances.

2. Cut Down Wherever You Can
When you've got your budget in hand, it's time to get to the tough stuff. In other words, you'll need to figure out where you can cut down on your expenses and make it easier to live within your means. When you're planning for a new baby or dealing with a redundancy, it's important to look over your details in depth and see what you can do without. For instance, you can probably afford to get rid of the gym membership you never use, and the extra television channels you rarely watch.

At the same time, remember that cutting down your expenses doesn't have to just mean getting rid of things. It can also involve changing your payments wherever you can too. For instance, if you can switch your gas supplier to someone cheaper, that could help you save a lot of cash.


3. Earn Extra Income Wherever You Can
The one-income household is changing. In the past, if one person in a relationship went to work and the other stayed at home to look after the kids, the home-based parent wouldn't have much of a chance to make extra money. However, thanks to the rise of technology in the new digital world, there are plenty of ways for today's ambitious stay-at-home parents to boost their bank accounts.

For instance, you can consider starting a small at-home business as an affiliate marketer or sell things that you make on marketplaces like Etsy. Just be wary of the get-rich-quick scams that seem to run rampant online.

4. Collect your Coupons
If you're really worried about paying for all the things you need when you only have one income to live off, why not make your expenses a little smaller with the help of coupons and vouchers? The right coupons can help you to save a lot of money. In fact, some people find that the cash they save with extreme couponing saves them more money than they would earn by getting a part-time job. There are plenty of online groups you can join to help with your couponing practices, including website forums and Facebook groups.

The more coupons you collect, the more money you save. Don't forget to try cashback websites too, so you can save money in the long-term on all your online purchases.

5. Know When you Need to Sacrifice
We all have an ideal vision of what life should be like. Sometimes, this means having a flat-screen television in every room, or the fanciest car on the block. However, when you decide to live in a single-income household, you're going to need to learn how to make a few sacrifices. When you only have a certain amount of cash coming in each month, you'll learn how to prioritise between things you want and things you need.

For instance, do you really need to go out to the pub with your mates every week for a couple of pints? Or can you relax at home with a movie instead? Living on a single income is tough, but it is possible if you're willing to sacrifice.

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