Payday is almost here, and your heart is beating fast. It’s not because you’re excited, though; you’re scared that your cash might not make it through the home stretch and you need to make your paycheck last until the next payday.
It’s happened so often, you think you’d have lost your fear by now, or at least figured out a way to keep it from happening again. We can’t help you with the first (and frankly, that may not be a good idea), but we can definitely help you with the second.
Here are 8 foolproof ways of how to make your paycheck last till your next payday.
Make Your Paycheck Last : List your fixed expenses
First things first, to make your paycheck last, set aside money for the things you can’t live without. We don’t mean those sexy new killer heels either. We mean things like rent or mortgage, electricity, gas, groceries, transportation, and Internet.
Basically, this covers your fundamental needs to keep you alive, healthy, and sheltered every month. These are non-negotiable and should therefore be a priority, no questions asked.
Make Your Paycheck Last, the Second Step: List your variable expenses
Clothes, shoes, and cable or phone upgrades are important things but unnecessary for keeping you alive. Be very careful about evaluating this, and be flexible if you can’t afford it. You may have to pass until the next paycheck, but really, it can’t be that bad.
Set aside fun money
One common reason people can’t stick to a budget is because it’s too strict. You might be feeling virtuous during the start of the month, riding on the high of your newly-arrived paycheck. You set up lofty goals and pat yourself on the back for leaving very little or nothing for having fun, thinking you’re doing the right thing. By the end of the month, you lose it and blow all your remaining money on booze, shopping, or other non-necessity expenses.
Don’t make this mistake. Give yourself enough leeway each month to eat out, watch movies, or buy books.
Setting up emergency funds can help make your paycheck last
Unexpected events like losing your job, having a death in the family, or getting an emergency medical procedure can be the fastest way to drain your funds. Not only will this impact your budget for the whole pay period, it’ll probably throw your funds out of whack for the next few months or even years. By saving a little amount as an emergency every payday can actually help make your paycheck last till payday in the long run.
Pay your bills online
Most providers offer this service now for free, so why not take advantage? It’s cheaper, saves time and effort, easy to keep track, and it’s even environment-friendly.
Keep track of your expenses and use a tool
MS Excel is an easy way of laying out your budget and storing it on your smartphone. This way, your budget is always at the forefront of your thoughts.
Make little changes, and then turn them into habits
Your shampoo might be on the expensive side; why not switch to a cheaper brand? If you live close to work, you can try biking. New York City’s has Citi Bikes: it’s free and you get to work out.
Pay your debts
It may be easier to just make minimum payments on your credit cards every month, but those interests add up. Just think: you could’ve built up your savings—or already have enough for both salary savings and shoes—on the interest you were racking up each month.
It takes a bit of planning, and it might seem like a hassle when you’re just starting out, but with time and practice, it’ll be a cinch and will help make your paycheck last until the next payday.
Mark Yasay is a social media enthusiast and a writer for MoneyMax, the Philippines most comprehensive online platform for comparing financial- and telecom products and -services. MoneyMax aims to consistently find the best broadband plans, credit cards, loans, and other services and products that suit your needs.