When it comes to living off of disability, it is not as easy as some might think. In fact, most of the time Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not actually that much money. Monthly checks for SSI benefits vary greatly and depending on your living situation, making ends meet can be tricky.

Here at Pri-Your-ity Services, we specialize in helping clients apply for disability in Tampa, and we want to see those clients go on to live a comfortable life. If you are working on creating a budget for living off your SSI benefits, check out these helpful tips.

Start With The Necessary Basics

When you are creating a budget, you need to start with the bare minimum basics first. These are the items that you literally cannot live without. Included in this portion of your budget should be the following:

  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Medications

While you may feel like you can’t live without other items, such as television or internet, don’t put these items into your necessary budget lines. The only things that you should calculate as your basics are the items you need to stay alive.

When you are creating this portion of your budget, it might take time to perfect some of the more ambiguous items. For example, understanding how much you spend on food can be tricky and utilities will vary depending on the time of year. Do your best the first month to estimate your costs and over time, tweak these sections to reflect a realistic understanding of your spending.

Look For Ways To Implement Savings

Once you create your baseline budget for the absolute necessities, look for ways you can cut down these costs. For example, if housing is a huge expense, look into downsizing into a smaller place or consider sharing a home with someone else to cut costs. If your utilities are out of hand, try to find ways to lower your energy usage.

Food is a necessity for sure but not all food costs are the same. For example, if you frequently eat out, you might be running up your food bills unnecessarily. Opt for affordable food options and do your cooking at home.

Budget In The Extras

Once you have a good handle on your basic budget, utilize any leftover money to create a small line for extras. This can help to cover the random costs that will invariably occur. For example, if your cell phone dies, you might need to invest in a replacement. Your extras section can be used for these kinds of costs. Having a line for extras will also help you understand where you are overspending and what can be cut down.

Track Your Spendings Daily

Your budget will only be effective if you actually stick to it and track what you are spending your money on. Whether you use a spreadsheet on your computer or you simply track your expenses with a pencil and paper, make sure each day you keep track of any spendings and record it in the appropriate section of your budget. At the end of each month, this expense sheet will help you understand where your money is going and how you can better budget for the next month.

If are you in need of SSI benefits in Tampa and you don’t know where to begin, contact our team. We are here to help you navigate the application process and with our experience on your side, you have the best chance of succeeding. Call us today to learn more.