Enduring in a time when the economy is unstable and the unemployment rate is high takes discipline and careful planning. Although living on unemployment with kids isn’t easy, there are still ways to make ends meet on a limited income while living comfortably. Frugal living does not mean you have to stress out over your finances.
Anyone with children knows the child’s favorite past time is eating. Although grocery prices are on the rise, there are techniques you can use to lower your grocery bill without lowering the quantity or quality of the groceries. Price comparison, shopping on sale, and using coupons are just a few examples to save money. Many stores, not just grocery stores, will give an extra discount for those with a military ID, student ID or those who are senior citizens. The money you save can be applied to another area such as the utility bills.
Making small changes around the home to conserve electricity and water helps to slash your utility cost. Instead of using the light fixtures to light the room, switch to lamps with low wattage bulbs. They will provide the same amount of light at a lower cost. Exchanging your shower head for an aerated shower head saves thousands of gallons of water per year but still provides the same water pressure. The money you save on your water bill pays for the cost of the aerated shower head with in the first few months.
Any family knows the importance of having a washer and dryer. Doing laundry during off peak hours saves money in several ways. Using utilities during off peak hours cost less than using them during peak hours. Running the dryer in the summer means the air conditioning unit has to work harder to keep the house cool. The air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard if dry your clothes overnight when the outside temp is cooler and line drying your clothes cuts out the cost of drying completely. Some state offer utility assistance to help those on a limited income.
Surviving on unemployment does not mean that you have to skip out on your favorites. Implementing a budget helps to keep track of your expenses while meeting your goals. Writing everything down allows you to visualize your spending habits. Family time is an important time regardless of the amount of money you have. Look for programs that offer membership discount to families on a fixed income or spend time together at family friendly places such as the local library or museum. They frequently offer free or affordable child appropriate programs on a weekly basis.
Meager living, especially with children, doesn’t mean you have to go without necessary items. Instead of buying new, shop at a consignment shop or thrift store. In those places you’ll find gently used items for a fraction of what they cost new. Taking your gently used items to a consignment shop is way for you make extra money while living on a limited income.
What are some of your money-saving tips for surviving on unemployment?