Living on a Tight Budget

How do I live off of $750.00 a month? How do I budget this amount of money each month? I live in section 8 housing and my rent is 191.00 a month, but I have car insurance and car expenses. What should I save from this low amount of money

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By Valorie

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February 22, 20151 found this helpful

You are the only one that can figure out what things you can save on. Could you do without a car and ride buses or take cabs. I haven't had a car since 1997, I take cabs when I have to go someplace, but I really limit how often I go anyplace. I live off $700.00 a month. I am 74 years old.

I have renter's insurance, pay electricity, phone, internet. Cable is included in my rent. I am also on Section 8 housing and I pay $210.00 a month rent, and I get $170.00 a month in food stamps. Medicare Part D pays most of my prescription meds. I don't buy any magazines or things like that. I do spend a fair amount on scrapbooking supplies and genealogy, those are my major recreational expenses.

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February 23, 20150 found this helpful

I have a little more, but much higher mortgage, plus home repairs, etc., so I understand tight budgets. I suggest getting rid of cable and getting a simple indoor antenna. Depending on where you live, you would be surprised at the number of stations and programming you can get for free. I use my inexpensive android phone for everything, including my Internet needs. Find a cell phone company without contracts and unlimited plans and you have everything you need. You may be able to add a hot spot feature for very little and share your connection with a tablet or laptop if needed.

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I cook everything I can from scratch. Yogurt is simple to make and much cheaper. That's just one example of things you can make from scratch. YouTube can show you how to do almost anything.

If you can do without the car, ditch it. It's a major expense. Many things can be ordered online these days, and even cab fare once a month to bring home groceries is cheaper, or paying someone to shop and deliver your month's supplies.

Get some inexpensive power strips and plug electronics into them in such a way that it's easy to switch off what you are not using. You can save 10% or more on your electric bill by reducing the phantom electric use when these electronics are on stand by. A little bit here and a little bit there. Keep thinking about how to cut costs. The little stuff really adds up. Hope this helps.

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February 23, 20150 found this helpful

I want to congratulate the last two posters on their good advice and on their frugal ways. When I read the post, I thought -- it can't be done! I certainly agree that things like junk food, prepackaged convenience food, and restaurant meals, and fancy coffees are things one can live without.

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Another source of entertainment is your local library, where books, movies, internet access, and many other things are available free of charge.

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February 24, 20150 found this helpful

First of all, ditch cable if it isn't included in your rent. I bundled my phone and internet to save money. Call your phone provider (or internet provider if you don't have a land line) and ask for the best promotional deal they can give you. The promotion will usually run out in a year. When that happens, call up again and ask for a new promotion.

I switched to all internet tv. You can do this two ways: Buy a Roku-type device and get an internet t.v. provider such as Netflix. The fee will be less than $10 monthly. Another thing you can do is get a large flat monitor for your computer and watch it as a tv. There is a lot of tv available for free online. For starters, stations such as ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS post some of their most popular shows online.

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Some of these stations also have archives where you can watch old syndicated shows such as Cheers or MacGyver.

Some other places you can watch tv online are: Crackle, YouTube, Retrovision.tv, Hulu.com.

Audiobooks and ebooks are available online for free at websites such as: Podiobooks.com, LibriVox, Open Culture, Free Audio Review, Chest of Books.com, Open Library.org, Wikibooks, and Project Gutenberg.

For free Old Time Radio shows, here are some links: otr.net, Megaloradio.com, otrrlibrary.org, old radio world.com, otrfan.com.
For free music radio, try: live365.com, pandora.com, radiotunes.com, or Grooveshark.

And don't forget to visit the internet archive for audio, video, radio, ebooks and more.

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February 24, 20150 found this helpful

Section 8 housing benefits are basic but can differ in different areas of the country.

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(Anyone not familiar with Section 8 housing can look up "section 8 housing" on the Internet.)
Most people may feel you are very lucky to have this benefit and I hope you can find a comfortable way to live within your small budget.

