I am a "fiscally challenged" full time college student with an annual income of $15,400 a year. My income is far below federal government poverty income level. To overcome massive financial challenges I cancelled my Comcast cable, Hulu, Netflix subscriptions and switched to checking out DVD's for FREE from the public library. I cancelled all newspaper/magazine subscriptions and access those same publications at the public library. Not only did this save a considerable amount of money, it lowered my "carbon footprint" and is better for the environment by not purchasing newspapers/magazines. I buy 100% of clothes from thrift shops, which saves money and helps the planet by recycling "gently used" clothing still in excellent condition and quite stylish. I cancelled my gym membership and joined free aerobic exercise classes/hiking clubs offered from Meetup.com announcements. I got rid of my car and switched to bike riding, walking and public transit. This saves over $8,000 a year and dramatically lowered my personal consumption of fossil fuels/gasoline.
The biggest financial savings I experienced was significantly lowering my consumption of animal protein and adopting plant based nutrition meal plan. 85% of my food consumption is plant based - only 15% is animal protein. My health dramatically improved, I lost weight, plus I saved an enormous amount of money! I purchase 80% of groceries from local farmers markets which have rock bottom prices. Not only does this save me huge sums of money, but the added benefit of "shopping local" and keeping my dollars circulating in my own community and supporting small, independent, local family farmers who practice Sustainable Agriculture, Biodynamic, Permaculture practices. I also saved a great deal of money by joining a local community garden and growing food on my 10x10 plot. Practicing "SPIN Planting" = small, plot, intensive, planting using trellises tripled the amount of food I can grown on a 10x10 community garden plot. I also save money growing food in containers inside my apartment, next to very sunny windows.
In closing, the best philosophy is to not view myself as "living in poverty". I do not have "poverty consciousness"! Although, my annual income is barely enough to keep a kitten alive, because I am completely focused on my university studies and am a serious scholar in pursuit of professional development and elevated levels of self-autonomy and have Internal Locus of Control, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am confident I can turn this situation around! My credo is "Keep Hope Alive!"