Budgeting isn’t very fun. I mean, getting all your expenses, savings, and income all together can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. And if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it can be hard to determine the budget for the month and get ahead on a small income.
But having said that, I’ve gathered some of the best ways to get a month ahead even if you’re not making a lot. These are tips and tricks that’ll help you save more and live better. Applying these hacks to your life can bring you to financial freedom. So try them out and let me know what you think!
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Keep It Simple
When your budget is really tight, there’s no need to make things complicated. Especially for things like food, clothing, and entertainment; keep it simple. You have a lot of cheaper yet same quality options and ideas when it comes to your needs.
So for instance, your meal planning. Why not make a filling and nutritious meal that only needs basic ingredients? Check Pinterest, you can find plenty of easy, tasty, healthy, and cheap recipes that you’ll definitely love. If you can make them the day before, they’ll be rich and flavorful when you serve them to your family.
Build a Pantry Stockpile
Stocking up your kitchen with produce, meat, and other groceries will help you save a ton.
Learning when and what to get in bulk every time the grocery store goes on sale will help you save a ton. Be sure to compare the cost per unit, weight or volume of the bulk version to the usual size. Sometimes, bigger isn’t necessarily better and you’re actually better off buying the standard size.
Save on Electricity
Your electrical bill contributes a lot to your household expenses. With almost everything in your home relying on electricity, it always makes sense to save up and cut down the cost. So how can you save on electricity?
One way can be done by simply unplugging your appliances when not in use. Even if they’re not on, keeping unplugs in can still run energy, increasing your bills. Another way is by getting a programmable thermostat. Compared to constant temperature thermostats, programmable ones can keep your monthly bills down while still keeping your home warm or cool.
Don’t Use Credit Cards
Refraining yourself from using your credit cards means refraining from going into debt. Credit cards allow you to borrow money, with the promise that you’ll pay it back at the end of the month with a fee in the form of interest.
Opting to use cash in any transactions is always your best bet. It’ll make you more accountable for your finances and make sure that you’re not owing anyone anything.
Get Money Back When You Shop
Who doesn’t like getting something back when they’ve just spent money right?
So if you’re looking for some money saving apps to help you save more and get ahead this month with your income, here are my two most favorite rebate apps:
RetailMeNot: This one is literally like having thousands of coupons in your pocket or purse. You’re able to look for coupons for basically any store out there, show the coupon on your phone through the app, have the cashier scan the coupon, and just like that you’ve saved money. None of the hassle of printing or cutting coupons.
SnipSnap: Almost the same as RetailMeNot, however, it has an awesome feature that I love. You can take a picture of the item at the store, then SnipSnap will identify it and find you the best coupon to use. No searching to find the right coupon; it does it for you.
Stay Out of Restaurants
Limit yourself to eating out so you can get ahead this month. Instead of dining in expensive restaurants why not cut costs and opt to eat at home? Home cooked meals taste so much better and the price and health factors are of course great.
It’s okay to eat out occasionally but making eating out a regular habit can definitely get you behind.
Ditch Your Landline
Having a landline is not a vital necessity anymore. Get rid of your landline and get a cellphone plan, Skype, WhatsApp, or other free messaging apps that will help you save money.
You can save $30-$100 every single month by ditching your landline.
Look for Extra Income
Another common suggestion that’ll help you get ahead of your monthly finances is by getting a side hustle. If your 9-5 job doesn’t meet your needs, having a side gig for extra money is a must. Why not volunteer for overtime work, babysit a kid, sell your stock photos, or if you’re good at writing, try starting your own blog. It’s easy to do and a good source of extra income.
For more tips and advice on blogging, check out my post on how I made $3,000 in the third month of blogging
Save Something Every Pay Day
If you consistently save even a small amount from your income, over time it can grow and can be used to build an emergency fund. In times of unexpected events, you’ll find this rewarding and helpful. You won’t need to borrow money and start living paycheck to paycheck.
It may sound hard to do at first, but if you give it a try, it can make a huge impact on your budgeting.
Seriously, no matter how small or big your income is, it’s always possible to get a month ahead. With just a little planning, strategy, and applying these tips and tricks to your situation, you can stop living paycheck to paycheck. So give them a try and let me know you think!
Now, If you have questions or comments about this post, let me know in the comment down below. I’d love to help you out!