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5 frugal habits to live on $30,000 a month



5 frugal habits to live on $30,000 a month Written by Shekinah Ade-Gold on behalf of Budget Leaf



In a recent article published by The Jamaica Gleaner titled “Could you live off $30,000 a month? -

Workers explain how they stretch budgets to survive” , Shantal McDonald detailed how she is able to help provide a living for herself and her financé. She makes note of the fact that she spends $4,000.00 for transportation, buys bread and snacks in bulk, shops downtown for additional groceries and toiletries and pays her internet and water bills. Her fiancé takes care of the rest of expenses. This is the story of many in Jamaica’s working class, and we can examine her points to see how she is able to live meaningfully in such a situation.



She Uses Her Skills


Shantal has earned HEART TRUST/NTA Level 3 certification in culinary arts, and even though she is not currently pursuing her dream of being a chef, she is able to put her skills to good use in the kitchen. She ensures that she eats healthy, which minimizes the risk of having any health issues that would drain her finances, and if she does feel to splurge a little then she will ensure that the meal is home-cooked. One does not have to eat out to be able to enjoy themselves.



Financial Awareness


Shantal states: “If you don’t know what you are doing, the money done same day.” She thanks her mother for teaching her how to manage her finances, and expresses that even though an additional amount on her pay would be a big help, she has learnt how to stretch what she has available – that is, live within her means. Case in point: if she wants to braid her hair, she does it herself – no trips to the salon needed.



Family Planning


In a country where having children can easily be the norm among low-income earners in society, she has decided not to have any for the time being. This is a vital point to note, as having a child would cost a lot more than $30,000.00 per month in terms of food, medical expenses and maintenance. Seeing that she has to support herself and another earning individual, she has made a choice that will see her saving more than someone who gives little thought to planning out the familial structure of their home.



Frugal Shopping Habits


Instead of making all of her purchases at an uptown supermarket (which would easily finish her pay in just one session), Shantal goes downtown to make the bulk of her purchases. This involves a knack for being street-smart in order to maintain her safety and get the best prices for goods. Shopping uptown may be convenient, but you will often end up paying much more than you need to.



Gratitude Is a Must


Finally, and most importantly on this list, is her ability to be grateful. In the article, it is noted that 130,000 people became jobless during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Her attitude has kept her mind open to receiving blessings and opportunities, and because she has made use of the little that she earns in a meaningful way, she is able to multiply it and live – not just survive. Her ability to budget her earnings without complaining is the key takeaway here – it is central to the other points noted, or else the plan would fall apart.


Developing a better money mindset begins with you. Once you are real with yourself and able to take stock of what you have and what you can do without, you will find that you are always blessed with exactly what you need.

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