How To Live Off SSI
Choosing Your SSI Budget
How to live off Social Security Income is a question everyone asks themselves after their benefits start. The low amount of monthly income can make budgeting your finances very difficult, but not impossible. Some of the most effective budgets are those that are percentage based, this will allow for many variables to be worked in as needed. Percentage based budgets also help if there are fluctuations of your income, if it goes up due to a cost of living increase, or to factor in unexpected expenses.
Most of those who live off SSI already own their own home, live in retirement homes, trailer parks, Section 8 low income housing, or with family or friends. Rent or mortgages alone would take up too much of their income otherwise, and by living in one of the above frees up enough money to survive.
Sample Budget For Those On Disability
As it has been requested multiple times here is a sample budget for those on Disability earning the standard $674.00 per month.
This budget does not allow for much room for error, although when you live on disability having that level of income is rough to even survive on.
30 % towards rent, ($202.20)
20 % towards food, toilet paper, household items ($134.80)
20 % Car Insurance, Gasoline, and repairs ($134.80)
15 % toward utilities ($101.10)
10 % Entertainment-Cable, Internet, etc ($67.40)
5 % Banked for emergencies ($33.70)
Sample Living Off SSI Budget
Below is a sample budget based on receiving $1,000.00 per month from SSI to live on.
30 % towards rent, mortgage, taxes
25 % toward utilities
20 % towards food, toilet paper, household items
10 % Car Insurance, Gasoline, and repairs
10 % Entertainment-Cable, Internet, etc
5 % Banked for emergencies
The above example will translate into the following dollar amounts:
300.00 towards rent, mortgage, taxes
200.00 towards food, toilet paper, household items
250.00 toward utilities like phone, electric, and natural gas.
100.00 Car Insurance, Gasoline, and repairs
100.00 Entertainment-Cable, Internet, etc
50.00 Banked for emergencies
Steps To Living Off SSI
1) Write down any incomes coming into the household. Include SSI, 401k, Dividends, and any other active or passive incomes.
2) Write down all expenses within the household. Make sure to include rent or mortgage, taxes, food, household items like toilet paper, phone, electric, natural gas, car insurance, gasoline, and any other bills you may have.
3) Categorize your expenses into groups like utilities, rent or mortgage, household items, food etc.
4) Compare your total expenses to total income. If your expenses are greater than SSI income, try to cut some discretionary expenses out to ensure you have enough income from SSI to live off of, and cover all expenses.
Important SSI Tips
Figure out what percentage of your SSI income is necessary to cover each category of expenses. Make sure to factor in at least 5 % of your net income towards savings for emergency situations, this is VITALLY important to follow, especially when SSI is your only income. If say a window in your home breaks you will have the funds to replace it rather than leaving it broken for long periods of time.