Questions:
How were you living on this amount before you were approved for Section 8 housing?
How old are you?
Are you disabled?
Can you work part time to supplement your income?

Did you try to select your "home" within an area that you could live without the use of a car? If not, then use of a car will be your biggest expense. You can usually get almost free transportation to see your doctors and many times receive almost free tickets to ride public transportation. Just a thought as you are the only one that can decide if you can do without a car. Find out what your city has to offer.

I feel sure you are on Medicaid so you will not have to pay for your Medicare premiums and many other free programs are available.
Food stamps should cover most of your monthly food costs if you do some of your most basic cooking.

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Basic free cell phones are available - not fancy - but very good.
Lower home phone premiums are available for the asking.
Assistance with paying utilities is available to low income families sometimes 2 to 3 times a year so be sure to look into this service.

If you use the Internet - Google all of your questions and you may be surprised at all of the information available. Just be sure to add your city.state to the question. (Thrifty users have no idea where you live unless you tell us.)
Utility bills can sometimes be the most expensive part of a budget like yours so these will have to be combined with your monthly housing expense before any other "extras" can be added.

Entertainment has been covered by other responders - but - this is an individual thing so reread these answers and try to adopt some to your own liking and within your budget.

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February 24, 20150 found this helpful

Also see this tip that I posted on getting the best prices: www.thriftyfun.com/Use-Calculator-to-Get-the-Best-Price...

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February 24, 20150 found this helpful

Here's something I just posted for another person and thought I'd repost for you. If you keep yourself busy with free activities you'll hardly have time to think about the extras you can no longer afford to buy.

jigidi.com - free jigsaw puzzles
games.washingtonpost.com -Crossword, sudoku, mahjongg, word search.

puzzles.usatoday.com -Crosswords, other word games, sudoku, Mahjongg, Spider and Klondike Solitaire.

logic-puzzles.org -grid-style logic puzzles.
aarp.org/health/brain-health/brain_games/ -Various memory games, word games, visual and auditory games.

newyorker.com/jigsaw -Jigsaw puzzle.
dailymail.co.uk/coffeebreak/puzzles/spotthedifference -Spot the difference in the two pictures puzzle.

oregonlive.com/puzzles-kingdom/ -spot the difference puzzles, word games, number games, strategy and memory games.

The internet is a great resource. Learn to use it to its best advantage.

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March 18, 20150 found this helpful

Visit the public library for books to read. That can be most entertaining and a good use of your time. Hubby and I are retired and on fixed income. We read a LOT! We also are involved in our local political party. Just an occasional meeting with really nice folks. I am now using what I used to call my "job interview" outfits to go to Knox County Democrats. These clothes are from at least 20 years ago. In this day and age we are expected to spend a lot of money but take it from one who has tight waddery down to a science you don't have to spend a lot to have an enjoyable life.

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April 11, 20150 found this helpful

My disability is $766
My sec rent is $195
My medications total $3.10 a month
My tv is basically Netflix. I watch it all the time. I keep the lights down as much as possible. I sold my car and moved where bus and trains are walking distance. I shop for food on sale and buy almost three of everything. There are months where I don't need to buy some things. I shop walmart.com through swagbucks to earn walmart cards. I shop Walmart to use the savings catcher. I now have over $15 saved up.

Clothing is under $5 most often and brand new. Jeans and sweats are from Salvation Army and Good Will stores, top of the line brands. I only buy the colors on sale.

I do my own hair and use coupons when possible. I recycle everything possible with friends and family. good luck. oh my cell is boost mobile $35 and my plan is to pay every other month and bank the savings. I use debit cards or cash no credit or borrowing for me. When my check is gone I live without an try to be home where it's paid for and free.

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May 9, 20150 found this helpful

Hi Valorie,
Your best bet would be to share your house with someone that can pay for a room, or share your car with someone else. For example, if you find someone from work that lives in your area, you could ask them if they would like to share transportation cost. Otherwise, you could always drive people around, since you have a car. $5 here, and there can add up pretty quickly.
I understand how difficult it may be to live on $750 budget. JunkCarBuyerGA.com

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