Wondering how to live on half of your income?
No, I’m not being facetious.
If you’re on minimum wage and barely covering the absolute essentials, you can’t live on 50% of your income. That’s just simple math.
How to Live on Half Your Income
Should you want to be in the position where you can seriously contemplate saving half your income, you’ll need to earn more.
Simple. That’s not to say it isn’t also a little scary. I know, I’ve been there.
If, however, you’re blowing vast amounts of cash on entertainment, clothes, expensive restaurant meals and/or widespread retail therapy, there are some very simple changes you can make to ramp up your savings without sacrificing too much of your lifestyle.
Or, you might be one of those people whose healthy income is consumed by cancerous debt. You, too will need to make some tough decisions.
One of which is to stop paying the minimum monthly payment on your debt and start throwing every dollar you can find at it.
So, the three routes toward living on 50% of your income are:
- Earn more money
- Stop spending
- Get rid of your debt
Of course, there’ll be those for whom a combination of these three options will work the best.
Once you’ve chosen which route is best for you, you can make plans for your journey.
Regardless of the route you’ll take, everyone starts in the same place: creating a budget.
To map out a route, you need both the destination (living on 50% of your income) and your starting point (earning v spending).
Here’s a couple of ideas for creating your budget.
Free Budget Printables
Here’s a fabulous collection of budget related forms that are free to download. Grab a few and see which ones work best for you.
Best Budget Ever
A step-by-step guide to creating your best budget ever from Club Thrifty.
Source: Club Thrifty
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Earn More Money
To be honest, I think everyone should have more than one source of income.
The extra cash is always welcome, of course, but additional sources of income provide real security especially if your day job is in a volatile industry, or the business you work for decides to downsize.
A second job or a side hustle can insulate your budget against any shocks while also providing the extra means for paying down debt or building your savings.
21 Ways to Make Extra Money
Source: Your Side Hustle Success
Are you new to my blog? Smart Money, Simple Life aims to help you find ways to live your best life by being smart with your money and choosing to live life on your own simple terms.
One awesome way to build the life of your dreams is to do the work you love. For me, that’s blogging. Blogging has opened up a bright new world I never knew existed and, it’s helping me build an income I can rely on.
You can do it, too! Get started with here.
These are some of my favourite sites and products that can help you get started:
- Start a blog. Blogging is a great way to share your unique insight with the world. It’s also great for creating additional income. I make semi-passive income each and every month from my blogs and you can, too. Use my guide to create your own blog and you can start your blog for as little as the cost of a latte per month. Plus, sign up through my link and you get a free domain.
- Pinterest. Pinterest is my favourite way to promote my blog and boost traffic. You can make pinning even easier if you use BoardBooster to schedule your pins. Use this link to sign-up for their free trial. If you want a simple graphics program to create your pinnable images, I highly recommend PicMonkey. It’s easy to use – even for novice designers.
- You can find more recommended resources here: Blogging Resources.
Have you heard of the Law of Holes? This law states; when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
Sometimes when we’re spending lavishly, we don’t realise it’s becoming a habit and therefore detrimental to our financial well-being.
How often have you gone shopping for entertainment?
That would be OK if you just window shopped – although that can just cause you to want things you didn’t know existed before your shopping expedition.
But, how often do you come home with one, two or more things you had no idea you were going to buy before you hit the shops? Too often is my guess.
So, if you’re serious about living off 50% of your income you’ll need to start reigning in your spending habit. If that seems like an impossible dream, see below for some excellent tips for keeping your wallet in your pocket.
Stop Impulse Spending
Tips for a Spending Freeze
Tips for Living on Next to Nothing
Get Rid of Your Debt
I don’t think calling debt a cancer on your finances is overstating the negative impact debt has on your money and your life.
If you have credit card debt, you’ll know what I mean. You’ve stopped using your card and you pay the minimum every month, but somehow, the balance barely changes.
Welcome to the flip side of compound interest.
Every month, you’re paying interest on the interest that’s previously been applied to your balance.
If you want to get that balance back to zero you need to get ahead of the compounding interest and that means paying more than the specified minimum payment, and generally speaking, making payments more often.
The caveat with making more frequent payments centres on when the interest is calculated and applied to the balance. Some loans calculate daily others monthly.
If you’re not sure, ring the company and ask. You’ll get more bang for your buck if you make frequent smaller payments if the interest if calculated daily.
If you’re not sure where to start, always ask the company who holds the debt.
The Best Debt Repayment Tools and Apps
Online Debt Reduction Calculators
Your Debt Relief Plan
Living on Half Your Income
Only spending half of what you earn is simple. But, being simple, doesn’t make it easy.
If you’re determined to only live on 50% of your income, you’ll probably need to make one or a combination of these three changes to the way you live and to your budget.
Once you’ve managed it, you’ll be able to channel that money toward:
- Income generating investments
- Retirement savings
- Working less
- [you fill in the blank]
When you can save half of what you earn, you give yourself choices you wouldn’t have if you were still living from one pay to the next.
I don’t know about you, but I reckon that’s definitely worth any short-term sacrifices that might be necessary to make it happen. Don’t you?
Do you live on half your income? What did you have to do to make that happen?
Let us know in the comments below…