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Short on cash? Struggling to get by? You are not alone!
If you are like most people these days, you are living on a budget. Living within your means can be difficult, which is why most of us have accumulated some kind of debt. Be it student loans, credit card bills or otherwise, we are all feeling the pressure!
As we get older, we begin to realize how difficult it can be to get ahead financially. Not everyone has their “ducks in a row.” By this I mean, sometimes life takes unexpected turns and things don’t work out the way we hoped or planned.
Saving is important but, when you are living pay cheque to pay cheque, this can feel next to impossible. Therefore, it is so important to not buy things that you can’t afford. Living within your means can be challenging, but with the right tools - it is possible!
Living as a starving artist, I have picked up a few tips along the way that I would like to share with you. These ideas will help you stretch your money farther, to get the most out of it. If you are struggling to get by and are looking for some helpful suggestions, have a look at my budget list below:
The 'Starving Artist' Survival List:
- Never buy anything that’s not on sale(within reason, of course)!
- If you don’t need it – don’t buy it!
- When you are buying groceries, purchase less expensive brands whenever possible.
- Use coupons - they are a budgeter's best friend.
- Shop online (i.e on Amazon). There are some amazing deals available, but make sure you look at sites that offer free shipping.
- Go to free community events for recreational activities and no-cost fun.
- Save your pocket change in a piggy bank or jar (I call it my rainy-day fund).
- Order free samples of products online.
- Shop second-hand at a thrift shop – it's now in style! Don't believe me? Check out the music video for Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz.
- Get creative and refurbish your old furniture or grab someone else’s throwaway and up-cycle!
Check out this awesome site for ideas:
- Sell old clothing or unwanted items to make some extra pocket cash.
- Get rid of your landline and cable TV. Instead, cut down to using just a cellphone and try finding free Wi-Fi to watch movies
- Do your printing, scanning, and photocopying at your local library. It is so much cheaper than going to an expensive print shop.
- Cut out bad habits like smoking, drinking, and expensive coffee purchases.
- Cook your own food at home - Check out these handy tips: www.mymoneycoach.ca/blog/budget-grocery-shopping-tips-to-save-money.html
- Track down the bargains - flea markets, estate sales, warehouse clearances, you get the idea!
- Keep track of your finances by using a budgeting app. Check out these great budget apps: www.gottabemobile.com/best-budget-apps/
- If you're crafty, handmake your gifts for family and friends. Check out www.pinterest.com for great craft ideas!
- Shop around for the best prices, so that you don't end up overpaying for things.
- Do not impulse-buy or go shopping when you are bored. Nothing good will come of this!
I do not believe that you need money to be happy, but having the essentials is important for your peace of mind. It is also important to remember that you don’t need money to be rich in life. Investing money will only accomplish so much. Investing your time in your family and friends and looking for ways to help others will help you gain things that money can’t buy. You can’t put a price tag on love, just like The Beatles talk about:
“Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can't buy. I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love.”
–The Beatles, "Can't Buy Me Love"
In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein:
“The most precious things in life are not those you get for money.”