This is a guest post by Emma Jorgensen. Emma Jorgensen likes to write about finance, shopping & credit score ratings.
The biggest problem that most people have these days is stretching their cash from one week to the next. With household bills, fuel expenses, and other costs, it is quite difficult for money to last. Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem of living check to check. It requires a careful system of advanced planning, coupled with tight monitoring of spending habits. Becoming a smart saver may not happen over night. It might require a trial and error period. However, the following tips will help you to avoid running out of cash before the next paycheck:
1. Write Down Your Weekly Expenses
In order to make your money last, you have to keep track of what you will need to put out each week for bills and normal living. Make the paper and pencil your best friends. Scratch down a plan for what you will pay when your money hits your hands.
2. Know What You Have Coming
If you know your rate of pay and the hours you worked for the previous week, calculate your paycheck ahead of time. This will help you to sort out the amount of money that you will have left over after you pay your bills. Be sure to allow for taxes. You can use 20% as a figure that will come out of your paycheck before you receive it. Your taxes may not be that much, but that is alright. It means you will have more money to play with.
3. Say no to Impulses
Everyone tends to get a little impulsive at times, but there are things that you simply cannot do as an adult trying to exercise smart spending. Instead of giving in to your impulses and purchasing a brand new Xbox 360 or plasma television, wait until you have some money saved up. You can start your own personal impulse layaway fund. Take a few dollars each week and put them toward the fun things that you want. With patience, you will be able to afford those items in time.
4. Stay at Home Whenever Possible
Avoid driving your car whenever such is possible. Fuel is one of the culprits to a quickly dwindling bank account. If you want to have fun try playing board games at home with your family or watching movies on free cable stations. Cook inexpensive meals instead of dining out.
5. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The out of sight out of mind technique works great for people who have trouble holding onto cash. What you can do is have your spouse or family member hide money some place in the house where you cannot find it. After a few days, you will most likely forget about the extra money. If you do not realize it is there, you cannot spend it. The only drawback to this trick is if the other person forgets about it also. Then again, you might find it weeks later when you really need it.
6. Always Look for Bargains
Another reason why people end up spending one paycheck before the next is laziness. Sometimes folks just want to go to the store and get the shopping done with so bad they miss bargains. You must always stay aware of bargains. Use coupons, discount codes, and newspaper circulars wherever you go. You will be pleased with how much cash you save throughout the course of the week.
Try these six tips out for just one week and you will notice a change in your financial situation. You will notice that on payday you actually have more than a couple nickels to spare.