Living on only $800 a month is a very difficult thing to do, but I have 5 tips and secrets to help make it work.
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That was me not even a year ago! Plus I have two little’s so that made it even harder. I’m also not the most successful person I have met, but I am good at researching and I finally found ways to keep on a tight budget so my kids and I had somewhere to live that wasn’t in one shared bedroom at a family members house. (Long story, haha)
And since I’m all about saving money and helping other’s out there, I really wanted to share some of my tips with you.
Tip number 1:
Get rid of your expensive phone bill.
At one point I was paying over $200 for my iPhone at Verizon. And when I (was) a single mom with two kids about to move out on my own, this was the first to go. I went to Cricket wireless and picked out an okay android with the lowest monthly payment they had. Now these days, nearly all phone companies come with unlimited texting, a lot of data, and voicemail. That’s basically all you need. My now Fiance has a pay to go phone that only costs him $35 a month for everything he needs. You can check some of these phones out right here.
Tip number 2:
Cut off that expensive cable! When I was married, we were paying over $300 a month on cable and internet! (Take deep breaths here! Yes $300!!!) And most of those channels I wasn’t even watching! Money wasted.
So with my cable gone, how was I going to entertain my children and I? Easy, I cut that off and went ONLY with internet. Mhmm, and also around black Friday I bought a Roku for half the price and with those two things, I added in Netflix and Hulu. Also I could link my Youtube for free to Roku so we could watch our favorite Youtubers. This happened several years ago and I still have this set up, it’s worked quite well and I do not miss cable at all.
Another small tip: I bought a $9 antenna and hooked it up, I now get up to 40 free channels in my area. Not bad!
What’s even better is you can get a FREE month trial to each of these! Then after that, it’s totally affordable!
Get your free trial to Amazon CBS here.
Get your free trial to Amazon HBO here.
Tip number 3:
Another necessity is groceries. I’m talking foods, snacks, drinks, toilet paper, personal hygiene, etc.
There are many ways to save on groceries, the most common way being coupons. Luckily you don’t need to buy the Sunday paper these days to be able to coupon. Now there are apps like iBotta and Checkout 51 where if you purchase an item that is in their preferred list, you can save some cents like .25 – $1.00. Once you reach a certain limit like $20.00 you can cash it out. You’re buying those items anyways, might as well get cash back from it.
Also, a lot of stores these days have their own coupons on their sites. For example, my Kroger here (King soopers) has great savings if I just download their e-coupons onto my card (Alternate ID – Phone #) and they also send out actual coupons to me via mail. This is where I typically get coupons for free eggs or free pop tarts. Pretty awesome. So pick your favorite store that can help you in this way. Another new option is Amazon Fresh. It’s a monthly fee of $14.99 to get home goods sent to your place, but if you are (or become) a prime member the monthly fee goes down to $10.99! Steal of a deal right there! Check out more about Amazon Fresh here.
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Tip number 4:
Got cars? Well cars need insurance and gas but don’t let that make you fret. If I can afford a car, you can too! Just remember to do your research and find the lowest rate (obvi, right?) however, watch out for a few things:
1) Google the cheapest insurances. Check them out for your type of car. A huge tip I have is pick the standard your state requires. As my dad says, ” If its a used car, don’t get full coverage.” Sometimes these insurances say they are the cheapest but for example, my SUV wasn’t the cheapest for them to cover. Which leads me to number 2 ->
2.) Bundle! My now fiance went and got himself a car, and literally after all the research I did, it was cheaper to bundle the cars together. So yes, technically I pay for both insurances but he pays me back. 🙂 For two cars we pay $114.00 through Progressive. That’s $57 per car! And one of the insurances said they were the cheapest at $60 a month per car. HA! I saved $3!
3) Remember how I said to choose your favorite grocery store? One of the reasons I chose Kroger was because of the gas rewards. If I spend quite a bit of money, I earn points. For summer months, they give out (through online coupon) 4X points. And for around Christmas, buy gift cards and receive more points! Around this time I can easily get what I need anyways and then save money on my gas guzzler, …. I mean my car. 🙂
Tip number 5:
Set a BUDGET! Figure out your income, get your finances as low as you can and determine your expenses. Then figure out how much you have at the end of the month to budget the rest out. Once you set a budget, stick to it!
Now there are so many other helpful tips out there to help you save that money. And while we are on the topic of budget, not a lot of people know this but there are 4 different kinds of expenses. *Shocked face* I know!
While there’s the typical Income minus the Expenses equals your ending balance… it’s not 100% that simple. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back: I created this amazing book just filled of many of these tips! There are over 30 Tips on how to lower your bills, there are resources, there are worksheets, there is information such as the 4 expenses. All of this information to get any type of income on a real budget and to get anyone onto a savings!
Check it out, it’s only $7.00 for 28 pages of quality helpful ways to Budget Your Life.
“I received this product and thought that it was very well written and laid out for someone who just can’t seem to get a handle of their own finances. I honestly feel like it will be a great tool to aide those who struggle with money. There are great resources available and worksheets that can be used for tracking and creating a budget. Well done!”
–Christine Grove at Clarity in the Morning
This is everything I used to help myself live on only $800 a month.
The book contains more on how it worked.