We all know that people are worried sick about money these days. Finding good paying jobs is hard even for many experienced and skilled people. Finding full time work that pays decently is even more difficult. Then there’s the problem of personal debt, which is a problem that started for many people when financial times were wonderful.

The bottom line is that people today are stressed out, often to the detriment of their physical and psychological health, by worry over money and the notion that they and their families cannot live well or cannot have the lives they wish for.

Being stressed out over money, unfortunately, causes even more bad financial decisions to be made. People overspend. They get even deeper into debt. They start neglecting certain bills. Bad stuff can snowball.

So it’s important to understand, if you’re experiencing financial woes right now, how to live on a shoestring budget. You don’t have to be miserable. You don’t have to waste away from lack of food, nor do you have to resort to unhealthy eating habits that will make you fat and sluggish. You don’t have to live monkishly. And you don’t have to spend every dime you get paid or go into more debt just to live a little.

Whatever precious little you have is still precious. You can live well on it.

Eat more pasta dishes. If you’re financially in jeopardy, you can’t always follow the carbo-unloading/Paleo diet guideposts. Pasta is inexpensive to buy, it stores well, it’s simple and inexpensive to prepare — and, if you’re working out sufficiently (see below), it’s great exercise fuel, too (no matter what “they” say). Even more pertinent is the fact that it’s getting easier all the time to find specially-made “enriched” pasta with added protein and vitamins. This will be more expensive than Velveeta creamy mac ‘n’ cheese (which we recommend), but pasta is still pasta and it’s still inexpensive.

Eat more rice dishes. It’s better to eat long grain or brown rice, but even white rice can be just fine for you. Be mindful of the “Asian Paradox” and shun the negativity surrounding rice. Like pasta, rice is inexpensive to buy, store, and prepare. And as with pasta, if you’re sufficiently moving or working out rice is good fuel.

Eat more bean dishes. Beans are…yes, inexpensive to buy and store, and easy to prepare with or within dishes. Beans are healthier than most people seem to think they are, too. Black beans in particular contain very high concentrations of protein. Rice-and-beans is a classic dish, too.

Eat your potatoes. Here we have yet more inexpensive and tasty workout fuel which has received negative hype. We aren’t advising store-bought or fast food french fries or anything like them, although you can make your own fries at home using healthy oils.

Add some zing with spices. To make your “bland” inexpensive foods more exciting to taste, throw on some spices, beyond the usual salt and pepper. There are blends like Mrs. Dash. Other great ones include onion or garlic powder/salts, ginger, ground red pepper, ground cumin, basil, and sage (just to name a few).

Take coupons seriously. You probably get those local coupon books in the mail. Why not actually use them, and use as many of them as you can? Clipping the Sunday paper coupons can save you a lot of money, too.

You only need a prepaid cell phone. Do you really “need” a SmartPhone and to be locked in to not-so-smart rates? You can buy a nice unlocked phone and buy the minutes you need, as you need, in advance. (No, we’re not talking Tracfones, here!)

You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment to be into the sport of fitness. Unless your heart is set on racquetball or swimming during cold months, why go to a gym? Hit the roads of life in your running shoes. Do body weight resistance exercises. Get intense workouts from low-cost equipment like an ab-wheel, medicine ball, and jump rope. Don’t drive if you can possibly bike or hike. That’s probably self-explanatory. Such a way of life keeps you healthier and slimmer, too.

Stalk online discounts and sales. There are good websites offering you everything from cyber coupons to ridiculous time-limited deals on electronics to vacation steals. Invest a little time in finding these sites and soon enough you’ll look and feel like a ragamuffin millionaire!

Let your Roosevelts rock!

Caleb Simmons is a professional blogger that provides financial advice and information. He writes for PureChecks.com, where you can create your own personal checks and order checks online.

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