The economy might be at an all-time high, but many of us are struggling to make ends meet. Whether you’re stuck in a part-time job or can’t find a replacement after a corporate layoff, you need money to pay the bills. Facing desperate financial times? Here are five tips that might help.
Track Your Spending
One of the best ways to get through trying times is to know where your money is going. Do this by tracking spending. Knowing where funds are escaping to every month can be a real eye-opener. You may find you’re losing money you weren’t aware of.
Do you have an unused gym membership you keep renewing? What about any recurring late fees you might be able to avoid? Cutting unnecessary expenses can add up to a lot of savings.
Enter all your info into a helpful tracking app like Mint or Wally. The results may shock you. Make adjustments and start building up your savings once again.
Don’t Go Out to Eat
Friday night seafood and pasta might be a fun indulgence, but you may need to cut back if you want to stay on a budget. Even small expenses can put a dent in your wallet.
That $5 fast-food sack lunch may seem like a huge money-saver, but if you do it every day, five days a week, you’re spending $100 a month on lunch alone. That’s money you could be spending on necessities or putting into a savings account. Try meal prepping for the week and packing inexpensive lunches instead.
Avoid Accumulating More Debt
It can be easy to turn to loans or more credit card debt to get by, especially when you’re suffering a major income loss. This is one of the worst actions you can take. People who turn to extra lines of credit to pay for everyday living expenses often find their debt snowballing to even more unmanageable depths. Instead of adding to your debt, cut back on extras like cable television and shopping with friends.
Look for a Lucrative Side Gig
Adding to your household income is the ultimate goal when money is tight. A second job is sometimes out of the question, so look for work you can do at home or in your spare time. Some fun ideas include:
- Mystery shopping at your favorite stores. BestMark is a reputable site to try.
- Taking pictures of help wanted signs for cash with Job Spotter through Indeed.
- Recording English-speaking voice overs through sites like VoiceBunny.
Side gigs might not always make a lot of money, but if you hustle, you can make enough to pay off emergency expenses or chip away at your debt.
Learn How to Save at the Grocery Store
The average American spends around 6% of their income on food costs and another 5% going out to eat. Either way, the food bill consumes a whopping 11% of most household budgets. Learn ways to save at the store by sticking to a food budget. A few strategies to try include:
- Shopping around for rock-bottom deals at local stores.
- Utilizing Catalina and manufacturers’ rebates and coupons.
- Looking for markdowns on breads, veggies and meats that can be frozen.
- Visiting bakery outlets, where you can save big on breads and other baked goods.
- Planning meals and avoiding expensive snacks and drinks.
A few dollars here and there can add up. Careful spending can help you get through hard times, and you might even build a savings along the way.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Bills still have to be paid and everyone needs to eat. Don’t bury your lifestyle in debt. Cut costs and persevere through. Tomorrow is a new day!
~Here’s to Your Success!
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