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Welcome and hello. For starters do you have any items you can sell for a little extra cash?

Meal planning saves us a lot of money as it keeps us out of restaurants. It’s just too easy for us to decide to just go to a restaurant vs eating at home. If I’ve got a plan in place it keeps us home. Check sale flyers and then choose based on what you might have in the cupboards or freezer and augment from the sale flyer.

Check around the forum and read some other threads. There is a ton of good info here.
 

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I read a lot about budgets, but I find that the unbudget works well for me.

Basically, we have a fixed amount of money going to savings (retirement fund), pay all credit cards in full and pay all required bills. We also have an emergency fund set up. All of this is auto pay.

The remaining money, we can spend however we want. This is for groceries, hobbies, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses.

The idea here is that if people want to buy something they generally look at their bank account to see if they have the money for it. And if the money is there, they buy it. Things that cost a variable amount of money, like grocery shopping are also often influenced by how much money you have currently.
 

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A budget is your starting place. List out all your survival costs. If your income doesn't meet the survival costs then you need to figure out how to obtain more income. Once your income exceeds survival cost then you can make a plan to start saving.
 

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Sometimes people live paycheck to paycheck because they don't earn very much. Or they have high debt or some large fixed monthly expense.

Other people live paycheck to paycheck because they spend a bunch on things they don't need. This could be buying expensive stuff, buying too much stuff, going out to eat often, going out drinking often, too much Uber eats, etc.

People in this category often claim they don't have enough money. I have had coworkers making significantly more than me claim they were under paid and it was hard to get buy in what they make.

And of course you can be somewhere in between. So the advice differs depending on your situation.

My original suggestion assumed you had a half way decent income but were not good at managing your money. But this may not have been the case.
 

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Visit your local food pantries for staples. Check with the Produce Manager for $1 boxes of loose cabbage/cauliflower greens, then, ferment them. Borrow Foraging guide books from the library to see what's edible in your yard. Mow your neighbors yards + other landscaping = $50+/hr. If you have a lot of interesting plants, sell rooted/bare root cuttings online - save, and, grow seeds frome grocery store fruit. (I sell Avocado trees, etc...online) Same goes if your into handcrafts. Set up a Drop shipping store with US suppliers, and, put everything on autopilot. Start a blog, or, create training videos with Thinkific. There are things you know VERY well that others would pay to learn. If you're good with tools, join Task Rabbit. If you love animals, join Rover, or, Sitter City. You can also become a professional House Sitter, and, live out of a suitcase as a permanent traveler.
You can also get hunting, fishing, and, road kill salvage licenses online. Process the hides, and, use them to make sellable items. Free food, and, money making options are everywhere.
 

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I think the first thing you do is list all sources of income and all expenses for a whole month. Track every penny. Then decide what you can do to raise your income and decrease your expenses.

That is a strategy. You should also have goals that will come from your strategies.

Do a personal balance sheet. List all your assets. List all your debts (car, house, credit cards.). Remember, there is a difference between expenses and debts. Some expenses are fixed; others are variable. Hit the variable ones hard.

You need to get your whole family involved. Let your friends know you will no longer be able to take trips or eat out until your goals are met.

It's tough but I've seen many of my students achieve a debt-free life and build wealth.
 

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Hi everyone! New here with a question...How does someone who's already struggling to make ends meet live below their means and save money?
I would start with what you spend your money on. I find that one of the most expensive items is food. We create a weekly meal plan based on what is on sale at the store. This does require effort, but since I have been doing this for at least 20 years, even with kids, I know if works. I helps to control that expense. Also, look at how much you are paying on cars, mortgage-your fixed expenses-are you just spending too much?
 

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Hi everyone! New here with a question...How does someone who's already struggling to make ends meet live below their means and save money?
You need to do two things: reduce expenses and increase income. Stop spending on anything that isn't absolutely essential, like food, and try to bring all the bills down. Turn off lights, try to find cheaper rent, give up things like cigarettes, alcohol, fast food, uber rides, etc. Walk, use public transit, ride share, etc. It's not fun but when you have no moey you have to put in more time and effort.

To increase your income you could get a side job, but really you need to learn skills to get a higher paying job. You will have to do the work yourself, because school costs money you don't have. If you have internet you have access to all kinds of free videos and other material you can learn from. You can also ask people to show you how to do things, and if you have a job where there are opportunities for advancement, express interest in learning those skills. People generally don't walk into high paying jobs, they spend many years learning and studying, often teaching themselves new skills in their free time.
 
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