If you’re going to live on less money than you have in the past, chances are good that you are going to have to start spending less money as well. This is where prioritizing comes in handy. Now, not everyone is going to have the same priorities, so I can’t sit here and say, “Get rid of X, Y, and Z” because X, Y and Z may be very important to you.
What you have to do when prioritizing is write down the order of what you need, figure up a budget for that, and then cut out the lower priority items. This can be both very easy and very tricky at the same time. Some things will be obvious, like:
A place to live
Heat/cooling for that place
Even some of those are negotiable, since you may already have all the clothing you need, or you may live in an area where you can walk everywhere you need to go. But that’s a good start, figure up the costs for those items, and then start on the harder parts. I personally think it is very important to keep your internet access because it’s a source of entertainment, the biggest reference book ever, a money saver, a time saver, a communication device, everything. So the next thing on my list is internet and then phones.
What can you cut out? Can you do an exercise video at home instead of having a gym membership? Can you make your hobby more inexpensive, or will you have to stop the hobby temporarily? Can you rent games and movies from places like Gamefly and Netflix instead of buying them? Can you live without your cable box?
As yourself the hard questions and come up with the answers, even if it’s something you don’t really want to do. Your budget will thank you.