You’re out of work, or you’re just looking to live on less. In either case, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how to survive on a $1000 monthly budget.
I’m not talking about earning this amount; I mean living off of it. Here are 15 ways that you can do that.
1 Cook at home
Cook in bulk at home, and freeze leftovers for later use. Stock up on meat when it’s on sale, and then make freezer meals that you can defrost when you don’t feel like cooking a full meal from scratch (or if it happens to be too hot outside).
Prepare simple meals that don’t require expensive ingredients or exotic spices (like baked chicken breasts).
A simple, but effective way to save money.
2 Put your electricity on a budget
One of the most effective ways to save money on your electricity bill is by simply turning off lights and appliances when you’re not using them. This can be as simple as flipping a switch, but it will make a big difference in the long run.
You should also try to set your thermostat at an appropriate temperature depending on the season: lower in winter and higher in summer. Look at this chart below to see how much you can save by just adjusting the temperature a little.
3 Use a grocery list and stick to it
In order to really make the most of your money, you need to create a grocery list and stick to it. If you go into the store with a shopping list and only buy what’s on it, then you will be able to save a lot of money.
This is because stores often run specials on items that people regularly buy, so if you don’t have a grocery list, then there’s no way for you to know when these deals are available.
Another benefit of using a grocery list is that it helps prevent impulse purchases—if something catches your eye while checking out at the register (or even while walking through the store), check if it’s on your list before buying it.
If possible, use coupons when shopping for food items; many major chains now allow customers to load digital coupons onto their reward cards or mobile apps which can reduce prices by as much as 50%.
However, don’t buy things just because they’re discounted—if there’s nothing else interesting in stock at that time or place then pass up this deal entirely until later down stream.
4 Utilize coupon apps
You can download coupon apps for free. These are applications that will help you save money on items you already buy and items you don’t need. Some of the best coupons are ones that offer discounts on things you wouldn’t buy otherwise, like toothpaste or cheese balls, but there are also some good deals on essentials—and even a few coupons for things like makeup. If the app says something is “free”, it’s often a sample size that provides enough product to try out without committing to a full-size purchase.
5 Shop thrift stores
While it’s not exactly the same thing as going to a store and picking out items you want, thrift stores are still a great way to save money.
While you’re shopping at thrift stores, you’ll be able to find unique items that aren’t available anywhere else. You can also use them as an opportunity to furnish your home without having to spend a lot of money on new furniture.
If you’re looking for clothes and accessories, thrift stores have tons of options (and they’re usually cheaper than regular clothing stores).
6 Cut down on Internet use (unless you need it for work)
You’re probably reading this article on your phone or computer, so you already know that internet use can get expensive. If you’re going to cut down on your internet use, first make sure you have a plan with enough data and speed to handle what you need it for. If not, consider switching providers or switching carriers if they offer different service plans (e.g., AT&T vs Verizon).
If available in your area, using free public WiFi is a good way to get by without spending too much money. You can also turn off the Wi-Fi connection when not in use and connect via cellular data instead.
However, keep in mind that turning off the Wi-Fi will stop any apps from auto-updating as well as streaming services like Netflix and Spotify which require an active connection at all times. This can be resolved by installing browser apps for those services rather than desktop ones or disabling the auto updates on apps like Google Chrome (Windows) or Safari (Mac) so that they only update when connected over cellular data rather than constantly checking for updates even when connected over WiFi.
7 Check the supermarket circulars
The first place to look for deals is at your local supermarket. The circulars will tell you what’s on sale, and if there are coupons available, the store may even cover your transaction fees. You can also look online for grocery store deals—the discounts may not be as steep as they would be in person, but at least they’re still saving you money!
8 Buy items in bulk for savings
You can save money by buying items in bulk. When you purchase at least 5 of the same item, you are often able to receive a discount and/or free shipping.
- Look for sales on bulk items when they’re on sale or clearance.
- Don’t buy something that you don’t need just because it’s cheap and available in bulk! You should only use this tip if you already need the product and know where it will fit into your budget. If not, then there’s no point in getting those extra three bottles of shampoo—you’ll just have clutter taking up space at home.
9 Buy more water, less soft drinks
Carbonated soft drinks are expensive and are terrible for your health. They have a lot of sugar, which can lead to obesity, diabetes and dental problems.
