The following is a guest post.
According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans spend $151 per week on food alone on average. As a result, trying to live on $100 per week can certainly be a challenge, but it can be accomplished. What are some steps that people can take when they want to accomplish this noble financial goal?
Walk as Much as Possible
Gas prices are still pretty high in many parts of the country, and individuals could easily spend $50-$60 per week on gas or even more. Therefore, when individuals want to save money, it is smart to walk as much as possible. Walking to mass on Sunday or walking the kids to school absolutely saves on the gas needed for these tasks. When people live close to their jobs, it is smart to walk there. Even carpooling with co-workers is a way to at least cut that gas bill in half.
Eat at Home
Simply thinking about how much it costs to eat out is a major indicator as to why budget-savvy folks should start eating at home much more. Making a cup of coffee at home costs pennies, but going out to buy a fancy cup can easily cost $2-$3. When the weekly budget is $100 and people are buying one cup of coffee every day, nearly 20 percent of the weekly budget is being taken up by this habit. In general, foods are going to cost more out than when the person makes the decision to eat at home.
Live with Parents
Living on $100 per week is almost impossible for a person who is renting or who owns a home. Therefore, when individuals are looking to save money, living with their parents or other relatives is a wise idea as long as the relatives are agreeable to the situation. In some areas of the country rent for a small apartment could be $1,000 or more. This amount is particularly true in big cities. That breaks down to $250 per week or so, which is a figure much larger than $100 per week.
Avoid Extreme Entertainment Budgets
You could certainly find individuals out there who spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars per week on going out to bars, heading to the movies, taking lavish weekend trips and other expenditures. These activities are simply not going to fit into the lifestyle of a person who is trying to spend $100 per week. How can such a person still have fun? Well, one of the ways is to save $5 each week to go to the movies and get large popcorn at the end of the month. Not only does this help individuals to save money, but it also gives them something to which to look forward.
Have Backup Funds
One of the reasons why people have so much trouble living on $100 per week is because they are afraid of what will happen if they go over that amount of money. It can certainly be jarring to not know if bills are going to get paid in the event that the limit is exceeded. Therefore, having some backup funds can help to resolve the issue. As a result, if a situation does arise where the $100 is all spent, other money will be available to cover the expenses.
Cutting Down on Bills
In order to live on only $100 per week, some of the monthly bills are going to have to be reduced. Simple changes can make a huge impact on those bills and by turning off the water when people are brushing their teeth and turning off the lights when leaving the house are two methods that can help to cut down on both water and electrical bills. Shopping the sales at the supermarket and being sure to hold on to any coupons that are found are two other methods that are really able to help with this strict budget.
Living on a tight budget is difficult for many people; however, some simply have to do this to get by and to keep on functioning in society. Even individuals who have some extra money might want to challenge themselves from time to time to see if they can live on $100 per week.
Cat’s thoughts: I don’t think I could live on 100 dollars a week! I’m trying to think back to my student days – if I just considered rent and food, I might have been able to live that cheaply – but I’m sure I didn’t!
Daniel is a journalist for the U.K based lender Payday Angels – he regularly writes about other companies; check out his Payday Express Review and other posts on our website.