Food for Thought: How to Manage on a Small Budget
It turns out that Australia’s national debt is some of the highest in the world. Odds are, if you’re making do in the land of Oz, you’ve got some debt to contend with. Your best bet is going to be paying that debt off as expediently as you possibly can, which is one of those “easier said than done” kind of things. Also, if you work yourself too hard, it can actually be unproductive. Regardless of where you live in the world, read on to see how to live grand on a small budget.
You need rest. You’ve got to be taking at least a day off each week. If you work swing-shift at a mine or something, where three days of the week are night shifts, and three shifts take place during the day, you’ve got to have at least a 24-hour period between the transition. During the year, you need to take a week or two off periodically.
Every couple of years, it makes sense to take a sabbatical. Your mind can’t handle continuous stress. If you’re in debt and providing for a family, you can never find such relief. Your best bet will be periodic “breaths of air” during the freestyle stroke of your debt repayment scheme.
Designing A Vacation Around a Small Budget
One worthwhile way to cut costs is through debt consolidation. Basically, when you’ve got multiple debts that have varying interest, what you pay in interest is more than you need to in all likelihood. If you consolidate your loans into a single payment, you can get an interest rate that is singularly less than the multiple interest rates were, saving you money.
You might recoup enough savings from this move over time to fund a necessary vacation. When it is vacation time, you can actually find a good number of discounts should you do a little digital digging. According to MilitaryTravelMama.com, “There are…a lot of deals to be found both online and offline [for]…theme parks or other places…”
Remember: Just because you’re budgeting doesn’t mean you can’t entertain yourself and the kids. According to DebtBusters.com.au, “There are so may things you can do to have fun without spending money. Discovering and exploring these will stimulate your imagination and creativity and often lead to experiences and opportunities you might otherwise miss.”
Additional Strategies to Channel a Small Budget
Another way to get money that you can spend on a vacation is to cut costs in certain areas of your life. Certain sustainable energy solutions can cut down your energy bill. Here’s a bit of writing detailing a few considerable tips to help you cut down energy costs.
Something else you’re going to want to do is prepare your own meals. If you take the family to a fast food joint on a daily basis, not only is that bad for everyone’s health, but good luck getting out of there for less than $15. Do that throughout the year and you’re looking at $5,476 on junk food alone. You could almost pay off some of your loans with that, couldn’t you? Or perhaps vacation for a month on a fringe tropical island!
If you make your own meals, you can save thousands of dollars every year and be more healthy, as well as spending more time with the most important people in your life: your family. Look into recipes, and look into purchasing things from the grocery store that will last. If you’re diligent and regular enough, you’ll always eat well and have just what you need.
Also, cut out those designer coffees, make movie night an indoor affair, only eat out occasionally, buy used items of clothing, and don’t finance anything like a car. If you have anything financed, selling it could overcome your debt and give you seed money for a replacement to that which you’ve sold.
If you’ve got a new car, sell it and turn what you recoup into a used model. You’ll own the used model outright, and maybe even have some left over to turn toward your debt. In short, there are many strategies to conserve money as a family; the key is to keep on moving forward, and to pace yourself.
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Thanks to Hellen McAdams from Debt Busters for guest posting.
In addition to living off of a small budget, technology is a tool that can lend itself to improving your life balance. Check out our post on Using Technology to Improve Your Life Balance.
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