How to live on a small salary
There are fewer and fewer people who have learned about poverty from Soviet school textbooks. And more and more urgent is the question of how to live on a very small salary.
Indeed, according to the RAS, in 2018, almost three-quarters of the many users exist near the poverty line, and half of them are below this Rubicon. Most importantly, almost all of these people are normal hard workers who, out of habit, believe that the better they work, the more they will be paid.
But in fact, after a paycheck, each of them is gnawed by a thought: how to live on an extremely small salary for a whole month! Yes, even with a child, and parents need to be helped, because pensions have also been miserable lately.
How to live on a very small salary: Poverty and savings – a portrait in large strokes
For some, poverty, when the soup is watery,
for others – when the pearls are too small.
It is fundamentally impossible to understand how to live on a very small salary, if you do not give it a reasonable definition. And at the same time, the interpretation of the terms should be clear to every person, in whatever country he lives. For example, the minimum wage (minimum wage) that is established by US law for residents has recently been twice as high as the average salary in the country! But food prices in America are lower than recently.
The situation is similar in China and most EU countries. Even in many countries of "Black Africa", where there is no winter cold and there is no need for warm clothes, the guaranteed minimum income is higher than the government has recently set.
However, in all countries, part of the population is trying to survive on a meager wage, carving out some crumbs in order to ensure payment for the minimum set of inelastic demand goods necessary for the existence:
- medical services;
- Utilities (heating, rental housing, water supply, electricity).
And from here the following regularity follows – the lack of means for subsistence is determined not by the size of the salary, but by the volume of expenses. For example, if a person lives in recent times and has a monthly income of 10 thousand dollars for several years, then it will be extremely difficult for him if this amount decreases by 5 times. And this is only because he is used to spending most of the money, a priori, being sure that his financial condition is stable. But if a person survived for several years on a salary of 10,000 🪙, then its increase by 5 times will allow him to feel like a rich man with almost unlimited possibilities!
Because such an individual already knows how to live on an extremely small salary, has adapted his appetites to a beggarly income, and his mind does not pay attention to the advertising appeals of the consumer society.
How to live on a small salary – Goods of elastic and inelastic demand
There is an internal division of goods into two categories:
- elastic demand.
This group includes such goods and services, without which a person lives quite normally and comfortably under any external circumstances. But these are not necessarily goods from the luxury segment! For example, shaving foam, paper handkerchiefs, mayonnaise or cat litter are prominent representatives of this group.
Because when a person has a small salary, he has to give up something in order not to die of hunger. And in the first place to abandon the goods of elastic demand.
- Inelastic demand.
Goods from this cohort are always needed, regardless of whether there is a war or economic prosperity in the country. It is these goods that give a person the opportunity, at least somehow, but to live a month without a salary :
- Laundry soap;
- Vegetable oil, etc.
After all, all these items are in every home, in almost every country in the world. Although manufacturers and marketers introduce luxury elements into these products, which increase the cost of the necessary products several times. For example, there is expensive black salt, which is obtained by adding ordinary activated carbon, but in advertising slogans it is presented as something extremely useful and elite.
Laundry soap is produced in the form of animals, matches with green and blue heads, tea is diluted with dried grass, which reduces the content of the target product, but increases the cost of the product. Even ordinary wholemeal flour with bran, known since time immemorial, so common and healthy, is presented as the highest achievement of nutritionists. True, it is sold at a price several times higher than usual.
How can you live on a small salary – Fundamentals of survival in the post-Soviet space
Do not expect economic growth and improved welfare in recent times. Survival with the lowest possible income is already an urgent problem even for working fellow citizens, and not just for pensioners, the disabled and other vulnerable segments of the population.
To better understand the basic principle of such an existence, it is necessary to give an example of an alcoholic who has tied up with an addiction. Indeed, many who are subject to this misfortune swear not to drink anymore, but … Imagine such a person who has made a firm decision to give up alcohol. However, there is one condition that decides the outcome of this act by 90% – the environment of a person.
If a former drunk will regularly communicate with drunkards, work at a distillery or regularly read recipes for alcoholic cocktails, then very, very soon, he will “untie".
And the reason for this is advertising. In a hidden form, or visual agitation, will certainly do its job.
This is not a simple example, it is needed to draw an appropriate analogy in the plane we need. It is impossible to live economically on a small salary if aggressive advertising constantly annoys the eyes and ears!
Modern man is far from being the current ascetic who was admired in the middle of the 19th century by academician, historian and writer Kostomarov N.I. Moreover, temptations are pouring down on him like from a cornucopia. Therefore, there are a few easy rules, the strict observance of which will help to live normally with a small salary.
Tip 1 – Keep a journal of income and expenses
Regularly there are situations when, with a more or less normal income, there is not enough money in the family. Moreover, this happens monthly, and it seems that nothing superfluous and expensive is bought, but sometimes you even have to borrow until payday. And the reason is what psychologists call the “Insignificant Amount Paradox.”
