How to Lower Your Bills: Ways To Survive On A Low Income

How to Lower Your Bills: Ways To Survive On A Low Income

Financial struggles are a reality for many people. In a world where cost of living keeps rising while wages seem to stagnate, it’s essential to find strategies to lower your bills. Here are some effective ways to make the best out of a difficult financial situation when your income is low.  

Here is 10 ways to lower your bills

  1. Analyze Your Spending and Set a Budget

The first step is to know where your money goes. Use free budgeting tools like or to track your expenses. Once you have a clear picture of your spending, set a strict budget. Allocate your money towards necessities like food, rent, utilities, and other bills, before setting aside anything for luxuries.

  1. Prioritize Your Bills

Not all bills are created equal. Some are more important than others, especially when you’re working with limited income. Your mortgage/rent, utilities, and food should take top priority. This approach is sometimes referred to as the ‘envelope method’, where you put cash in envelopes for different categories, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. The Balance provides more information on how to prioritize your bills, see for further tips and tricks to help you out.

  1. Cut Down on Energy Costs

Lowering your energy consumption is a great way to reduce utility bills. Use energy-efficient light bulbs, unplug devices when not in use, and consider using cold water for laundry. The U.S. Department of Energy,, provides a comprehensive guide on how to save energy at home.

  1. Downsize Your Home or Consider a Roommate

If you’re spending a significant portion of your income on rent or mortgage, it might be time to downsize. Moving to a smaller apartment or house can significantly lower your monthly cost. Alternatively, consider getting a roommate to share the cost. Websites like can help match you with potential roommates.

  1. Reduce Grocery Bills

Eating at home is cheaper than dining out. Plan your meals in advance and make a list before you go grocery shopping. Stick to the list to avoid impulse purchases. There are many resources available online, like BudgetBytes, that provide affordable and healthy recipes and can be read here at Further on, choosing off brand products may often be a cheaper alternative making the final amount on the reciept even lower.

  1. Utilize Public Transportation

If possible, use public transportation or carpooling instead of driving your own car. This will reduce your spending on gas, maintenance, and insurance. Solutions like can help you find a carpool in your area. 

  1. Negotiate Bills

Sometimes, you can negotiate down bills such as cable, internet, or insurance rates. Call your service providers and see if there are any promotions or discounts available. One of the well known sites eg. NerdWallet, provides a good guide on how to negotiate your bills. Check out more tips and inspiration over at

  1. Get Help with Bills

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, don’t be afraid to seek help. Many government programs can help with food, utilities, and healthcare costs. can help you find theassistance programs you may qualify for (source:

  1. Cancel Unnecessary Services

Look through your regular expenses for services you don’t need or use. This can include gym memberships, cable TV, magazine subscriptions, and more. If it’s not essential, consider canceling it to save money. Every membership may not be expensive by itself, but combined there are a lot to save!

  1. Buy Secondhand or Swap

Consider buying items secondhand or swapping with friends or family to save money. Websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace have many secondhand items, and Freecycle is a great resource for free items in your local community.

Final tips

In a low income situation, it’s important to use every strategy you can to stretch your dollars. Every bit of saving can help make life a bit easier. Remember, it’s not just about surviving, but finding ways to live comfortably within your means.

Always seek professional advice when making big financial decisions. The strategies outlined here can help you get started on the path towards financial stability, even on a low income.

A salary negotiation is an excellent opportunity to clarify your positive contributions over the past year. It is important that you are thoroughly prepared with factual arguments and spesific examples wich your boss can identify and relate to. I have listed below 20 useful tips and examples that will guide you trough the one of the most important talks you could have on your job.

Read more on my previous post on how to negotiate your salary – step by step!

How To Manage Your Money And Make Them Grow

How To Manage Your Money And Make Them Grow

Based on the principles and research in personal finance, this article delves into effective strategies to manage and save your money. Through an understanding of various articles and studies, it outlines ways to promote financial health and grow wealth over time.

In today’s world, managing personal finances efficiently has become increasingly vital. This understanding of financial management goes beyond mere saving; it encompasses budgeting, investing, and planning for future events (The Balance, 2021). Sound personal finance habits are linked to reduced financial stress, improved quality of life, and a sense of financial security (Joo, 2008). This article is a comprehensive guide to understanding and implementing methods to save money based on various studies and reliable sources. It will also delve into the role of behavioral finance in saving money, highlighting key concepts that influence our financial decisions.


