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How Do You Survive on Half Your Income?

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Can you survive on half your income? As economic uncertainty continues to wreak havoc on people’s lives, more and more individuals are finding themselves in the difficult position of having to survive on half their usual income. This can be a daunting challenge, especially if you’re unsure where to start. But don’t worry, with the right approaches. It is possible to make ends meet.

Survive on Half Your Income

Let’s explore key strategies that can help you adjust your lifestyle and budget to make do with reduced income.

Woman using laptop and checking her budget.

Adjust your budget

To make the math work, you’ll be living on one of your monthly biweekly paychecks or two weeks’ salary.

Instead of totaling your costs and discovering that it does not work, start with half your income and see what you can fit inside it. This approach will need some effort and careful pruning.

From the most important spending to the most unnecessary splurges, question everything. It is critical to remember and plan for less frequent but necessary spending, such as travel to see relatives or self-care when necessary.

After you add them all up, you’re likely to have nothing left over for discretionary income. You may, however, generate some wiggle space in your budget by using the strategies listed below.

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Reduce your housing expenses

According to Bank Rate, the average mortgage was roughly $1427 in 2021. In October 2022, it was $2,047. You may reduce your living costs by taking on a roommate or renting a spare room. A roommate might also help you save money on utilities, groceries, daycare, and pet sitting.

Moving to a smaller home is another option for minimizing housing costs. Decaying your living space will save money on insurance, maintenance, and utilities. Because you can only fit so much in a tiny place, this will also save you money.

Reduce your transportation expenses

If you already have a used car, you can save even more money by commuting, sharing a car with a roommate or friend, bicycling to work, and/or learning basic car maintenance yourself.

You may save hundreds of dollars by performing basic auto maintenance procedures yourself. Also, when your insurance renews yearly, look into whether you can obtain a better bargain and whether your coverage still meets your needs.

Try the “no spend challenge”

For the next 30 days, challenge yourself to spend solely on necessities. This is when tenacity comes into play. Can you restrict yourself to simply the necessities? Will you succumb to the daily latte, weekly happy hour, or monthly shopping sprees? If you are successful, your bank account will be grateful.

Resolve your triggers

Even the most frugal among us have some expenses that eat into our budgets. It is unique to each individual. Going out to bars would be our undoing for some, while digital devices would readily tempt our willpower, making it difficult to stay on course.

When you identify your triggers, you can prepare for them. There are methods to optimize your triggers, either by redirecting the behavior (such as asking friends to do other things that don’t include $12 martinis at the bar) or by finding ways to put your pricey hobbies to good use.

Find another source of extra income

Still, straining to make ends meet with your two weeks’ pay? Earn some more cash!

There are several strategies to increase your earnings. You might either negotiate a raise at your present job or begin looking for a new career that pays more. Determine what would make you a more valued employee and then implement it.

If that isn’t possible right now, you may take on part-time work to supplement your income. Better yet, create a side hustle!

Immediately transfer half of your income

You’ll be enticed to spend money as long as it’s in your checking/operating account.

Set up an automated transfer from your checking account to your savings or investment account (or anywhere your paycheck is deposited). This transfer should occur on the same day you are paid.

Pay yourself first by promptly moving your savings/investment budget each payday. Pay off your high-interest obligations with it first!

Create an emergency fund

Having an emergency fund is essential regardless of your financial goals. It’s much more critical if you wish to survive on half your salary. This is because crises will occur no matter how well you plan.

The difference between keeping on budget and sliding into debt might be made with emergency funds. It’s a good safety net when your water heater breaks down, or you blow a tire on your way to work.

Green calculator with INCOME on display on white background.

How do I live on 50% of my income?

There are many ways to live on 50% of your income aside from the tips mentioned above. However, starting planning early and creating a budget that reflects your current financial situation is important. 

There are also numerous resources available online or through government assistance programs. Start by talking to your family and friends to see if they have any suggestions on saving money and reducing expenses. 

Finally, take the time to assess your needs and find strategies to cut back on unnecessary spending.