When Fixed Income Means Getting By:
Living on a fixed income can be hard but does not have to mean just getting by. As a married couple, my husband and I get $1479.00 a month. At first we were just making it. Rent takes up about 50 percent of our social security. We were only getting $162.00 in food stamps; therefore another 25 percent went for food. That meant we had to cut out a lot of the things we wanted to do.
Making a Budget on a Fixed Income:
I started to work out a budget. At first it seemed like we were always broke. As time went on we could see we were making headway. Just a little at first a couple dollars here and there. Here are some of the changes we made:
- Ø Buy in bulk at bulk stores
- Ø Looking closely at non-essentials
- Ø Defining what our monthly expenses were
- Ø Stop robbing peter to pay Paul
Having to live on a fixed income gives a more stable lifestyle. We know exactly how much money we will have each month. By understanding our income we can use a “working” budget. For example: we use wood to heat with and propane to cook with. Both cost the same, $65; however we do not need to buy both every month. One month we buy propane. This will last about three months. So for two months we buy wood. This helps to stock pile wood in the summer months when we do not need to use the wood. It is not hard to make up a budget. I use my Excel in my Microsoft Office but there are a number of accounting programs out there and some are free. For those who do not have a computer there is always the old fashion way with paper and pencil, whatever works. The hardest part is sticking to it.
Having Fun on a Fixed Income:
We found that there is life after social security. There are so many things out there free or nearly free: