Living on a Fixed Income

Living comfortably within your means can be accomplished by being smart with your resources. This guide is about living on a fixed income.

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I am in financial crisis. After I am out this situation, how do I budget my fixed income so that every need is met?

By Victoria from Portsmouth, VA

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I've been living on an essentially fixed income for 7+ years now. First I started finding creative ways to cut back on expenses. (For example, I reduced our auto coverage from full to liability because we can get our car fixed for pennies compared to the insurance carrier's recommended auto shop.) Then I found a part-time job I can do from home to supplement my income. It isn't a lot, but the little bit I make helps. Now that hubby is getting a glimmer of how tough it is to make ends meet and that I physically can't handle a 2nd job, he's agreed to cut back on borrowing. (Finally!)

One thing I do is, when any money arrives in my checking account, I shift it straight to savings until I actually need to spend it. It may earn me less than $1 a month, but when you're as poor as we are, pennies count. Speaking of pennies, I collect those, too. When my little penny bank gets full, I take it to my credit union's CoinStar machine. Those pennies have helped us get by until payday more than once.

Do try very hard to stay away from payday lenders. It's a vicious cycle and nearly impossible to escape. Keep a close eye on your checking balance and avoid insufficient-funds charges. That alone will save you quite a bit, as will paying all your bills on time. Late fees are awful, and they sure don't help your credit score!

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Budget & Finance AdviceNovember 20, 2012
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