Being in a position where you have little income and a lot of bills is tough. Things need to change quickly, but how? When you feel in the depths of despair with your money situation, it is time to get serious about making changes. If you get to the end of the month and there is not enough money left over, this post is especially for you. Let’s talk about a few ways to make change possible so you can live the life that you want.
Too much month, not enough money?
No matter how much (or how little) money you make, you need a budget. It is absolutely important to know where your money is going so that you can pay your bills, save money, and stop wasting your hard earned cash. A budget is not meant to be a hard task that you are tied to every week, but a way of YOU controlling your money. Look at it in a positive way.
To get started, read this post which is the first of the series on personal budgets. Need a bit of extra help with the budget. Email me and let’s get started with a plan!
Envelope system for groceries
This is the #1 way that I saved my family over $400 in grocery money every month. The envelope is a visual way of keeping track of your money. When it is all in front of you and easy to count, you know exactly what you have left over for the month.
At the beginning of the month, you will need to withdrawal your grocery money for the month, for two weeks, or weekly (depending on how you are paid). If you are paid twice a month, take out your money twice a month, etc. Keep this money separate from all other monies in your wallet. You can use an envelope if you desire, money clips with labels, paperclips, or whatever you choose, but be sure that it is separate and labeled. Keep track of what you are spending in the grocery store so as to not overspend. You can take a calculator with you if you need to OR you can use this handy clicker counter.
Sell anything you don’t need
Did you know that the average American home has over 300,000 items in it? While we have increased the size of our homes, we have also increased our “stuff”. Truth be told, we probably do not need all of the things that we do have.
Go through your possessions and make a list of those things that you do not use or no longer want. Or, just set them to the side. Post them on Facebook, on Craigslist, take them to a consignment shop, or even sell to friends. When you do not have enough money left over at the end of the month, this will help put gas in your car for sure.
Subscriptions can be killers to the budget. Cable, magazines, clothing subscriptions, and so many more. These are not things that we NEED, rather items that we WANT. Take a hard look at what you are spending money on and cut the unnecessary. You could save yourself quite a bit of money depending on what you are getting each month.
Change your phone
There are many different phone options now. You can buy a prepaid phone, a plan with a big company, or go with one of the cheaper phone services. Many people get great service still with the phone companies like Cricket Wireless, Republic, and Metro PCS. Some of these companies use the same towers as the big named cell companies.
Use your resources
A lot of people don’t want to even mention government assistance, but I am not one of those people. If you are truly trying your best to make ends meet and still are getting nowhere, you may need help. There are many programs out there that can help you get by. Contact your local Health Department for information on getting resources such as WIC, food stamps, child care assistance, and more. Google it and you will be able to get better direction as each state is very different.
Just remember, there is no shame in asking for help if you need it.
Pick up a side job
A side job can be anything from working as a cashier at your local grocery store to selling your handmade goods. There are so many things that you can do for extra cash. Maybe your friends need a date night babysitter every week. Or a busy family wants to pay you to prep their food once a week.
This article has a lot of good ideas for making money. Check it out and see if any of them fit your personality, life, or income needs.
Take a hard look
Balancing a budget is seriously hard when there is not enough money to go around. It is time to really look at what you can do to improve your situation. With so many options out there, there is not much need to go without all of the necessary daily items. Make that budget (email me if you need a helping hand with this, seriously), then institute your grocery envelope system, sell anything you don’t need, cancel your subscriptions, change your phone carrier, ask for help, and increase your income.
It can be done. Believe me, believe in yourself. Then, get to work! There is no room for shame when it comes to talking about money. Making better financial decisions by seeking out help or working hard to change your circumstances is something to be applauded. And please, do not feel like you are alone. Matter of fact, about 47% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Let’s change that number!
What have you done in the past when there is not enough money left over, but you need to make ends meet?