In these tough economic times, more and more people are living paycheck to paycheck. It is especially difficult if you have children to look after or have debts to pay, but there are a few things that you can down in order to make the money you do have coming in go further.
It is extremely important to know exactly how much money you have coming in and how much you need to spend on essentials so that you can draw up a budget. First, write down all the money you have coming in on a weekly or monthly basis. This would include wages from work, any social security benefits you receive, and any other money you receive. Next, write down all the essential items that you spend money on each week or month. This will include rent, utility bills, food, gas, debts that you are paying off, and any other items that you cannot do without. Ideally the money coming in will be at least equal to what you have going out, but for many people what they have coming in just will not be enough.
If that is the case then you need to come up some ways to lower your costs. For example, if you drive a car, consider using public transport, or find out about cheaper and more economical ways to run your car. The easiest way to reduce your outgoings is to cut your food bill by purchasing store brand products instead of named brands. The food is still good quality but considerably cheaper. If you are shopping for food to use on that day then look in the reduced to clear section that many supermarkets have. This food is still perfectly safe to eat on the day of purchase, but it will go bad in a day or two. You could even freeze it when you get home for use at a later date. An important thing to do if you have debts is to see if you can negotiate a reduction in the rate at which you are paying your debts back. This can help remove a lot of pressure from your budget.
A few small but regular savings will add up over time meaning that your money goes further. This can turn a household budget around, giving you more money to work with and can make living paycheck to paycheck much easier to manage.