It’s barely a week past payday and already you’re counting down the days until the end of the month. Sound familiar? Making your paycheck last at least 30 days isn’t always easy, especially when you’ve a habit to go shopping on the first day and splurge it all at once. Guilty.
However, there are a few things that you can do to make them dollar bills last a little longer, and not leave you rationing the pennies as the month draws to a close.
- Prepare your meals – I’d say if I looked at a breakdown of what I spend my money on, quite a large chunk would go towards coffees, smoothies, snacks and lunches. By bringing your lunch to work and having your morning coffee in a flask rather than a €3.50 Starbucks cup, your bank balance will be left looking a lot happier. Same applies to water – don’t buy it! Invest in a Bobble and fill it up throughout the day.
- Save all “want” shopping until the middle of the month – Do you really need a new dress for Friday night? What about the one you bought last month that’s still hanging unworn in the back of your wardrobe? I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a little blinded when I enter Topshop or find myself browsing ASOS at night. But try your absolute best to save all shopping trips and sprees until the end of the month. The shops won’t run out of clothes, and by then you’ll know what you truly want, and you won’t leave yourself broke for four weeks.
- Take out savings/bills as soon as you get paid – If you’re planning to save €50 a month for a holiday, then set up a direct debit so the money comes out of your bank account the day that you get paid. The same goes for bills and any money you owe. Set all direct debits to go out the day that you get paid, that way the money is gone before you even had it and whatever you’re left with is what you have to spend.
- Take out cash – “I don’t carry cash, sorry”, is one of the most used phrases in my dictionary. Now I’m not saying to carry hundreds of euro around in your purse, but it’s a well known fact that it’s a lot harder to hand over cash than it is to tap in your pin code for you card. Have a certain amount of money in your purse that you allow yourself to spend throughout the week.
- Do your research – This applies to clothes, food, petrol – everything. Before you buy anything, look around and make sure you’re getting the best deal. Bus cards are much cheaper to buy and top up than individual bus fares, look for coupon codes online and do your food shop in the most economically friendly places that you can. All those little ten and twenty per cents add up.
- Think twice – If you’re convinced that you need a new pair of black heels, look at home before you buy them to make sure that you have nothing similar already. Or if you see 10 things you like on Missguided, go through them and see which you love the most or really need. Go back 24 hours later, and if you can’t remember what you “loved” without looking at your wishlist, then you really don’t need to buy it.
With a family wedding and holiday on the horizon, I really need to start taking these tips seriously myself. There’s always next month, right?