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Single Income Living

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When living on one wage earner's income, it can be a challenge to live within your means. This guide is about single income living.
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February 18, 20051 found this helpful

The best tip I can give about living on one income would probably be this one. When our daughters were small, we decided that it was important for me to be at home taking care of them every day, especially after we took the cost of child care into consideration. Any money I made would have gone to pay for someone to raise my children while I worked. That was quite a thought and we quickly rejected the idea of me working. I am happy to say that our children are grown and though we have had to do without some things, it was worth it to pinch pennies and do without some to have had the pleasure and blessings of raising my children and being with them every day. There's nothing worth more than your children!

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By Robin

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November 20, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about single senior on a limited budget. When you are on your own, buying just the right amount of food to eat well can be challenging.

A senior woman discussing her finances with her daughter.

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February 18, 20050 found this helpful

I would like to see information about being frugal and single at the same time. I have a part-time job and live alone. I have to grocery shop at a food bank. I need easy and frugal recipes for 1. How to make ends meet better and how to stretch the dollar. All the frugal sites address people living on 2 full time salaries.

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Answers

February 12, 20050 found this helpful

Do you have a printer with your computer?
If so take some time to review this site
There are many many ideas here
If you can cook Never bye meals for one.
Make them for your next days lunch beside your dinner.
Grocery shop at discount food places or surplus food
you own a car ?
If you do consider keeping it in your driveway unless you can justify 3 or 4 errands to use it.
Entertainment just Plain Radio stations,No cable tv,Watch local channels.
Cd's borrow them from your friends Be sure to return them when you say you will.
Electricity Either switch to Flurecent screw in lightbulbs or cut you lights back to 40 and 60 watts
You need to work or read set up a table near a window At night put a lamp right on that table,
Heating ? keep your thermostat back in the winter . No Air conditioning in the summer

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Newspaper Magazines ? read on Computer Or go to Library.
By the way allot of libraries also have music and movies to lend out besides books
Water ?
Showrers and Baths? They need not be hot Warm is fine. You can get generic shampoos and soaps at dollar stores
Towels , blankets Sheets Curtains all at places like Salvation army or other places like it.
You can buy good clothes there if you aren't and odd size.
Nature. If you get stir crazy around your place. Go out for a walk take your time and notice everything ,because it is all free.

Smoking ?
Make your cigarettes last
Make them treats only to celebrate something.
I make a pack last 7 days sometimes 8.
Medical
Go to a dollar store buy a bottle of Acetaminophen
A bottle of vapo rub full colds in winter
a small tube of first aid cream, also peroxide a box of regular band aids
Sewing ? Dollar store Spare buttons needles and thread

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Games? Tablet, pencil pack of playing cards .
Telephone ? No ideas but get a calling card when you can afford it .Your messages left at neighbors or local family
Mail and postage?
Spend a couple dollars if you plan on staying in the area for a post office box. This way you mail will be there days after if necessary.
Postage The bills you can pay locally do it. Pay them in person.
Banking If you are lucky enough to find a bank that you only pay for to buy your check Go for it as long as there are no must have in the account limits.
I have such a bank Got 17 dollars in mine right now.
Free stuff? It is called Free Cycle Find in on the web and join it There is no charge and you can get most anything as long as you first give something away you don't need.
Extra Money? Consider Flea marketing as soon as it gets warmer.
find auctions to go to bid on box lots that only go for a couple dollars .
A old tablecloth on the ground 15 bucks rent and you could pick up a hundred bucksor more for 6 hours work
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More if you merchantdise is not common
Flea Marketing gets you out You meet many people even find and make friends
Plus if you are one of the last people to leave you can buy allot of stuff cheap off other sellers
Yep I did most all these Still do I am married lol
Good Luck
Mike

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 13, 20050 found this helpful

