Living Cheaply – How Cheaply Could You Live for a Week?


Have you ever had to get by for a week living cheaply on very little money? Maybe you had been waiting for your wages coming through and were left with virtually nothing to live on.

Thankfully, it has been a while since I last had to do this but I can still remember struggling to work out how to live on almost no money for a few days before pay day. Here are a few of the ideas for living cheaply which could help you scrape past without spending much money in this situation.

Walk or Ride your Bicycle Everywhere

There is no doubt that leaving your auto at home is a must when you’re trying to live cheaply, unless you just happened to fill it up with enough fuel to get you by before you ran out of cash of course. Equally, unless you have sorted out and paid for public transport in advance you probably won’t have that option either. The good news is that walking everywhere is great exercise, good fun and a great way to cut down on fuel costs as long as you don’t have to go huge distances every day. If the distances are quite big and you already own a bicycle then this is a good way of getting around for free while seeing a different side to the city you live in. If you do this through necessity once then you might decide that you like it enough to do it through choice in the future.

Cook Cheaply at Home

Could you cook cheaply at home for a few days? It certainly isn’t impossible to do this if you put some thought and creativity into it. A good start would be to rummage through your kitchen cupboards and see what basic ingredients you have there which could come in handy and which you had pretty much forgotten about. When living cheaply foods like dried pasta, lentils, flour and canned products are all going to be very useful to you and they are also good items to have stored away for the harder times. The longer the period on them before they go bad the better, as they could be sitting there for months or even years waiting for the moment when you run out of cash and need to use them.  Of course, it would be even better if you could get used to cooking with cheap ingredients on a regular basis anyway.

Find Things to Do

Perhaps the hardest thing of all to do when you don’t have any money is finding things to do. It is weird but the less money I have the more fairly expensive things I want to do. The mere thought that I can’t afford to go to see a movie or go shopping makes me want to do it. There are lots of cheap things you can do both at home and out in other places. For example, you could visit some friends and relatives you haven’t seen in a while. Alternatively, you could tidy up your house or garden with your spare time. Of course, if you are walking everywhere and cooking at home then you will probably find that you have less free time than you normally do. If you are keen to get your finances into better shape then you could use this time to look at your income and outgoings to try and work out what you can improve. There is nothing like being short of money to focus your mind on financial matters and encourage you to be more sensible in the future.

Do you have any tips for living cheaply?

Thanks to these carnivals for including Money Rebound last week:

Best Money Blogs from the Yakezie Carnival

Financial Carnival for Young Adults – Money on the Mind

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie

Carnival of Retirement

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie – Fincon13 Edition

Carnival of Financial Independence, 34th Edition

Earn More, Spend Less: Volume 8

14 Responses to Living Cheaply – How Cheaply Could You Live for a Week?

  1. moneystepper says:

    Pretty cheaply:

    As long as you are outside (not in the house, not in malls, not in shops, etc), finding free things to do is usually easier than finding things to spend money on!!

  2. “Shopping my fridge” and playing “Iron Chef” with the few ingredients I have in there is one of my favorite ways to save. Sometimes it helps me discover new dishes too!

  3. Debt BLAG says:

    I’ve taken the cooking-with-cheaper-goods-all-the-time route you mentioned. It feels a lot more sustainable than if I were to start and stop because when I do it all the time, I never feel like I’m missing the fancier stuff or waiting for the week when I’ll get to do it again.

  4. There were several instances where I had to live very cheaply for the week because I prioritized bills settlement and was left with almost zero in my wallet. You’d be surprised at how amazing can someone adjust when things like it happen.

  5. Yes eliminate fast food and plan meals ahead of time instead of doing last minute trips to the supermarket.

  6. You know how its said that necessity is the mother of invention? Well, when brokeness sets in creativity seems to kick in as well as how to best use what one has at hand. Cooking at home for one becomes very interesting 🙂
    I guess one also becomes innovative at finding ways to earn something small to tide them over till income kicks in.

  7. Love the last line here, Robert. Being short of cash does give you a proper perspective real quick. Being we’re in such a tight situation as we work on getting out of debt, we’re working real hard on living cheaply these days.

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