Changing from a regular paycheck to a once-monthly income, such as a government, retirement, or disability check, can be a little frustrating at first. It takes time to get adjusted to making your money last for the entire month. It also takes time to adjust to the different income level. In most cases, when a person transitions to a monthly income, it is for a lesser amount than what they were previously accustomed to receiving.
This does not mean, however, that you have to reduce your standard of living or begin doing without things. It simply means that you need to adjust your spending habits and become creative in your entertainment choices and necessary purchases.
You also want to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits to which you are entitled. If you have recently become disabled and not sure when or if you will return to work, you should apply for long-term disability insurance.
Occasionally an insurance company may deny or attempt to stall your disability payments. If that happens, you should consult with a long term disability insurance attorney who can review your case and assist you with getting the compensation that you deserve.
Here are 5 helpful tips for making the transition to a fixed income work:
1. Be A Budget Hound. The first thing you need to do is establish how much you need to cover your basic living expenses. Once you have determined this amount, you will need to take the remaining amount and divide it by four. This will provide you with what you have to send on other things each week. By setting up your budget in this manner, you will not find yourself broke in the middle of the month. Make sure that you stick to your budget and be realistic about your true living expenses.
2. Travel Mid-Week. If you want to find deals on entertainment, make sure you visit your destination in the middle of the week. Most restaurants, tourist attractions, hotels, and other venues run discounts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Use the Internet to plan your vacation. There are many websites that offer mid-week travel deals or spur of the moment specials. You could end up spending your vacation at a five star resort for the price of a two star hotel.
3. Shop On Tuesday Evening. Grocery stores run their sales from Wednesday to Tuesday. On Tuesday evenings, they will reduce all of their fresh items that were on sale for the previous week, including meat. By shopping after five in the evening, you can also find many deals in the bakery and deli. These two areas reduce prices at this time so that they do not have to throw fresh food out at the end of the day.
4. Hunt Coupons. Use as many coupons as possible. You will be amazed at the money you save. This includes coupons for car repairs and maintenance, restaurant discounts, percentage off coupons for clothes and merchandise, and beauty treatments. Also, it is important to use discount/customer reward cards, special discount offers, and bonus offers.
5. Enjoy Free. There are so many things that you can do for free in your community that you will have more to do than when you were fully employed. The local library often offers classes, free movies, and you can check out books and movies for free to take home. Local community centers often have free classes and events that you can participate in at your leisure. Check with your place of worship and non-profits in your area for other free events.
As you can see, with a little bit of creativity and effort, you can easily transition from a full paycheck to a monthly income. It just takes a little savvy, and you can enjoy everything you did in the past, if not more.
Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches insurance claims. She has found that long term disability insurance attorney Mark Whitehead is an advocate for the disabled and has successfully represented clients all over the country.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4122171512/