For example, a person has 10,000 🪙 in his pocket, and he does not have a task to buy something large, expensive. 40 🪙, the amount is small, it’s one cup of coffee, and he gives it away without hesitation. But for a snack, you need to add … at least a cake, or a hot dog, that’s another 50 🪙, plus chewing gum and some kind of pretzel, in the end – minus 200 🪙.
It seems that the amount is small, but in fact, the person received nothing, but only masked the feeling of hunger. If you spend a few more hours on the streets of the city, then by the evening 20-30% of the initial amount will decrease.
The main thing is that these expenses were invisible and useless. They only reveal hidden desires that constantly go against the possibilities.
Conclusion: in order to avoid waste of money, it is necessary to carefully plan all expenses and carefully paint the family budget.
You need to plan absolutely everything, and start with the essentials:
- Communal payments;
- Medical support (medication or examinations);
According to sober reasoning, everything else is a luxury with a beggarly income.
Tip 2 – avoid processed foods and homemade food
It will be very difficult to immediately switch to this mode, but "Hunger is not an aunt – you can’t run away into the forest." Semi-finished products seem like a more convenient way to eat, but such products have three giant drawbacks that nullify all virtual advantages:
- High added value;
- The abundance of unnecessary additives and substitutes;
- Low nutritional value.
Even ordinary frozen dumplings do not have as much meat in their composition as you can buy for this price. Given that GOST has been canceled, manufacturers of semi-finished products have a wide field for saving "on the health of the consumer"!
A classic example from the tsar’s in recent times: one rogue cook made expensive cutlets of hazel grouse with horse meat for sale, in a ratio of 50 to 50. He took one horse and one hazel grouse, and strictly observed the specified recipe.
In order to somehow save money with a small salary, you will have to master the craft of cooking and give up lunch in canteens. It may seem inconvenient for someone to carry lunch in a vessel with them, but this is all from pride – “take the burden on your own so as not to fall when walking.” It will be much more inconvenient when your children have nothing to eat in their house.
By the way, most of the products that are bought in the store are easily prepared in the kitchen: bread, buns, jams, compotes, etc.
Tip 3 – Go shopping only with a list and always after a meal
Modern shopping complexes are a place where advertising is concentrated and all marketing tricks are worked out. The goal of any outlet is not for you to buy what you need, but to load the buyer with unnecessary junk in bright packaging.
All products with the maximum wound price are in the most visible and accessible place. Therefore, healthier and cheaper products should be found where it is difficult to reach, for example, on the lowest and highest shelves.
IMPORTANT: never go to the grocery store on an empty stomach!
Almost everyone knows this rule, and almost no one follows it. As a result, the family’s budget is bursting at the seams, and little useful products in beautiful packaging are put in the refrigerator.
Avoid small packaged foods. Although it seems obvious, but for some reason, almost no one notices such a crazy markup. Without even giving examples, we will simply advise you to independently calculate the cost of sugar, salt, cereals or flour in packages of different volumes, in terms of a kilogram. The difference can reach 300-500%.
And if there is a lot of a whole bag of flour for you, then take it in a club with a neighbor or relative. Only share at home, and not immediately in the store.
Tip 4 – Organize your wardrobe
Every family has a lot of clothes in good and even excellent condition, which are not worn because they are out of fashion or simply do not like. And this is again a manifestation of pride – the choice is available to rich people. Wear what you have, fix your clothes and shoes, and refrain from replenishing your wardrobe altogether. At least not yet demolish what is already in stock.
For children, this is very easy to do, because they grow “by leaps and bounds”, so smart jackets, trousers, suits and shoes are often worn only 2-3 times Look at the portals where people offer different things as a gift. As a rule, all children’s clothing items, especially festive weekends, are given in perfect condition.
Tip 5 – Save on utility bills
In each apartment, wherever possible, metering devices are integrated. Knowing a priori that Management Companies and Housing Offices are cheating with payments, and the government is helping them by introducing new categories of compulsory paid services, your task is to prevent debts from appearing. This category of payments is mandatory, but even here you can save money, you just need to learn to distinguish between pleasure and needs.
For example, hygiene procedures are a necessity, but taking a bath is a pleasure. For 5-7 minutes under the shower, about 60-70 liters of water are consumed, and the bath holds 120-150 liters. If all family members use a shower instead of a bath, the water consumption will decrease by 30-35%.
Brushing your teeth and shaving is very conveniently done with water in a glass. This is what tourists do when they travel. Imagine that your whole future life is such an endless journey, from a bright past, through a gloomy present, into a terrible future.
From this filthy situation in which all the residents of high-rise buildings are, there is only one way out – your own house.
