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How to Live Off 500 Dollars a Week
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Written by Kristina Choi   

How can you live off 500 dollars a week?  Well, it’s not really that hard, though you will need to learn how to properly budget your finances.   This includes finding the right place to live and using free grocery coupons whenever possible.   If you need help figuring out how to do this, look to the steps below, as I have had to live off 500 dollars a week for most of my adult life!

Step 1: Get cheap housing.   To successfully live off 500 dollars a week, you need cheap housing.  If you’re single, or a childless couple, you need to consider renting a room.   By doing this you can pay between $300 to $1,000, depending on how elaborate the accommodations are.  However, if you do decide to pay more make sure your utilities are included in the price.

Step 2: Consider alternative housing arrangements if you have a family.  Renting one room is not going to work if you have a family.  However,  you could try renting a basement apartment if there is at least 1 extra bedroom, (and you don’t have many kids).   If you do this it’s possible your housing expenses will be between $500 and $1,000.  Otherwise, you need to try to lessen your expenses by renting a house and subletting to roommates.   You could earn $1,000 just renting out two extra bedrooms, (or one basement apartment).

Step 3: Use coupons!  Free grocery coupons are very important if you want to successfully live off 500 dollars a week.  If you don’t have money to get a Sunday paper, you can find free grocery coupons in mailing circulars, (like the Pennysaver), or online.

Step 4: Buy the right foods.   If you want to live off 500 dollars a week, getting the right type of groceries is essential, (even if you’re using free coupons).   So, you will want to stock up on cheap food like: Ramen Noodles, carrots, bananas, oatmeal, bread and eggs.   For dinner foods consider: spam, stir-fry mixes, Hamburger helper, beef and chicken wings.   And stick with Little Debbie for your snacks.

Step 5: Sign up for online sweepstakes.   If you have to live off 500 dollars a week, it’s important that you try not to spend your cash on frivolous things.  Ultimately, if you must have a new laptop, (despite already  having one), you do better trying your hand at free laptop sweepstakes.  The same goes for any other freebie.   Just make sure you cancel your “free subscriptions” before getting charged, (if they are a requirement for your freebie).

Step 6: Remember the Internet.   The Internet is an essential tool if you want live off 500 dollars a week and still be happy.  Why?  For $60 or so a month, the Internet provides endless hours of entertainment.  

Through it you can get free paper dolls for your little girl, or free Transformers coloring books for your boy.  And for everyone else there’s an unlimited source of free Flash games, music and movies, (thanks to sites like Fancast.com).  So, if you can’t afford cable and other luxuries try to at least get a broadband Internet connection.

Tip:  An Internet connection can also keep you in touch with at-home jobs.  And this is important, because with a good at-home job, you may not have to live off 500 dollars a week!

Tip: The site “Free-Groceries.net” has an interesting  offer where you can get $250 of free groceries.  You do have to sign up for some free subscriptions, but during hard economic times, $250 of free groceries is still really helpful, even with this requirement!

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