It happens to most of us.
Around the 20th, you suddenly realize you don’t have money to sustain you to the next payday.
You look back, but can’t seem to figure out how you spent your money. Yet, here you are – a week or two to payday, and you’re broke.
How do you survive until the next paycheck?
You’ll have to cut your expenses to almost zero. To help you avoid panic, use the following tips to help you survive between now and payday.
1. Create a budget and focus on the most critical expenses
Making a budget is not exciting, but it helps you carefully plan on spending the little money you have. A budget enables you to prioritize the most critical expenses.
Before buying anything else, sit down and write a list of necessary expenses due before the next payday. Essential expenses may include utility bills, transport, food, and loans.
Budgeting allows you to create a spending plan for your tight wallet. You’ll always have enough money for the most necessary expenses. Following a budget also keeps you out of debt and helps you work your way out of debt if you’re currently in debt.
Consider trying to negotiate with your creditors to reschedule or accept pat payments, the use the rest to pay for critical stuff such as food. Avoid buying more gas for scenic rides or unnecessary trips; instead, join a carpool.
2. Create a meal plan for ingredients you already have
Planning meals takes the guesswork out of what to cook. It also helps you plan meals around the available ingredients.
Scroll through Pinterest to get cheap meal plan ideas and write out what you will need for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Try to come up with meal plans that will allow you to have some days of leftovers.
Look through the pantry and cabinets to see what you can use to stretch your paycheck until the next payday.
Your grocery list will be shorter and cheaper because you don’t need to buy every ingredient for your recipe, saving you unnecessary expenses.
3. Try not to pay full-price – Use coupons.
Before you purchase, use coupons on top of the sale price to save you as much money as possible.
You can find printable coupons on loads of different websites. Ozbargain often has excellent, up-to-the-minute deals. It’ll take you just a few minutes to printout a coupon and find a store where the item is on sale.
Stick to items on sale and generic brands to make your dollar stretch. Most stores have their papers upfront, grab a copy and browse through the deals before you start shopping.
4. Avoid sales or promotions.
Retailers are smart and know how to create a sense of urgency or make you feel you’re missing out. Last-minute sales, promotions, and deep discounts make us buy stuff we don’t even need.
Remember, you are trying to stretch your cash between now and payday. Create your list ahead of time and stick to it – unless what you need happens to be on sale of course.
5. Pay with cash and keep the change.
You may want to hold onto cash instead of depositing it into your checking account and swiping away your debit card.
Withdraw all the cash and physically divide it into different expense categories.
Every time you get your change back, keep it in your pocket, toss it in the cup holder of your car, throw it in your purse. Little coins seem no big deal, but they eventually add up to quite a bit.
But there is a better way of doing this.
Instead of mindlessly discarding your change, please put it in the same spot each time. Take a look after a month, and it will surprise you how much it adds up.
Start a change jar, and dont be afraid to buy things with coins. Start to keep your change; turn to it every three or six months to see how much you’ve saved.
6. Go on a spending freeze and skip restaurants.
Put your checking account on lockdown when you are running low on cash.
It means no spending on anything unless it’s gas or groceries.
How do you put yourself on a spending freeze?
Prepare yourself and your family on why you intend to freeze spending. Determine a reasonable time, and find creative ways to make meals, have some entertainment. Plus, dont forget to learn from the experience.
You could save up huge amounts of money by simply getting rid of some unnecessary expenses. You can even start making your coffee at home instead of buying it on your way to work.
7. Avoid debt
Another way to stretch your cash between now and payday is not to spend money on debt and interest payments.
Think about this.
You use credit cards to buy items on sale. You’ll pay more for the item considering the interest you may have to pay if you make the minimum payment.
Paying with debit cards or cash gives you more spending power for your dollar.
Make your dollar go further.
Making your dollar go further gives you the financial freedom to accomplish your goals. Knowing how to stretch your cash is a skill you’ll use for the rest of your life.
These tips will also help you ensure that you have enough cash to buy the things you need, such as gas to get to work and back and groceries.
Will you give one or several of these tips a chance and make the most of your money this month?
Let us know in the comments section.
If you absolutely can’t stretch until payday, PressPay has your back to help you afford the essentials with a low, fixed fee advance until your next paycheck arrives.