You are probably tired of hearing that you need to make a budget, but if you’ve found yourself maxed out and low on cash, you have a problem with spending more than you earn.
Here are some tips for when you max out your credit card and are low on cash.
1. Make a budget.
It is absolutely essential to make a budget and stick to it.
To get started, write down how much money you bring in every month.
Next, write down all of your monthly bills and expenses and the approximate amount they cost. Some bills may vary (for example, your electricity bill) but use your best guess. Include gas, food and prescription medications.
Subtract the total amount of expenses from your total amount earned.
If the number is positive, that is the approximate amount of disposable income you have to work with each month. For the time being, use that cushion to pay down your credit card debt.
Once your debt is paid off, you can put that money toward savings or even having some fun.
2. Change your lifestyle.
If that number is negative, you have a fundamental problem of your lifestyle being too expensive for your income.
Things you once deemed necessary, like cable TV or eating out, must be cut so you no longer live beyond your means and stop burying yourself in debt.
Does it feel impossible? It’s not.
“It is time to adopt
a frugal lifestyle.”
Here are some easy ways to save money to get you started:
- Do you hate cooking? Get a crockpot. It is incredibly easy, and the long cook time at a low temperature can make even rough, cheap meat taste tender and delicious.
- Cook larger meals for dinner so you can eat leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Cancel cable and switch to Netflix or Hulu (both have plans around $8 per month.)
- Instead of buying new clothes, have a clothing swap with friends who are similar in size. Simply get together at one person’s house, bring all of the clothes you no longer want anymore and shop in your friends’ closets. You’ll be surprised how many wonderful and gently-used items people are simply tired of and are happy to give away for free.
- Barter services instead of paying. If you need a repair in your house, maybe you can ask your handyman neighbor to fix it in exchange for you babysitting his kid on a Friday night.
3. Make more money.
What if you can’t, or refuse, to cut your expenses? Then you need to find a way to bring in more money.
For some people, this may mean taking a second job.
For others, it may mean doing some freelance work. This is ideal for writers, designers, computer programmers and other people who can contribute to projects for extra revenue.
You can use sites like Elance.com or Guru.com to find work.
If you fancy yourself a jack-of-all-trades, consider letting your neighbors know by word of mouth or with a flier in the mailbox that you are available to help with odd jobs.
Photo source: dailyfinance.com