If you find that you always have less money than expected at the end of the month, then you may need to follow some tips for managing your budget. When money’s tight, practicing smart financial decisions can help you get through stressful times.
At Lending Bear, we’re here to provide a financial boost if you need a loan. While loans can help you in a pinch, learning good budget management will help you towards better financial stability. In this guide, we’ve listed 5 tips for managing your budget when money is tight.
The first step to managing your budget is to make one. Many people find themselves just barely holding on or in the red each month without a clear idea of why.
To get a grasp on where your money is going, it’s helpful to sit down and make a list of all of your monthly expenses. Start with your set-in-stone monthly bills like rent, car payments, Netflix, etc.
Then add on monthly expenses that may vary by the month such as gas, food, and utility bills. It’s a good idea to estimate on the high side so you can ensure you’ll save enough money. So if you spend between $400 and $450 a month on groceries, write down $450.
Next, write down your daily expenses that can add up, like that coffee and bagel you get every morning from your favorite coffee shop or cigarettes. Do you tend to hit the bar for a couple of drinks after work or frequent order take-out? What about your weekend entertainment expenses?
Once you have it all written down, you may be surprised to see how much your day-to-day expenses add up in conjunction with your monthly bills.
If you’re surprised by how much you spend on gas each month can you carpool to work, walk, bike, or take public transportation? Try to cut down on little things here and there like brewing coffee at home rather than buying from the coffee shop.
If you tend to eat out or get delivery, cooking at home can seriously cut down on your monthly expenses, helping you stretch your budget. Plus, you can learn a fun skill!
If you tend to go out on the town for entertainment, try attending free events or urban exploring. You can also host a potluck or at-home movie night with friends, have a bonfire or backyard dance party, etc.
You may find that your weekend entertainment expenses were adding up quite a bit and shifting toward free and low-cost entertainment may help stretch your budget.
If money tends to burn a hole in your pocket, try setting aside income for monthly expenses into a separate account or wallet. That way, you can ensure that your monthly bills are paid in full and on time each month, instead of accidentally blowing half your rent on a weekend of binge shopping.
If you can swing it, it’s always a smart financial move to set aside income each month in case of unexpected expenses. This could range from car repairs to a vet bill.
The more you’re able to plan, the less likely it is that you’ll find yourself in debt over budget mismanagement.
Everyone deserves a living wage. If you’re doing your best to manage your budget and still find yourself falling behind, it might be time to ask for a raise.
It can seem like an intimidating prospect, but wage and salary negotiation is a normal part of working. You may be pleasantly surprised if you talk to your boss about an hourly or salary increase.
At Lending Bear, we understand that sometimes we just need a boost to help us get on our feet. If you follow these tips for managing your budget and still need quick cash, contact us today and find out how we can help.