You may think that it’s better to buy soda than water because you get more servings per dollar with soda. However, if you have the discipline to drink only one serving of soda at a time (which is hard to do), then buying carbonated beverages in bulk will actually set you back more than buying individual bottles or cans. The cost per serving quickly adds up when you’re drinking multiple cans daily!
10 Change your transportation habits (walk, bike, or take transit when possible)
One of the easiest ways to save money is to change your transportation habits. First, reduce your carbon footprint by walking, biking or taking transit when possible. It’s also a great way to get more exercise into your day and will save you gas money that could be spent elsewhere!
- Walk or bike to work, or walk/bike to the grocery store instead of driving there (then take public transit home).
- Take public transit instead of driving when going out with friends on weekends. For example: if you’re going from Downtown Toronto up north to Scarborough or Etobicoke for something fun like a concert, take the TTC instead of paying for parking at the venue ($10-14) as well as gas for two hours in traffic (about $12). This can add up fast!
11 Avoid gym memberships and workout at home instead
Spending money on a gym membership is like buying a car that you can only drive from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If you want to work out at home, invest in some workout DVDs. Or if you prefer to workout with friends, invite them over and split the cost of an instructor who will come over and teach you how to dance like Beyonce or someone else famous (and rich).
12 Don’t buy Starbucks coffee everyday
While you might be tempted to treat yourself to a latte, cappuccino or other specialty drink from Starbucks every day, it’s a much more affordable option to get your caffeine fix elsewhere. A Starbucks grande sized latte can cost around $4.25, which is the equivalent of buying about three lattes per week.
Instead of spending $15 on coffee at Starbucks each week, try getting an iced coffee from McDonald’s for around $1 (or even cheaper if you get off peak prices). Instead of buying three lattes per week, that would only cost less than $5 per week!
If you don’t want ice in your drink or if you need something stronger than a simple cup of joe, brew some coffee at home using whatever kind of brewing method works best for you—this may mean using an automatic drip maker or French press method. It will likely cost less than what you’d pay at any shop and allow you time to relax while sipping the beverage after work hours instead of rushing through lines with heavy traffic.
13 Get discount airline tickets by flying mid week or using an airline app
Get discount airline tickets by flying mid week or using an airline app, such as Hopper.
Traveling on a budget is difficult enough as it is, so you want to make sure that when you do purchase something, it’s done right and works for your situation. For example: Do not be afraid to ask for a deal! Travel agents are there for their clients and want to help them out in any way possible (within reason).
They can also help plan an entire trip from beginning to end based on what their clients want and how much money they have available at the time of booking. This makes things very easy on everyone involved because then there aren’t any surprises when it comes time for departure day.
Use air miles/points/rewards credit cards: Using these types of credit cards can definitely save money because they come with many benefits such as free trips or miles which can be redeemed later down the road; however, this does take some time before reaching those goals so make sure everything else is taken care of first before jumping into anything new like this one.
14 Don’t finance a car loan; pay cash or do a low interest loan
Don’t finance a car loan; pay cash or do a low interest loan.
This is the most expensive way to get a car, but it’s also one of the smartest options. Paying cash is clearly going to save you money in the long run. But if that isn’t your style or you need something reliable immediately, then consider doing a low interest loan (like those offered by Lending Club).
You’ll get lower rates than what you’d find at banks, and your payments will be smaller as well—which means more money goes toward paying off debt instead of interest fees. Just make sure that whatever type of financing method you choose doesn’t cost more than $30 per month for 60 months (five years).
15 Trim the cable cord and get streaming services
If you’re looking to cut costs, cutting cable is a great place to start. There are plenty of streaming services that offer a lot of content and cost less than your monthly cable bill. These include Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and more.
Streaming services can be accessed from your phone or computer—no more waiting around for a show to come on TV! This option also gives you the flexibility to watch whenever you want by just clicking play on your laptop or tablet.
In addition to the financial benefits outlined above, these services provide an opportunity for entertainment viewing with friends and family that’s not possible with traditional television viewing options such as live sports games or prime time sitcoms
You can have what you want without having to spend all of your money
If you’re going to be living on a $1000 monthly budget, it’s important that you know what to expect. Will your life be miserable? Will you go hungry? The answer is no. You can have what you want without having to spend all of your money.
It might even be fun!
I hope these tips help you save money and live your life on a budget. Remember that it’s not only possible to live well on $1000 per month, but it’s also possible to be happy doing so!
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