This series of articles from Living Cheap helps provides a useful guide to how to live life on a low income. They are ideal for those of us living on benefits, although not all of the tips will help all of us. Living on a low income needs planning, and the ten tips will help you plan not just for the everyday, but also how to deal with financial emergencies.
'Number 5 - Keep Records.
Write down everything you spend your money on. Ok, so you don't have to write it down, you could use an online journal or a spreadsheet, or whatever, but the point is to make a record of absolutely everything you spend money on. The problem is that money can trickle through our fingers faster than we realise. A couple of pounds on coffee a couple of times a week soon adds up and you suddenly wonder where that tenner went. Simply spend one month recording absolutely everything you spend and by the end of the month there will be no surprises. You will know exactly where all the money you had in your purse, wallet or bank account went.
At the end of the month sit down with your records and a cup of tea and go through everything item by item and not which ones were essential and which ones you could have done without.
By carrying out this exercise you will have done two things. First, writing everything down makes you think more about what you are spending. It makes you more aware of the things you are spending money on that you don't really need to. You will also find that you now have a list of things that you could get to work on over the coming weeks and months in order to improve your financial situation.'