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TB Articles: Living on A Budget August 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Ecnomony, life, money, shopping.
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I may be young, but I’ve understood what it is like to live on a tight budget. Now that unemployment has risen the the economy is recovering too slowly for many people, living on a tight budget has become “the norm”.

When it comes to groceries, coupons have become wildly popular. But most of them are for name brands and those tend to run on the expensive side. Don’t be afraid of store brands. In some cases, they can taste the exact same as the name brand version but at a cheaper price. And sometimes, generic store brands have larger casings or packaging, making them last longer. Cap’n Crunch may taste great, but Malt-O-Meal has a bigger back with the same great taste. It may cost more, but you’ll save money when you aren’t buying the name brand box every 2 weeks. If you only get paid every 2 weeks and need to stretch the food out, stock up. Instead of buying 1 gallon of milk, buy 2. Instead of buying one box of Pop Tarts, buy 2. You might not be saving a lot of money, but you’re saving yourself a trip to the grocery store and whatever money you have left, that can used towards other things.

Speaking of trips, setting aside gas money for a week or two is a great way to save. It cuts out the desire to spend the money for something else (unless it was needed) and you know exactly where it’s going. If you spend $20 every week for gas, take out $40 for two weeks. Label an envelope “Weekly Gas- 2 Weeks”, and place the $40 in there. That way if you get the impulse to buy that DVD, you will know that it is to be used for gas or emergencies.

If you feel you can’t pay a bill or have problems buying food, don’t underestimate the power of help. There are thousands upon thousands of people who go through the exact same thing every single day. There are problems that are available to help pay a bill or even help with food. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce if you want to know what programs are available.

Living on a budget doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Reinventing the way you make pasta or even buy groceries can bring new ideas, making a tight budget seem less suffocating I promise.

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