We’ve all been in a position where we’re counting down the days to payday. Bills seem to stack up around us, the thought of grocery shopping is a nightmare, and you seem to have a thousand social events in your calendar that are starting to make you sweat. Sound familiar?
Budgeting when you’re broke seems like an impossible mountain to climb but is a necessary evil to get you through to the blessed relief of payday. These simple tips will help you to prioritize, budget and get you through to your next paycheck without sending your bank account into a massive decline in the meantime:
Evaluate Your Immediate Payments
Sit down and look at how much you have available until your next payday. Making a priority list of needs versus wants will help you map out what you have to play with for the rest of the pre-payday period. Irrespective of how carefully you analyze and plan, sometimes simple budgeting isn’t going to cut it. In such cases, Looking at small cash loans is a short-term, manageable way to tackle months where unexpected bills come through, taking away the burden of financial stress.
Create a Future, Achievable Budget
Setting aside time once a month to look at your finances will save you stress, help you avoid mismanagement and will save you time as well. Look at how much income you have for the month, then calculate how much of that must be set aside for non-negotiables – rent, bills, debt etc. The remaining amount is up to you to manage in terms of spending and saving. Once these are crystal clear in your mind, and in your bank account, you can set up tools to ensure you stick to these numbers.
Reconsider Your Transport Options
If you drive, consider public transport routes that will help save on petrol. If you already take public transport but are still feeling the pinch, consider walking part of the way. While it may only save you a couple of dollars, it all contributes to your bigger goal.
Spending money on takeout, eating out or buying premium ingredients is an easy way to overspend. Going to farmers markets or local grocers often saves precious dollars compared to buying at larger supermarkets. Double up on your savvy food budgeting by making meals like soup, bulk casseroles or slow cooker meals and freezing them for times where you’re strapped for cash. This will not only help your preparation skills but will also be kind to your wallet in the long run.
Say Goodbye to the Little Luxuries
We all have a trusty barista who knows us better than our own mothers. We all pop to the grocery store a few times a week to pick up extra bits and bobs. Taxis, heating and pricey social activities – these all have to be reconsidered while you get your finances together. Long walks with friends, making your own coffee (gasp!) and using what you already have in the cupboard won’t actually do you any harm until you have a little extra cushioning in your bank account. Be realistic and sort the needs from the wants until you have your finances under control.
Financial stress is a heavy burden to carry, especially if it’s a recurring cycle paycheck to paycheck. Taking the time to budget accurately and calculate reasonable amounts to save and considering high priority vs low priority costs is a hard habit to get into, especially if you’re on a particularly low wage. However, it’s a highly valuable skill to have, and your bank account will thank you for it in the long run.