Understanding Personal Finance

Personal finance refers to the management of financial resources and decisions, including income generation, spending, saving, and investing (Xiao & Olson, 1993). Fundamentally, it is a balance between inflows and outflows. Effective personal finance management necessitates thoughtful budgeting, goal-oriented saving, wise investing, and judicious spending.

This foundation is critical because it is the baseline upon which we build our discussion on saving strategies. Furthermore, in the words of renowned financial author Robert Kiyosaki, “It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for”.

Establishing a Budget

An article from The Balance (2021) reiterates that the cornerstone of financial management is a well-planned budget. Budgeting involves tracking income, categorizing expenses, and setting saving goals. It offers a visual representation of where money goes, thereby providing an opportunity to identify and eliminate unnecessary expenses.

Creating a budget involves several steps (Kapoor et al., 2011):

  1. Identify income: Start by calculating the total income, including salaries, rental income, or dividends.
  2. Track expenses: Record daily expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, transportation, insurance, and personal care. Categorize them into ‘needs’ and ‘wants.’
  3. Set saving goals: Determine short-term and long-term financial goals, such as building an emergency fund, retirement savings, or funding education.
  4. Create a plan: Allocate income for each category – necessities, wants, and savings. A common principle is the 50/30/20 rule proposed by Elizabeth Warren, which recommends allocating 50% of income for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for savings and debt repayment.
  5. Monitor and adjust: Regularly review the budget and adjust as necessary. It’s important to be flexible and realistic with budgeting to make it a sustainable practice.

Saving and Investing

As per Bodie, Treussard, and Willen’s paper (2009), saving and investing are two critical components of personal finance that cater to different financial goals. Saving provides a financial cushion for unexpected expenses, while investing is the route to grow wealth over time and outpace inflation.

Savings should be prioritized to create an emergency fund equivalent to 3-6 months of living expenses (Garman & Forgue, 2006). After setting up an emergency fund, savings should be directed towards short-term financial goals, such as buying a car or going on a vacation.

Investing, on the other hand, is aimed at achieving long-term financial goals. Investing in stocks, bonds, real estate, or mutual funds can help generate higher returns over the long term, albeit with varying degrees of risk (Fama & French, 1992). Therefore, individuals must assess their risk tolerance and financial goals before investing.

Controlling Spending

Another effective way to save money is by controlling spending. Garman and Forgue (2006) assert that this process involves distinguishing between needs and wants, prioritizing spending, and resisting impulse buying. By controlling spending, individuals can increase the amount of money saved, thereby providing more funds for investments and other financial goals.

Controlling spending can be achieved through various strategies, such as:

  1. Delay gratification: Resist the urge to make immediate purchases, especially for luxury or non-essential items. Practice waiting for 24-48 hours before making a significant purchase to ensure it is necessary and within budget (Ainslie, 1975).
  2. Use cash or debit cards: Studies show that people tend to spend less when using cash or debit cards compared to credit cards (Prelec & Simester, 2001). By using cash or a debit card, individuals can limit their spending to the money they already have.
  3. Shop with a list: A predetermined shopping list can help avoid unnecessary purchases and stay within the budget.
  4. Avoid lifestyle inflation: As income increases, it’s tempting to increase spending proportionally, a phenomenon known as lifestyle inflation. By avoiding this and maintaining a relatively consistent lifestyle, more money can be allocated to savings and investments (Kumra, 2017).

Behavioral Finance and Money-Saving

Behavioral finance studies the psychological factors affecting investment and financial decisions. In his book “Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics,” Richard Thaler (2015) presents key behavioral concepts that can significantly impact our saving behaviors:

  1. Mental Accounting: This refers to the tendency of people to categorize money into separate accounts based on subjective criteria, like the source of money and its intended use (Thaler, 1999). While it can lead to irrational financial decisions, mental accounting can also be leveraged to save money. For example, saving money in a separate ’emergency fund’ can help deter unnecessary spending.
  2. Loss Aversion: According to Tversky and Kahneman (1991), people tend to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains. By recognizing this tendency, individuals can manage their investments more prudently and resist panic-selling during market downturns.
  3. Endowment Effect: This is the phenomenon where people place a higher value on things merely because they own them (Kahneman et al., 1990). Understanding this bias can help individuals resist overspending on items they already own or don’t need.


Saving money is more than just a financial strategy; it’s a lifestyle choice. Effective personal finance management, which includes budgeting, saving, investing, and controlling spending, can lead to improved financial health and reduced stress. Understanding behavioral finance concepts can further enhance our money-saving behaviors. While the journey may seem challenging at first, persistence and discipline can make saving a habit and financial freedom an attainable goal.




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