I cook things like a pot of vegetable soup, pot of stew, a ham, things that make enough servings to last most of the week. It may seem you are spending a lot on that one item to prepare, but in the long run, you do save. As for a ham, then when I have cut off most of the ham, I then cut up what is left, put it in a big pot with the hambone(for flavor), add cabbage, corn, and butterbeans, and you have made another meal that will last a while. I think this is the secret to spending little on meals and still be nourished properly. I don't know your age, but working full time may be an option...or doing like so many, use some of that time when not working to scour yard sales to find things to resell. Don't use your gas and your money renting a table for a day or two. Instead, put your things on ebay and you will make some more income. Another thing is bartering. Do you have something that you do well, something that others might like to have, like sewing, painting, making things that you might barter to a local grocer....You may even find one that will give you a few hours work in exchange for food rather than pay. The less you use your car for doing these things, the more money you have for food.. The very best to you...

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February 14, 20050 found this helpful

Go to http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com They have some of the best ideas and recipes I've ever seen.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 15, 20050 found this helpful

I suggest that you go online to EBAY and sell things..I just put some movies,VHS and DVD's on there..Last week I sold all but 3,and made quiet a small fortune,considering how long I had the movies.Alot of them I pd only $5 for at wal mart,put them on EBAY and made double my money on each one..SMART!!! E bay charges,.$.05 per movie,and $.25 yo use thier stock photo of movies.....
I just put some more on there and it cost me $17.00,but 3 movies have been bid on and more than pays for that!!! I have 25 movies left for someone to bid on,and its a 7 day auction!!! So,this is a great idea!!!
Have your own yard sale.....your junk is someone elses' treasure....
Buy powdered milk!! It last SO MUCH LONGER....
Make a huge pot of Spagheti sauce,it freezes well,and last up to 2 months in freezer!!!
Exchange movies or Dvds with a freiend or neighbor.....
you can make ALOT of your cleaners at home.I have a ton of recipes for this..If your interested email me..vickyhunt@bellsouth.net

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February 15, 20050 found this helpful

I had a similar situation when I was living on $800 a month.

I rented a room in a house for $300 including utilities, spent about $50 a week on food, and my old car, plus gas, maintenance, and insurance cost about $160 a month. That left $140 a month for things like the phone bill, a $30 a month gym membership (I had really bad back problems and needed to strengthen my lower back), a post office box, and varies sundries (stamps, etc.)

My best advice is to avoid trying to make very little money pay for lots of things, but to reduce the number of things you need to pay for. I don't know your medical or other personal needs, but there are well-woman clinics that are free (if you're female) for your annual exams.

You could also:
*not have a phone or internet and use a laptop at a wireless internet cafe.
* have a weekly potluck with your friends. Most people will leave behind the leftovers which can provide free food for another day or two.
* rent a room in a house instead of your own place as it's usually less expensive. Or rent out a two-bedroom apartment and rent the master bed/bath for more than half the total rent. That would lower the cost in my area to about $250 a month for you.
* get a low-income bus pass and take public transport to work (where I live that pass costs about $15 a month I think)
* if you have a significant little chunk regularly, pay for something really nice for yourself, like I had the gym membership out of need but I LOVED the steam room and really treated myself with a good steam everytime I went.
* barter where you can. In Alaska, I worked 5 hours a week in the local laundromat in exchange for doing laundry for free and weekly showers for me and my kids. (most of us did not have running water)
* if you have a place for a homemade reflective solar cooker, you can bake cornbread, cook rice, etc. for an intial investment of an old box and some foil, a couple of oven cooking bags and thrift store black pot.
* if you pay for water, don't flush everytime you go...also dishwashers use more water (9-16 gallons) and electricity than washing your dishes in hot soapy water once a day. I often turn off my hot water heater at night and turn it back on in the morning. Unplug TVs and other "instant-on" appliances when not in use. It will save a few pennies. Never turn on lights when daylight will do. Set your computer to sleep when not in use. Better yet, get rid of it and use the one at the library!
* if you have a good sized vehicle, offer to clean garages for a low rate and offer to haul away the stuff they don't want. You can sell some stuff at a yard sale and donate the rest.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 17, 20050 found this helpful

