The following article was written by one of our contributors. You can know more about him in his author bio at the end of this post.
It’s really is hard to live a life when you’re too dependent on your paychecks. Having your life decisions rely so much on the date of your next paycheck can be frustrating.
Things like having dinner with your friends will have to wait until the next month or that late-night movie with the family may have to be cancelled because you don’t have the money to do them.
Sure, the economy may show some strength but that doesn’t mean we no longer need to save money, right?
You always know exactly what day you could get your next pay because you’re on your last few, dog-eared bills almost every month. You’re running out of money. You’re always running out of money.
It’s not really a good problem to have, is it?
Well, if you’re spending more than you’re earning, then you’re bound to run into problems of this sort. Your salary will not last long if you’re spending too much. That’s common sense. The good thing for you is there are things you can do to turn things around. I’ve come up with six easy steps that you could do to make your salary lasts longer than usual.
6 Steps To Make Your Salary Last Longer
Step 1: Know Yourself
Are you an impulsive spender? Do you think your credit card is a gift from the gods, and that you could swipe it for everything you like?
Maybe it’s time you accept the fact that you can’t have everything you want. If you can’t afford to buy the most expensive wrist unit or drive a newer car or a bigger house, then you shouldn’t force yourself in getting them. Be happy with what you have—not that it’s a justification to never want more. You can be happy with what you have while still working to have more. Just be comfortable with who you are, and that includes being comfortable with how much money you have.
Step 2: Work Out Your Expenses
Learn to track your money: how much is coming in and how much is going out—and to what. List your bills, rent, debts and daily expenses. When all that has been taken out of your pay, then spend what’s left—if there’s any left. If there aren’t, you should either cut down on your spending or look for ways to generate some extra cash on the side.
That’s a tip from our contributor when it comes to spending your money. What’s my tip for you?
Well, it’s to pay yourself first before you spend any of your monthly income. That way you’re certain that you have savings for each month which you could use in times of emergencies. It’s like one of the ways that millionaires do to save their money.
Check it out here: 10 Ways Millionaires Do To Save Their Money
Step 3: Start Budgeting
Do you have a budget? Never written one before? Why don’t you start on that now? If you really have to spend that Friday “girls only” night out with friends, then you must get the clubs and bars off your list. Spend the night at home, make a great plan for dinner, cook great meals, and invite your friends over. That’s how you enjoy life when you’re short on money.
Step 4: Use Cash, Not Card
Try not to use your card for your daily expenses. Withdraw enough cash to take care of that. Cash is much easier to track, and you actually see when it’s running out. This should discourage you from spending recklessly, especially when you see that your wallet is about to run dry. Try hard not to go to any ATM to withdraw any cash again before the week ends though. Otherwise, you’ll only end up running through your cash—forfeiting whatever you saved on using cash over your credit.
Step 5: Make Little Changes
Baby steps—remember to stick to baby steps. Every little amount counts. Keep the coins. Keep a piggy bank. Avoid taking cabs if necessary. Cancel unused your gym membership. Go home for lunch if you can. There are literally hundreds of ways you can do to save money. Remember to stay focused and keep your eye on the goal.
Step 6: Achieve Bigger Goals
If you finally managed to survive till payday without having to borrow money and still have a decent enough left to save, then you’ve done it. You’ve achieved your goal! However, don’t let this stop you from achieving bigger things. Why don’t you start saving for a bigger purchase? Get an insurance plan? Buy a house? A car?
Being wise about money is a continuous process. It doesn’t end just because you’ve finally learned to survive from payday to payday. It’s always better to be prepared. This way, you know you’ll be financially prepared, whatever happens.
Now, are you living a “paycheck to-paycheck” life? How are you coping up with it?
Ryan Del Villar is a writer and online marketing specialist at Money Max, Philippines’ leading online comparison portal. Ryan also writes articles for different websites during his spare time for extra income. He also worked as an online video editor before he started his writing career.
Photo Credit: Emily Conwell