Does pay day feel a little too far away? Are you running on fumes with still another week of the month to go? Sadly, you’re not alone. Nearly 80% of Americans have been reported to be living from paycheck to paycheck, says a 2017 survey conducted by CareerBuilder. So, what to do? If you’re not in a position to increase what goes into your bank account, you might want to consider decreasing what goes out. Here’s what you should know about buckling down and making the most of your savings at the end of the month.
Check Yourself. First things first. Breathe. Don’t let the situation put you into a panic. A racing mind doesn’t always think clearly. Take a moment for some deep breaths and let all that anxiety flow out with the past. Remember that you will make a plan and you will get through this.
Tighten Your Belt. Take into consideration how much you spend and where you spend it. Think groceries, transportation, and other necessities. If you have cable, streaming services, or cell phone packages, consider cutting back or cutting them out completely. If possible, try walking, biking, or carpooling to work. At this stage, every dollar counts.
Get Crafty in the Kitchen. Depending on funds, you may need to cut spending on food altogether, so be prepared to get creative. Take inventory of food items in your pantry and research budget-friendly recipes. Before visiting the grocery store, research coupons and sales. And if you’re not into cooking, there are plenty of restaurants where kids can eat free on certain days of the week.
Pick Up a Side Gig. Seasonal and temporary jobs are a great way to make a little extra cash. Selling gently used clothes and household items can also help bring in some quick funds. Make sure to do your research and take stock in your skills. It could be a great opportunity to add some extra experience to your resume too!
Set a Weekly Budget. It’s said the best defense is a good offense. Budgeting may not be easy to do on pay day, but end-of-the-month you will totally appreciate it. If you’re paid once a month, split your income into 4 weeks of expenses so you don’t overspend too quickly. If you’re paid twice a month, set aside money for bills and rent payments. An emergency fund is also a great fallback plan, so adding a little here and there with every paycheck definitely helps.