So you have a job and you’re the owner of a steady income! Congratulations! For many, this is a big achievement, especially without economy in the state that it is in! Holding down a job, and being assured of job security is a thing of the past, so when you are part of the career force, it’s nothing to be laughed at! But wait, you’re working yourself to the bone, and only coming home with $40,000 a year! That can’t be right? Unfortunately that is a reality that many people are faced with, and figuring out how to pay the bills and make ends meet, when you’re working so hard, and earning under $40,000 a year, can be really tricky.
The key to getting things under control financially and to get by on $40,00 a year, is start with a budget. This entails being aware of your income and expenditure and then setting limits. When your cash is thinly stretched each month, it’s essential to know where you are spending it! Know what your actual income is, that means how much liquid cash is available at your fingertips for you to spend.
Once you know how much money is at your disposal each month, it’s time to have a serious and frank look at your expenses. Many of us spend unnecessarily, or don’t realise that there are obvious ways to cut down on our overall expenses.
Write down a grocery list of the exact items you need, without adding extras “wants” to the list. Stick to the essentials! It can be really helpful to create weekly menus, so you know exactly which items you need, and be aware of how much you are spending on each meal. Keep your meals simple, and nutritious. Often we go with the brand’s that we are used to, or the ones we tried once and liked. But don’t shop for your groceries blindly, be aware and take a look at the prices! By the cheaper brand of shampoo, or get the tuna fish that’s on sale this week. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save through being pricesmart!
It’s not enough to only shop smart, but it’s also essential to be smart about your usage! And that means usage of food, utilities and just about anything! Cook just enough food but if there happens to be leftovers in the fridge, be diligent about eating them. When it comes to your phone, make sure you are paying for what you need, and not just a general plan. Pay as you go plans allow you to limit your use and only pay for what you use. Be aware of your household utilities
, turn off lights when you can, open the windows if it’s not too hot out. The more conservative you are, the easier it becomes to cover the costs.
It’s not easy to pay your bills with under $40,000 a year, but it’s possible with focus, discipline and budget.