Welcome to Frugal Friday! This is our last installment in conjunction with Money Saving Mom and Simply Rebekah where we add our own two cents (or less!) about ways we save money in our households. This week we are being a little bit more generic with our savings efforts. Awhile back, Rachael wrote a post about living off one income. She offered 10 great tips, almost all of which our family also follows. For this week’s edition of Frugal Photo Friday though, I wanted to add to that with a few extra tips for readers.
So here are five extra options if you’re still trying to cut back by living off one income:
5 Tips For Living Off One Income
1. Pay premiums in full. This was hard for us at first but we save several hundred dollars a year by paying for our car, life and home insurance in full rather than monthly increments. The house is handled through our mortgage company with an escrow account so I borrowed the same idea. The first payout hurt our savings to pay the big chunk for car and life but after that, we opened an extra savings account just for our insurance. Every month we pay into the account a portion of the premium. The account makes a little interest and when the bill comes up 3-6 months later, we have the full amount ready in the account. (And with proper budgeting, we were able to save back our initial investment easily.)
2. Buy used or on clearance. For me and my husband, we shop during the off seasons to get highly discounted clothes. For our kids though, online and local resale shops save us a substantial amount of money. I’m not afraid to put my kids in hand me down clothes or buy second hand toys. There’s a lot of good quality left in what we get for a fraction of the cost.
3. Rent from the library. We are very lucky where I live to have an incredible library system at our access for free. Even if you have to pay, though, this can save your entertainment bill quite a bit. For a minimal amount, you have hundreds and thousands of books and movies at your fingertips. This can mean free at home date night, saving some money from not having to buy required literature for a college class you are taking or even get you a big variety in education books and programs for your children.
4. Scale back during the holidays. Think less decorating, less extravagant giving and less overall fluff. Remember that the holidays are about family and being with the ones you love. Use Pinterest to come up with ideas for homemade gifts. Or try your hand at a fun craft with the kids to make your own holiday decorations. (See photo above.)
5. Get creative on earning extra money. When all else fails and you’ve cut every extra expense you can, find out-of-the-box ways to earn money. Offer services via freelance work. Maybe babysit a few days a week. If you are really talented with crocheting or sewing there’s plenty of space to sell products on Etsy.com or even your own website if you keep growing. Sell your old items. Search for a local swap and sell group on Facebook or use craigslist. See if your city or neighborhood has a group type garage sale or if you have enough stuff and energy, have your own garage sale.
Saving money should probably be my middle name. If it’s a way to cut costs or save money, I’ve probably tried it. A common misconception of being frugal or being a one income family though is that we are suffering or barely getting by. It doesn’t have to be like that. You can be frugal and still full of life and fun! You just have to use common sense with your finances to stay ahead in the game.
What are some tips you have for living off one income?
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