You don't say what type of work you do, but here is a suggestion: get a job (either in addition to, or instead of your present job) at a place that sells food -- whether a fancy sit-down restaurant, or a fast -food burger joint. Virtually every eating establishment gives their employees the fringe benefit of eating either free or at a discount, before or after their work shift. Especially since you have nobody else to feed, this might make a huge difference to your budget!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 19, 20050 found this helpful

i am the one who wrote the original post. i do have some illnesses that have prevented me from working part time for a year. now that i am working parttime i hope to move up to full time or get a 2nd part time job. i own my condo so thank God for that. i already am at bear minimum. the soup idea is good.right now i have several containers of soup and spagetti sauce in freezer.
i yard sale already.
i have stuff to sell i just dont know how much to sell it all for. i am in process of finding out values of things and furniture.
thank you

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February 19, 20050 found this helpful

Another thought is if you can't afford to shop at thrift stores, go and talk to the manager or owner. Maybe they'd let you work a few hours a day or week in exchange for some clothes, pots & pans, dishes, glassware, etc. Best of Luck to you!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 7, 20060 found this helpful

More tips: go veg if possible at least a few days per week(meat is expensive) and see if there is a natural foods store or co-op in your area where you can buy staples(beans, pasta, oatmeal, etc.) in bulk. Buy a slow cooker(a good investment) and make soups and stews based on cheap, healthy ingredients(lentils, beans, carrots, potatoes). Split the cost of a Costco/Sam's membership with a friend or relative, buy bulk sizes of items there and split them between the two of you. If you enjoy going to the movies, go during the day(bargain matinee) or on designated discount days instead of night.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 5, 20060 found this helpful

Use coupons and rebates, shop at stores that double and triple coupons. There were many times when I would get alot of good things for free (except for sales tax), example: In March, one of our stores had a Frozen Food sale. I was able to buy Toaster Strudles for 7 cents a box. There were other times when I was able to buy 2 liter bottles of Dr. Pepper for 4 cents a bottle. Just keep looking for the sales and newspapers. Speaking of newspapers, see if your newspaper has a special. In my town, we recently had a special for a discount for an entire year. The cost of the newspaper (Sunday paper) we $1.25 a week. If you go to the store, it would cost $2.00 a week.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 5, 20060 found this helpful

I AGREE ON USING COUPONS AND REBATES AND IF POSSIBLE TRY TO STOCK UP ON SALE ITEMS IF YOU HAVE ROOM. EVENTUALLY YOU WILL NEED THEM
I ALSO TRY TO MAKE AS MUCH FROM SCRATCH AS POSSIBLE

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April 24, 20060 found this helpful

My husband lost his job (down-sizing), but has good prospects. Meanwhile, I hit all the dollar stores that I can. Also, I found that while living beyond our means meant that we had lots of "stuff". Just plain years of "stuff". I went through house and garage and basement, and am getting lots of "stuff" together to take to an Ebay seller. I don't know HOW to sell on Ebay, so the middleman WILL get a cut, but I expect quite a windfall. Amazed me how much "stuff" we had, but didn't use !!! Carolle

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 20, 20060 found this helpful

In over a dozen states there is something called Angel Food Ministries [find it on Internet] -- for $25 you can buy $50 worth of food -- it's supposed to feed a family of 4 for 1 week -- so should feed you for a month. It's a good deal -- good meat. Another $10 or so at a dollar store or such for canned veggies, pasta, coffee/tea, etc. & you should be o.k. But you'll need at least freezer space above a fridge for meat.

