Can You Save Money While on SSI? Stretching those SSI checks likely feels next to impossible when prices keep going up. But having a disability doesn't mean you can't find ways to pinch pennies and make the most of what you've got. With some smart strategies and simple lifestyle changes, saving money is totally doable.
In this blog post, we're exploring realistic tips to help you cut costs and free up cash. You're going to be discover clever ways to lower bills, get discounts, and find freebies. We're also talk about how to score cheap entertainment and trim grocery costs. Tight budgets don't have to mean sacrificing everything you enjoy. Follow these practical steps and you'll keep more money in your wallet without it feeling like a total drag.
What Is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income or SSI provides monthly payments to people with limited income and resources who are disabled or over 65. To qualify for SSI, your income and assets must fall below a threshold. The maximum monthly SSI payment for 2024 is $943 for individuals and $1,415 for couples. Payments are made on the 1st of each month and are deposited directly into your bank or loaded onto a prepaid card. Some states supplement the federal SSI payment, so your amount could be higher.
To apply for the SSI program, you need to fill out an application for Social Security benefits. Apply here:
- Online at ssa.gov website
- In person at your local Social Security administration office
When you apply be prepared to provide details about your income, living expenses, medical conditions, and treatment. The application process can take 4 to 5 months.
Once approved, Social Security will review your case from time to time to make sure you are still eligible for payments. It’s important to report any changes that could affect your disability benefits like if you start working again or if there are changes in your income or living situation.
Ways to Reduce Monthly Expenses
When living on a fixed income, it’s essential to trim costs whenever you can. Look for ways to trim your monthly budget by reducing or eliminating certain expenses.
Lower your utility bills. Little changes can add up to big savings on utilities. Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Use fans instead of air conditioning when possible. Lower the thermostat in winter or raise it in summer by just a couple degrees. Ask about budget billing to avoid higher seasonal utility costs.
Reduce you cable bill. Ditch cable TV and switch to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. You're going to save at least $50 to $100 a month. If internet access is an issue, check if your local library offers free Wi-Fi.
Shop store-brand or in bulk. Choose store brands over name brand items. Purchase non-perishable groceries and household goods in larger sizes or quantities. The bigger sizes are often a better unit price. Stock up on sales when possible.
Meal plan and prep. Plan your meals ahead and make a grocery list to avoid food waste and impulse purchases. Buy ingredients to make meals in large batches that can be portioned and frozen for later. Cooking at home is so much more budget friendly than dining out.
Renegotiate bills. Call companies like your cell phone provider or internet company to ask about current promotions to lower your bill. Even small reductions in bills equals bigger savings accounts over time.
Find ways to earn additional income on the side to supplement your SSI payments. Perhaps drive for a ridesharing service in your spare time, do some online surveys, rent out a spare room, or turn a hobby into a money-making endeavor. Every amount helps when trying to achieve self support. With determination, you could definitely find ways to maximize income and still lead a full life.
Taking Advantage of Government Programs and Community Resources
Many programs and resources exist to help supplement your income and save money when on SSI. Make sure you are taking full advantage of all that may apply to your situation.
- Apply for SNAP food assistance (also known as food stamps). SNAP can help pay for groceries and free up money in your budget for other essentials. Most states offer an easy application process, especially if you already receive SSI.
- Check if you qualify for Medicaid or other low-income health insurance. Medicaid provides healthcare coverage at little or no cost, including dental, vision and mental health services. With the high costs of healthcare and medications, Medicaid can help reduce a significant expense.
- Check with your local utilities companies about assistance programs. Many offer bill payment assistance, discounted rates or waivers for low-income individuals and families. Some even offer free energy efficiency upgrades like insulation or new appliances which lowers your utility costs long-term.
- Don't overlook additional income opportunities in your area like part-time work, freelancing, participating in medical studies or market research. While you must meet an SSI resource limit to how much you're able to earn, but any extra income can help pay for important expenses or go towards savings.
- Check if there're non-profits, charities or community organizations in your area that may offer additional support. Things like food banks, thrift stores, housing assistance, bill payment programs, healthcare clinics and more. Many offer resources and aid for those on limited or fixed incomes.
Making Extra Money While on SSI
While SSI provides you with income to cover basic needs, it may not stretch far enough. There are ways to earn additional income that won't jeopardize your SSI benefits. Some options to consider include:
- Selling unwanted items online. You can make money by selling things you no longer need on websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. As long as you stay under the SSI income & asset limits, this extra money won't affect your benefits.
- Doing online surveys. Companies often pay people to provide opinions on products and services. Check out sites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars. You can do surveys in your free time and earn gift cards or cash.
- Driving for a ridesharing service. If you own a reliable vehicle, you can earn money as an Uber or Lyft driver in your spare time. You get to set your own schedule and the income you earn from driving does not count against your SSI limits.
- Doing freelance work. Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer offer opportunities for doing freelance work like virtual assistance, writing, programming, and more. Find freelance gigs that match your skills and interests. The income counts as earned income for SSI, but if you stay under the monthly limits, it won't reduce your benefits.
- Selling goods at a local market. If you make handcrafted goods, art, or food products, consider selling them at a local farmer's market or craft fair. The income you earn counts toward your SSI limits, but as long as you stay under the caps, you get to receive benefits and keep extra money you make.
With some creativity and persistence, you can find ways to earn additional income without putting your SSI benefits at risk. Be sure to report any income you earn to Social Security to avoid issues with your eligibility and benefit amount. Staying under the income caps is essential for SSI beneficiaries earning extra money while still receiving SSI.
Saving Money? Apply to EASY Wireless' FREE Phone Plan
If you're reading this blog, you're likely facing financial on Social Security. Don't worry -- it happens all the time. Luckily, EASY Wireless is here to help!
Partnering with programs such as Lifeline & ACP, we're offering FREE phones with data to eligible individuals just like yourself. Whether you need to keep in touch with friends & family or you want to just save money on your current plan, here's what we're offering:
EASY Wireless Unlimited Plan
- FREE Unlimited Data
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- FREE SIM Card Kit and Activation
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
To start with EASY Wireless, apply online by clicking the below:
Start Saving Today!
Or you can come to one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for your benefits.