Budgeting When You’re Unemployed or Low Income

 

Balancing Your Budget Using Assistance Programs

It can be tough to get by on a small salary, even with careful budgeting. Luckily, there are financial assistance programs designed to help low-income families manage their money and cover daily living costs without trouble. By utilizing government and nonprofit financial services, working individuals can more easily access and save up the funds they need to achieve financial stability.

Know Your Income and Expenses

No matter what your income is, whether you rely on aid programs or not, the most important step to financial success is to keep track of your spending. There are several major expenses to take into account when planning out your monthly budget, including:

  • Rent and utilities
  • Groceries and eating out
  • Insurance
  • Medical bills
  • Transportation
  • Student loans, credit card payments, and other forms of debt
  • Leisure costs

Once you’ve figured out how much money you’re bringing in (or losing) each month, you can set about planning how to pad your savings account and improve your cash flow. Low-income individuals can also look into whether or not they can apply for local, state, and federal assistance programs.

Find Out What Assistance You Qualify For

Applying for financial assistance can help to boost your overall income each month and make it easier to afford necessities such as food and rent. Even if your family receives aid, you may be eligible for additional programs that can help you to manage your expenses better each month. Assistance isn’t just limited to cash grants, either. You can find programs that help low-income families to afford food, a new house, or hefty medical bills without throwing off their budget. Such financial aid and benefits programs include:

  • Affordable rental housing
  • Food assistance
  • Financial aid for students
  • Retirement and pension benefits
  • Programs and benefits for active military

There are plenty of government assistance programs that make it easier for families to manage their money. If you want to know whether or not you qualify for any of these programs, many offer a convenient online pre-screening tool for applicants.

Find the Right Bank Account

If you rely on government assistance programs for financial support, you may be worried that you won’t be able to apply for loans with big banking institutions. A little bit of financial assistance can make it easier to open a new bank account, however. It’s important to shop around in order to find a bank that offers accounts with financial perks such as waived account fees, no minimum deposit amount, and overdraft protection.

It can be difficult to manage your money in a low-income situation, but luckily, government branches and nonprofit organizations are on hand to step in and offer assistance. Financial aid programs not only help families to afford the essentials but also gain the financial stability that they need to pull themselves out of the red and start building a savings account.