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Saving Money on a Single Income

Aug 17, 2007
One of the most important things you can do on a single income is control your spending and find ways to save money. Life for most families is much easier on two incomes in most cases, but there are very good reasons why sometimes families have to live on just one income.

Saving money just makes living on that one income more practical. It can help you avoid or get rid of debt, and it's there for emergencies. It also just feels good to have solid finances.

Debt is one of the most important things to avoid on a single income. This is especially true of credit card debt, which generally comes with higher interest than other forms of debt. If you can pay your credit card debts off you can free up quite a bit of money each month.

Never pay only the minimum if you can help it. Every little bit extra helps. There are various strategies for paying off multiple cards if you have them. Generally, focusing on one and paying the minimum on the others is a good plan.

But there's more you can do. Paying cash when possible can be an excellent habit and a great way to stick to a budget. It's all too easy to go over your budget with a check or credit card, as the consequences are not so immediately obvious. With cash you can bring only what your budget allows, which means you cannot go overboard.

A kind of fun habit when limiting yourself to cash is to throw your loose change into a jar. Over time it really adds up, and that change can be hundreds of dollars. Yet it's a relatively painless way to save money.

One area that can get neglected when money is tight is how you spend on events such as birthdays and holidays. These are times that it can be very easy to splurge, and they can be a major cause of credit card debt. If you plan ahead and stick to a reasonable budget you can still enjoy these times without destroying all your efforts to save.

Also think about the extras in your life. Do you need digital cable television or even regular cable? How about both a cell phone and a regular one? Cutting back on these bills can make a huge difference.

Combine these efforts with learning how to save money on grocery shopping and other necessities and you can do quite well. Life on one income can be more challenging, but with some practice it may not be as difficult as some think.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs Home with the Kids, where she offers tips for stay at home moms . Get more tips on living on a single income at http://www.homewiththekids.com/moneymatters.htm .
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