Tip 6 – change of housing – how to live on a small salary
The professionally brainwashed citizen has recently refused to see the real dynamics of the changes taking place in the country. And diligently draws a bright tomorrow in his imagination. And the worst thing is that with such a vast territory, compatriots are climbing out of their skin just to move to a city apartment. Preferably in Moscow or another major city. At the same time, they try not to notice that they themselves put on a yoke and diminish their health.
After all, no one will argue that living in a city is more harmful and more expensive than living in your own house. This is a radical change. But how can you save money with a small salary living in the city? If most of the money is spent on a communal apartment and other "charms of compact living."
IMPORTANT: in order to never again pay for a communal apartment and rent, you need to move away from mossy ideas about cottages. And independently calculate the cost of a private house with low energy consumption.
For example, consider the projects of houses in Canada and Germany. Many technologies that provide autonomy to a private house are almost unknown recently. By the way, the cost of implementing these developments is extremely low.
Tip 7 – educate yourself and get rid of the meaningless people in your environment
Formatting your life on the regime of austerity, you should also review your environment. It’s like in the example of an alcoholic, because a change in the paradigm of life will inevitably lead to the exfoliation of everything superfluous, especially if it dilutes the determination to follow the chosen path.
It is not at all necessary to do this in a sharp and categorical manner; you can gently avoid going to a bowling alley or a restaurant, or refuse to go to the sauna with a friendly company. Do this 3-4 times, and they will stop inviting.
IMPORTANT: set a taboo for yourself on computer games and social networks – this is an absolutely useless pastime!
Of course, computer games are a very exciting thing, but almost no one sees this infection as a monster devouring your precious time. But it can be spent on self-education. Make it a rule to spend time reading classical literature every day. Even better, download a course of lectures on a certain subject on the Internet, and master it yourself. Even if there is no diploma, knowledge will remain, horizons will expand, and new prospects for obtaining side income may appear.
In principle, if you increase your intellectual level, then you will be very bored and uninteresting surrounded by old friends who have stopped developing. They will also be uncomfortable with you, and the company itself will expel you.
Tip 8 – Find like-minded people and a side job
Remember, you are not the only one who survives on a small salary, more than 70% of them have recently (according to RAS estimates from 2017). Only most of this mass, go with the flow, as "the one that does not sink." If you are reading this article, then you are already reflecting, looking for an opportunity to change your life. This means that the general direction of this flow does not suit you.
There are few such people who are critical of everything they hear and see, but you can find them. Try to find like-minded people who have the same tasks and goals as you. After all, several families are much better at adapting the surrounding space to their needs. For example, such a team can already buy products at wholesale prices, or estimate the possibility of moving from the city to the countryside.
Part-time work in the company also brings more tangible income. And if you are still alone, then you can find a part-time job at least on the Internet. By the way, the knowledge gained during self-education will be useful. For example, if you have recently mastered the course of History, or cultural studies, then you can write essays on order for negligent students.
The amount received for such work may be small, but if you have to live a month without a salary, then it can be considered as a “lifeline”.
Tip 9 – how to save with a small salary
Give up savings in any currency, because this money is not real, but fiduciary. They are worth something as long as the issuing center accepts them for payment. A vivid example of such a situation with savings is Soviet rubles. You should not rely on foreign currency either. De minimus non curat lex (The law does not care about the little things).
The ideal savings option is precious metals. Buy gold bars weighing 1 gram. They do not burn, they are not eaten by rodents. And most importantly, they have value in and of themselves. Regardless of the era, country and political situation.
IMPORTANT: do not rely on cryptocurrencies. They appeared no more than ten years ago. And gold has been and remains in value throughout the history of human civilization.
Pay attention to the rates of precious metals. They of course change the cost depending on the situation in the world. But still the overall trend is positive! Look at the dynamics of the exchange rate of metals on the Sberbank website over the past 20 years.
And yet, you can’t take gold bars and go to the store. They must be implemented legally. There is a difference between buying and selling. But in the medium term, it is leveled against the backdrop of serious inflation.
Essays on how to live with a small salary
Summarizing, we can formulate the idea in the following words: not a salary should be enough for a person, but a person’s salary. Moderate your appetites, and stop striving for that image of a prosperous and prosperous middle-class man in the street. there aren’t many of those lately! This is a very "thin layer" between the oligarchs and the rest of the population. Find the niche that you really fit at the moment! If you have a meager salary, then you don’t have to pull on the appearance of a wealthy person, become yourself.
To make this easier, try the following:
- Don’t watch TV shows or get rid of this talking-head zombie altogether;
- Do not read or listen to any news, just set your browser so that they do not even catch your eye;
- "Protect your eyes and ears" from any advertising;
- Give up all entertainment in crowded places;
- Purchase products only at wholesale and retail bases;
- Don’t take loans;
- Do not believe the statements from the Kremlin that “it will be better soon” – it has already been better;
- Be sure to find like-minded people and unite in small cells – together it is easier to survive on a miserable salary;
- Family is in the first place in the ranking of your interests.
In general, become yourself, and life will be easier even with a small salary.