How to survive with a low income

If you have not been living under a rock, then you know that the economy has been in trouble. Jobs have been routinely slashed, budgets cut and most people are suffering from a financial meltdown. Sound dramatic? Then you are one of the few who haven’t felt the effects of the recession. This is one of the biggest recessions since the Great Depression and has been on the tip of the tongue of every newspaper and economist.

Some economists say the economy is on its way out of the recession but many people are not feeling the up swing. Until the effects of the economic upswing reach most Americans, the population will still feel the hangover. Families are having to survive on smaller salaries and bigger responsibilities. What can you do to ease the pain of the recession?

* Do not give up. For those who have a job, consider yourself lucky. For those who are looking for a job, keep looking. If it feels like your efforts are not noticed, take temporary work. Enroll in classes and find additional training in your field that can set you a part from other applicants. If a company is not hiring, call and ask to talk to someone in your field and have an “information interview”. Ask them more about their job in general and ask questions about the industry. If they like you, they might consider you for a job or keep you in mind if they know someone who is hiring.
* Be positive. It is easy to get down and feel blue during a recession, especially when money troubles are lurking around. But getting depressed about the problem only makes it worse, sending you in a downward spiral. Try and think of things you are grateful for each day and remember the positive things. This is especially important if you have children. They can often sense your stress, and money stress is no exception. Keep conversations light and try to keep busy.
* Be realistic. Ignoring the problem of the recession and your dwindling bank account will only set you up for hurt. Avoid using credit cards to pick up extra debt. The interest rates on credit cards is skyrocketing and can land you further into debt. Sit down and make a realistic budget. Cut where you can. This is the time to go without. Cook from home, spend more time playing board games at home instead of going out to the movies.
* Find local resources. Low income families can receive a lot of benefits in the community. Certain insurance companies offer low income health insurance for families. The plans might not offer all the bells and whistles, but it can protect you and your family if you have any medical emergencies. Nonprofits have community resource links for low income families to get services done like tax preparation, dental cleaning and more. These services are often free or low cost and may require you to show proof of income to meet eligibility requirements.