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September 12, 20060 found this helpful

Well to start with these people who posted feedback for you obviously didn't read your posted feedback too. I will tell you as a single person going to the food bank myself. Here's how I make the items last from the food bank. I make up casseroles from the stuff and freeze for a week of left overs in my freezer in any bowl I can spare, or just foil. Dumpster dive for things that others in your building throw out as useless and time wasted. I got a chair and coffee end table for that chair, a wood TV old but fixed up yes even sitting outside in the rain overnight after drying out and repair shop man helped me put newer needed items to make it work, a VCR found that there was candy stuck in it which I fixed, and finally I dared to pull out of the trash a worn TV stand from an apartment that the management thru out after the guy died and the exterminator found that guy too. The lazy times I had when I couldn't work I spent reading at the library and let me tell you they can't kick you out because you forgot to shower and could not afford to wash clothes it is a public place others have to live with it. I went to the public park. I even went on three week vacations with visiting family not a dime spent on that vacation. I say my healthy friends who work would kill for three weeks away from the stress of the city. People envy what they think is frugal living in you for them is exactly what you should be doing.
Idea number four use the library for the Internet too. You can check out if you have a card but don't get fines or you privileges end with the computer until they are paid in full. I too own a home and I am moving/moved into an apartment that is a bach apt. with a small kitchen. Sell the place to get a savings account going for emergency medical that your insurance won't cover fully. You won't regret it. You are one person what do you need with two bedrooms unless you have children. The fifth idea if you find yourself unable to sell for health or personal reasons rent out the extra bedroom for up to $400 a month this is cheap compared to other places in the world today. This gives you extra money and companionship and another friend to do frugal things with that you may learn from them. Older people whose spouses died and don't want to live alone may be vital source of information on frugality since almost all of them have lived thru both world wars and the depression, regression, and their share of hard times with their family. The sixth idea don't be afraid of going to suppers at churches advertised in the paper. You don't have to join the church to attend a supper their it makes others happy to see you.
Going back to work is always exciting you can get free clothes from a charitable going back to work place in the town you live or area social services may have a program they can tell you about. Packing simple lunches only requires a sandwich and something to drink water, milk something. Meat can be had for free from the food pantry in town too. Don't spend your paycheck at a fast food joint with your coworkers explain to them you like to save your money, so you can get to work everyday on time on the bus or gas for your car. If they are nice they will understand otherwise screw 'em they don't understand what you have gone thru to get here back to work. If you still don't have a job because of your physical disability take in babysitting on the side in your apartment building because of the Fair Housing Act Law I can't believe their isn't a single mom or dad in any apartment building with school age children or toddlers who wouldn't need childcare within arms reach and convenient for them too. You can charge lower than what they would pay at a daycare center. That is the way to get them. Only catch you have to love and be good to the children and pass a criminal background check for the parent's sake. Well good luck with every thing!

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January 18, 20000 found this helpful

This page is for discussing living on a single income. If you are doing this or have done this in the past and have advice for living on one income please share you experiences below.

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February 18, 20050 found this helpful

If I were younger and wanting to be a stay at home mom with my baby, I would consider babysitting for a couple working moms. In most areas, you can sit with 2 or 3 without a daycare license. Check in your area. The start up for this home business would not be a lot. Or take a job in a day care center where they will let you bring your child. It will save you the expense of daycare for your baby while you are working and you will be able to spend more time with the child
Harlean from Arkansas

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 21, 20050 found this helpful

Dear Debbie,
There is nothing on this earth more precious than your own baby & you've waited all your life for her. It is heartbreaking for you to have to go out to a job leaving baby with a caregiver. No matter how wonderful the caregiver is, the fact remains SHE is watching your baby grow and getting paid for it. SHE has YOUR BABY AND YOUR hardearned MONEY!! [I've been where you are sweetie].
Go to an office supply store and purchase a pad of job applications, fill out a dozen or so, then go thru the phone book, make a list of all the churches, then mail an application to each one for the position of nursery worker. You will get paid & will get to take your child with you. Do a really good job and at Christmas time, you will be rewarded with many blessings from grateful parents.
Also, check around for a home care giving situation where you can help out. There are many elderly and/or disabled people needing help with housework, laundry, cooking, rides to doctor appts, etc... Most will welcome a small child's company while you are working for them, as they are lonely and miss their own families.
Take a deep breath and just DO It - whatever it takes to be able to stay home with your baby, they grow up sooooo fast, this time together will be gone in a flash & can never be brought back. God will bless your efforts & devotion to your family & will bless you some how some way so that you can do it. Good Luck & God Bless You & Yours....

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