8 Tricks to Help You Survive on 1,000 Dollars a Month (or Less)

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There are a lot of reasons that people suddenly need to survive on 1,000 dollars or less each month.

Perhaps, they lost their job, and the new one that they found to replace it with doesn’t pay very much. Or they are trying to save money up for a house or retirement fund.

I remember working for a high school as a teachers aide and making $800 (salaried). It was insane and SO hard. I ended up having to get a side hustle just to make ends meet. 

But either way, this kind of harsh reduction in spending isn’t easy to do for those who have never lead a frugal life before.

Before we get started, make sure to sign up for my free resource library and get access to exclusive printables all about saving money and building wealth, meal planning, and more.

1. Walmart Grocery Pickup

My new favorite app is Walmart Grocery Pickup for 2 major reasons: 1) It’s a huge time-saver 2) Convenient, easy pickup. You don’t even get out of your car to get your groceries. 

Here’s how you save money with Walmart Grocery Pickup:

  • Are you bad at picking fresh produce? Their grocery experts know exactly which to pick from for maximum freshness. If you aren’t satisfied with the freshness, you can get a refund. 
  • I needed 1 substitution because they didn’t have the item I ordered, so they gave me an even better item for the same price as the original item I ordered.
  • You save money on groceries because you don’t even get the chance to impulse spend since you’re not in the store.
  • Once you fall in love with Walmart Grocery Pickup (which you will), you can start referring friends and family. Just get 5 friends to try out Walmart Grocery Pickup and you’ll get $50 toward groceries. 

How to get started easily:

  1. Click here and get $10 off your first Walmart Grocery Pickup.
  2. Order groceries online.
  3. Schedule your pickup.
  4. No fees, no tips accepted, no subscription model. It is free to use Walmart Grocery Pickup.

If you’re new to Walmart Grocery Pickup, you get $10 off your first purchase here. That means you can get $50 worth of groceries for only $40.

2. Lower your bills and save money (I saved $290)

Billshark is a MUST for anyone who has a cell phone, cable, internet, or insurance bill and wants to lower their bill.

And trust me, it works because I’ve used it myself on 3 different bills and I’ve saved $290.

Here’s how Billshark works:

  1. Send copies of your bills to Billshark. (I did this by uploading an online PDF of each bill).
  2. Billshark negotiates all of the bills you send in.
  3. You get notified if Billshark was successful. If they are, they take 40% of the savings. Ex. Billshark saved me $290 over the course of 6 months, so I pay them $116. I can do this in a monthly payment plan or all at once.

It’s definitely worth the savings and it was such an easy process. 

You can start lowering your bills with Billshark here.

3. Switch cell phone plans

Are you overpaying for cell phone service? Probably.

After seeing ads for low-priced mobile plans for years, I decided to take the leap and try out a mobile plan that isn’t AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint. I tested out Tello Mobile for only $19 per month. 

What I learned from testing out a new mobile plan: Just because you pay more doesn’t always mean you’re getting better service. T-Mobile charges me $80 per month while Tello Mobile charges me $19. I got the same coverage with both phones in my city. I went out to different locations in my town and tested both phone plans. They got the same exact service. This is why I recommend moving to a cheaper phone plan.

Why pay more for the same thing? 

Most of us are going to have cell phone plans for forever. A savings of $100 a month can be roughly $1,200 a year. 

In 10 years, you’d save $12,000.

In 20 years, you’d save $24,000. 

Tello Mobile uses the SAME towers as Sprint to get service. Tello Mobile has NO contract and NO fees, with flexible plans starting $5 to $39. Yes, the most expensive plan is $39 per month. Tello has Nationwide 4GB LTE coverage Calls to Canada, Mexico, and China is even included.

If you’re hesitant on switching carriers, think about all the money you’ll save over the years to come. You can even test out Tello Mobile for 1 month before totally switching over. 

You can get started with Tello here

4. Move your money into a high-yield savings account

Are you still using a bank that is offering a 0.03% savings rate? Yep, that’s what my previous bank offers for savings rates, but CIT Bank is different. 

CIT Bank currently offers a high-interest earning of up to 1.70%. 

Applying only takes a few minutes. You can start saving with CIT Bank here.

If you have an emergency fund, why let it sit in a bank account offering 0.03%? My emergency fund is sitting in a high yield savings account and making me money every month.

If you’re not sure what your bank accounts savings rate is, contact your bank and ask. It’s worth it. 

5. Cut Out Wasteful Entertainment Costs

The average cable or satellite bill is about 100 dollars a month.

Sometimes, it is even more than this if a household has several different television sets for different rooms. So even though there will be a lot of grumbling from children and other family members at first, switch to a simple antenna for picking up a few channels to watch instead.

Antennas cost nothing to operate. Just connect them to the television, position them where they get the best signal, and you are ready to go.

An added benefit to cutting off the cable or satellite service is that it will encourage your family members to lead a less sedentary lifestyle.

6. Reuse and Repurpose Stuff

This trick might seem a little strange at first, but it is commonly practiced by some of the most wealthy, frugal people of the nation.

Instead of throwing away things, and replacing them with something new, it is best to find a way to either reuse or repurpose them.

Tin cans left over from vegetables can be washed and turned into containers for homemade candles. The water from a bath is perfect for watering plants out in the garden.

And clothes that don’t fit anymore can be sewn into a blanket. And let’s not even get started on furniture. There are tons of ways that it can be spruced up with ideas found on the internet.

7. Put Money Back

You might be thinking, how can saving money help a person be frugal? Well, the answer is that it gives you buying power.

By putting back even just a few dollars a week, you can accumulate an excellent store of cash by the end of the year.

