The struggle is a familiar one – your bank account approaches that dreaded ‘0’ and in come the negative, anxiety-riddled thoughts about how you’re going to make it to your next payday. If you’re currently in the midst of this moment, take a deep breath and don’t be too hard on yourself. Everybody goes through times like this, and there’s always a learning opportunity at the end of it. Here are four strategies to help you get through until your next payday.
1. Lean On Your Support Networks
It’s easy to dismiss one declined transaction or a couple of extended due dates, but if you are at risk of falling seriously behind on your financial obligations, you can’t afford to ignore the problem. Not being able to cover your basic living expenses is when you need to call in a favor. If you can’t borrow from someone you trust, turn to small cash loans from a reliable, not-for-profit lender for emergency expenses rather than a payday lender or credit card. This is a safer loan option as the fees are lower and more transparent.
2. Commit To Simpler Home Cooking
You don’t need to stock up on cookbooks or feel guilty for not being a home-cooking enthusiast. Preparing a different, ‘restaurant-quality’ meal every day isn’t necessary but committing to cooking all your meals yourself, is an excellent way to save dollars on food and medical expenses as it’s generally much healthier. Your meal prep doesn’t need to take a day’s work. You can prepare a couple of simple, one-pot meals or bake in big batches so that you can refrigerate and freeze portions to enjoy on different days.
Another great way to stretch your dollar with home-cooking is to buy versatile groceries, so cooking doesn’t have to feel like such a chore. If you live with your partner, family, or housemates you can also share the responsibility of cooking dinner on different days. This way, the task is not always up to you and you can enjoy meals you wouldn’t have otherwise had.
3. A Fortnight of Only Free Entertainment
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), the average American spends over $2,000 on entertainment. While you don’t need to cull everything you enjoy just to save money, a break from certain expenses can really help you free up some funds and reevaluate your spending. Before you hit ‘unsubscribe’ for two weeks, prepare yourself with alternatives:
- Download your movie watchlist in advance
- Check out free entertainment options online
- Explore free trials for streaming platforms you haven’t used before
- Enquire about entertainment services available from your local community library
With so much content available, you may just find your next favorite binge-worthy series!
4. Trade-In Your Old Tech
How many spare phones do you really need? While a lot of people will keep a phone for travel or emergency purposes, holding on to multiple devices, or broken handsets isn’t going to do anything for you.
The same can be applied to old laptops, computers, televisions, screen monitors, music players, e-readers, gaming devices, and more. Technology can be traded in for cash or loans at certain tech stores, resellers, pawnshops. If your item is in good condition you can set a price and try selling online through a classifieds site or social media. If you have old Apple tech, be sure to check the value before selling as some items are collectible.
Now that you’re familiar with how easy money-saving strategies can be, the next choice you make is up to you. Which of the above four will you be trying out?