Ways to Adjust to a Lower Income 

Americans are adjusting to a new normal. For a lot of people, that also means their income has adjusted.  A recent report from CNN states that 42% of Americans say their income is still lower than it was before the pandemic.

You might be trying to figure out how you’re going to live on an income that is lower than you’re used to.  It IS possible with a few changes to your lifestyle. Personal Finance Expert and host of The Table with Anthony O’Neal has advice.

    • Make a plan for your money. 
      • Your plan for your money is a budget.
      • Your income is your #1 wealth-building tool. If you don’t tell your money where to go every month, you’re more likely to build debt—not wealth.
      • Get intentional with where every single dollar is going.
      • I recommend a zero-based budget.
      • List your new income minus all of your expenses. This should equal zero.
      • A lot of people say they feel like they got a raise when they start to budget!
      • You start to realize areas where you can scale back and it might give you some extra cash at the end of the month.
    • Live below your means. 
      • There is a difference between someone who looks like they have a lot of money and someone who actually has it.
      • Don’t be tempted to live a lifestyle you think you need to keep up with other people. For all you know, they’re driving an expensive car, but struggling to pay bills.
        • STAT: 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and 40% can’t cover a $400 emergency with cash.
      • The way you live needs to be based on your dreams and your income.
      • The beginning of building wealth is not a high income. It’s margin. You need money left over at the end of the month.
      • Don’t use debt to fund a lifestyle you can’t afford.
      • Save up for purchases where you would normally rely on a credit card. Practice some delayed gratification.
    • Cut unnecessary expenses. 
      • If your income has changed, your spending habits need to change too.
      • Make some temporary changes so that you can afford to get by.
      • Pause subscriptions- Netflix, gym, apps, monthly make-up boxes.
      • Downgrade to basic packages for internet, phone and insurance.
      • Get rid of cable.

 

    • Find ways to earn extra cash. 
      • Money flows two ways. It flows in, and it flows out. You have to fix that equation. You need more money flowing in.
      • Get a side job. You might have to step outside of your career path to make ends meet. This is temporary and will give you the cushion you need to look for another job.
        • Deliver package for Amazon and you can turn on the app when you need to make extra cash.
        • Drive for uber.
        • Deliver groceries.
      • Get creative and start a side hustle. Think about all of the kids being home-schooled right now. Parents need help with virtual learning—you could tutor kids and charge by the hour.
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