When you have a family to support and bills to pay, it can be hard to make money last. Even if two people in the home are working, it can feel like you’re never going to get ahead with the money that you make. First, create a budget that works with the money that you make each week. After your budget, follow a few tips to make your paycheck last longer.
Avoid the Extras
Going out to eat or going to the movies is nice when you have the extra money, but if you’re barely getting by, then these treats need to be taken out of your budget. Avoid getting extra items at the grocery store as well. If you just can’t seem to bring yourself to getting rid of everything at one time, then consider cutting back on half the amount until you can fully put aside a treat or two each month.
If you have an emergency or you find that every bill is due at one time, then consider taking out a small loan. There are cash advance loan companies like Payday Express that don’t look at credit as much as a bank would, making it easier to secure the loan. Some loan companies will give a small personal loan to get you by until your next check. If you decide to go this route, however, be sure to pay back your loan as soon as you get your next check. Loan companies of this nature can be a useful tool, but they typically have highly elevated interest rates and can end up hurting far more than they help if the loan is left unpaid for too long.
Whenever possible, use cash when you make purchases. Make a list before leaving home, and stick to the items that are on that list. This will prevent you from getting some of the extras that you don’t have the money for at the time. Set a budget for everything that you have to pay for, such as food and utilities. If there’s not enough cash for something, then it will have to wait until the next week. Using cash instead of a credit card will also mean that you’re not paying the extra fees and interest rates associated with the card.
Walking into a grocery store can sometimes make you cringe. The produce department seems to be extraordinarily high at times, and the meat is usually not affordable unless it’s on sale. One way to make your check last longer is to buy local. Go to farmer’s markets and meat markets in the area to get fresh foods instead of paying the higher prices at a grocery store. Your meals will often be tastier as well with the fresh ingredients.
Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t something that is enjoyable, but you do what you have to in order to survive. Cut back on unnecessary expenses, such as an extra bag of chips or going to the movies. When you plan where your money is going, then it’s easier to stretch what you have.