The good news is, there are some steps that might help you escape this difficult situation so you aren’t left waiting with an empty bank account for your next deposit. Now, these won’t necessarily work for everyone because there are some people whose wages are truly too low to come close to living on. But these tips could help in many situations.
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Unfortunately, this can cause a host of problems. Not only is it stressful to know you don’t have money in your bank account if you need it, but you could also find yourself forced to borrow when a pressing expense arises before your paycheck clears.
Here’s what they are.
1. Make and live on a budget
If you’re running out of money in between paychecks, then it’s a good idea to budget every dollar to see where your money is going. Start by tracking your spending to identify possible cuts — and then try to make a budget that includes reasonable spending reductions to ensure your spending stays within your income.
If you find you can’t cover all of the essentials with your income, then a budget isn’t going to fix your problem by itself. But at least it helps you to identify how big your shortfall is so you can make other modifications. If you’re lucky, though, you’ll find that it’s possible to reduce your spending in a few key areas and end up with enough money to cover your bills. If that’s the case, sticking to your budget will ensure your money lasts. You can work with an accountability buddy to help you do that, or try techniques such as putting the money you’ve budgeted into an envelope for each spending category and no longer spending on that category once the money in the envelope is gone.
2. Cut your fixed expenses For many people, it’s really hard to cut enough out of their budget to stay within their income — and doing so may mean stripping all of the fun from your budget.
The reality is, if you budget $0 for entertainment, dining out, or clothing, you’re just setting yourself up to fail at sticking to your budget. You need to be reasonable about what you can live with for the long term, including allowing for some fun. But, there is an easier way to make budget cuts than reducing all of your discretionary expenditures. You can do it by cutting fixed expenses. Chances are good that your rent or mortgage, car payment, and a few other fixed expenses are your largest monthly bills. If you can find a way to lower one of them, you’ll only have to make one big change once instead of giving up all your habits.
If your income is the problem, rather than your spending, there may be some government benefits you could take advantage of, such as: SNAP benefitsTemporary Assistance for Needy FamiliesMedicaidState, county, or local programs in your area
3. Look into government benefits This could mean getting a less expensive car, moving to a cheaper place, or getting a roommate. Yes, all of these things would require a major adjustment. But once you moved or traded your vehicle down, you’d just have to stick with the status quo and would probably quickly get used to it (especially if you enjoy having the extra money you’ve freed up).