For some, keeping your spending in check can be difficult. You may be the type to spend your money as soon as it comes your way, leaving you with very little to work with from payday to payday. Learning how to budget yourself and where your missed opportunities for saving are can help you limit unnecessary costs and stretch the length of time your income lasts you.
Put yourself on a daily budget
Once your necessary expenses have been paid, count how many days you have until your next payday. Divide the amount of income you have left over from paying your bills by that number of days. The result will be the total amount you have available to spend every day.
This should prevent you from spending all your money at one time and leaving you with very little to no money between paychecks. Only permitting yourself to use a little at a time and understanding that you have a limit to how much you can spend will mean not dropping funds on impulse costs, saving you money.
Cut out unnecessary expenses
Eliminating indulgent, unnecessary costs from your budget is an easy way to cut back on your spending. Some of the things you find yourself paying for regularly can be left behind or saved for when you’re more financially stable. You might even be surprised to find that you don’t want to go back to them. Here’s a list of things you can get rid of or cut back on:
- Dining out/fast food
- Coffee runs
- Gym membership
- Beauty products
You should sit down and examine where your money is going. Some things you pay for are needs, and some are wants. While you can keep some of your wants in your budget, keep them to a minimum so you can be sure you’re making the most of your income.
Ask for a raise
Sometimes, increasing your income is as easy as asking for it. If you’re a good employee and can make a case for yourself about your job performance, go to your supervisor and request a raise. Make sure you’ve thoroughly thought through why you deserve it. Be confident. In certain cases, the only way to get a raise is to speak up for yourself.
Get a side job
If you’re seriously tight on money, it may be time to consider a side job outside of your full-time job. Picking up a shift or two at your local grocery store or coffee shop every week can be a good way to bring in just a little bit of extra income to keep you going.
There are also plenty of ways to start making money from your own home. Be careful not to overwork yourself, but be prepared to take on the extra responsibility if you do find yourself stressing for funds.
Use coupons and lists
When grocery shopping, make a list of what you need to feed and provide for yourself and your family between paychecks. Then find corresponding coupons to anything that you can that is on your list. Take advantage of deals in stores and, occasionally if necessary, online. Take your list and coupons with you to the grocery store and only buy exactly what you outlined that you need. If it helps, eat and hydrate before you go shopping so you aren’t tempted to buy more than what you budgeted for.
Stick to cash
Making cash payments instead of card payments can be a surprisingly simple way to reduce spending. Holding the cash physically in your hand and having to dish out the money every time you make a payment has been shown to make consumers more aware of how much they’re spending.
When using a card, you don’t think as much about how much money you’re using up – you just swipe a card without getting to see and touch the money. Visibly watching your cash dwindle will make you more cost conscious.
While it may take some effort on your end to adjust your spending habits, it is possible to make your paycheck last longer (or even just increase the amount on your paycheck). Doing what you can to prevent overspending will lead to less stress when it comes to handling your paycheck. Start with a change or two at a time – you’ll be glad you did!