So if you happen to need anything beyond what expenses are listed on your budget, you can negotiate on the cost with the seller.

More often than not, a person will be willing to offer a lower price to someone who has the cash to pay for something right away.

8. Eat less meat

Instead of buying meat, which is usually very expensive, eat plant-based proteins that are cheap and nutritious such as beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and legumes. 

You can only save so much – the next step is increasing your income.

P.S. Sign up below for the FREE ultimate financial planner that includes printables like: debt tracker, income tracker, annual budget summary, savings challenges, financial goals, and debt thermometers!

Here are a few ways to make more money (both part-time and full-time jobs).

1. Facebook Ad Manager

Did you know you can become a Facebook Ad Manager for businesses and make an extra $1,000+ a month with just 1 client? Facebook Ad Managers are in charge of running ads for businesses to increase their customer base and income. 

There are over 27 million businesses in the U.S. with over 500,000 new businesses starting every month. Out of 27 million businesses, all you need is 1-2 clients to make $1,000 a month. If you want to go all in on this side hustle, you can take on 5 clients, which can be roughly $5,000 a month.

You can learn how to become a Facebook Ads Manager in less than 28 days with the Facebook Side Hustle Course.

2. Start a blog

I started this blog in college and graduated my senior year making $80,000 a year. Blogging isn’t easy and takes a lot of hard work. It’s not for everyone. If you feel that you can help people with a blog and inspire others to live better lives, a blog is a great way to do that.

If your dream is to become a full-time blogger and start a blog, I recommend starting a blog with Bluehost. Bluehost has 24/7 support, a money-back guarantee, and makes it as easy as possible to start a blog. Start a blog today for just $2.95/month with my step-by-step tutorial here. It’s easy, painless, and takes less than 20 minutes to start a blog of your own. With my link, you get a discount from $7.99/month to $2.95/month.

If you need a little more help starting your blog, I even have a free How To Start A Successful Blog quick 5-day course that shows you step-by-step what to do AFTER you started your blog. This quick course is filled with a TON of value giving you everything you need to get started the best way.

3. Bookkeeper

A bookkeeper’s job is to keep records of financial transactions of a business. Bookkeepers can make between $30,000-$60,000 per year. Becoming a bookkeeper has several benefits, such as low startup costs, high profit, and the ability to work remotely.

If you’re eager to learn more about becoming a bookkeeper, check out this free training that will show you the quickest and easiest way to start and run a successful virtual bookkeeping business. 

4. Teach English online with VIPKID

With over 600,000 students, VIPKID is the leading platform for teaching English online. Teaching English online is a great way to make income at home, while on your schedule. 

VIPKID pays up to $25 per hour, and the entire curriculum is provided for you. Forbes even recognized VIPKID as one of the best places to work online. To meet VIPKID application requirements, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in any field, eligibility to work in the U.S. or Canada, and at least 1 year of teaching experience (includes tutoring, homeschooling, coaching, mentoring, and other life experiences).

Apply to become an online VIPKID English teacher here.

5. Freelance writing

I had no idea what freelance writing was (or that you could make money from it) until I met my friend Holly. Holly makes six-figures with her freelance writing career; $225,000 a year to be exact. There are hundreds of freelance writing jobs out there, but getting those freelance jobs isn’t easy, which is why Holly created Earn More Writing.

Earn More Writing helped me get started freelance writing. I landed gigs on sites like GoBankingRates and many others. I went from charging $50 to $250 per article.

This work from home opportunity is legit, lucrative, and lets you work anywhere in the world. Holly travels (a ton!) and works all around the world.

In her free workshop, she shares her techniques she’s used to make six-figures freelance writing. You can check out her course and free workshop here. 

6. Sell Etsy Printables

Julie from the blog Millennial Boss is killin’ it in the side hustle world by selling Etsy printables.

This side hustle is almost entirely passive, meaning you do the work in one sitting, and then get paid for it for months and years to come. With just a few hours of work, Julie’s made over $5,000 selling printables on Etsy.

Julie recently created Etsy Printables where she shows you exactly how to make money selling Etsy Printables. I’ve gone through it myself and plan on adding this as a side hustle myself because it’s one of the easiest ways to make passive income. 

Are you wondering how to get started selling Etsy printables? This free guide here has a secret list of best-selling products by month and how to capitalize on seasonal trends to make sales. It’s a free download and SO good!

I did an AMAZING interview with Julie that you can check out here. She shares pictures of her printables, revenue dashboard, and exactly how you can get started.

7. Professional Proofreader

Transform your passion for words and reading by becoming a professional proofreader, and help people like me who are terrible at proofreading. I hire a proofreader for special projects which has been a must in my business. Proofreaders are a must for books, magazines, websites, and tons of other projects, so they’re always in demand.

Proofreaders can earn between $17-$30 per hour and offers competitive pay and flexible hours while working from home.

Here is a free workshop that will show you if proofreading is right for you. 

8. Sell on Amazon

There are more than 100,000,000 (yes, million) Amazon Prime members. More than 50% of all Amazon sales come from third-party sellers. Selling on Amazon is a legit way to make great money and isn’t going away any time soon. And if you’re completely lost on how to even get started selling on Amazon, bear with me for a sec.

My friend Jessica and her husband have perfected the art of selling on Amazon and have made well over $100,000 profit (their first year in the biz).

Jessica even has a FREE 7-day course that tells you everything you need to know in a simplified way to get started selling on Amazon.

➡️ What to read next: How I Spend $1,348 On A Six Figure Income

Don’t forget to sign up for the free resource library and get exclusive access to free printables & planners related to saving and making money, meal planning, and more!

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