The struggle of being paid monthly as opposed to weekly is a huge one. When that glorious payday arrives, you feel invincible, on top of the world. A week later, your clothes are torn, you’ve no food, you can’t pay your bills and your bank balance is zero.
Well, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not a million miles away from the truth. With so many things to spend our cash on these days, it’s a wonder that we can even survive halfway to payday. Let alone all of it!
And this post is dedicated to that group of people, the compulsive spenders, the shoppers and the household-runners. It would be better to be paid weekly, but it is possible to stretch yourself all the way to the end of that month.
1. Free trials and offers
What would life be without special offers? Probably a lot more difficult, that’s for sure. If you know you have to cut back until your next payday, but don’t want to sacrifice everything, free trials are your friend.
Still want to be able to watch all those movies? Sign up for a free Netflix trial for one month. Want to receive free e-books, delivery and promotional offers? Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime.
It’s not only entertainment that can be supplied for free, either. You can sign up for free trials at signs like Graze and Blue Apron, services that deliver you food to your doorstep. You won’t be able to live off this method, but it can certainly help you save some cash until payday.
2. Payday loans
As the name implies, payday loans are a way for you to borrow all the cash you need until payday. Perhaps your mortgage or utility bills need paying, and you don’t have the pennies to scrape together. Or, maybe the boiler’s on the blink or the roof is leaking.
Whatever the case, it’s quite easy to be able to borrow the money you need nowadays. As always, with any kind of loan, be sure that your next paycheck will cover it and read the terms and conditions thoroughly.
3. Visit your parents
The bank of mom and dad is one that never stops giving, but that’s not the only way your parents can help you out. If you haven’t seen them a while, now is the perfect time to invite yourself round for dinner.
This way, you can have a good old chinwag and you get a delicious meal to boot - without spending a penny. At the very least, you’ll save a little bit of money that would have otherwise been spent on that meal.
4. Apply for an overdraft
An overdraft is simply an extension of the funds in your bank account. It allows you to keep spending past 0.00, but the fees that you’re charged for this are rather high, so keep this as a last resort.
Not every bank will let you apply for an overdraft at such short notice, but it’s worth looking into. In most cases, you’ll need to fill in a brief application form online, but you can also go in branch or give them a call.
Pro-tip: research whether or not your bank account has an overdraft buffer attached. A buffer is a portion of your overdraft that you can use without being charged for it.
5. Food shelters
Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t just there for homeless people to get a quick bite. If you’re struggling to eat and make ends meet, it’s perfectly reasonable to pop down yourself. Food shelters have been the saving grace of thousands of college students around the globe, and there’s no reason you can’t benefit too.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, food shelters provide free food, shelter and clothing to those who need it most. Now if you have a steady job and just need to last until your next payday, don’t abuse this service. But there’s no reason you can’t bob by for a meal or two.
6. Budget brands
At the end of the day, consumer goods are consumer goods, no matter their label. The cheapest brand that’s sold by the store will taste just as good as the most expensive brand. You don’t have to go for the pricier option when the cheaper option will do.
The same goes for pretty much all your groceries. Who cares about a well-designed package or a witty tagline on their milk carton? A carton of milk is a carton of milk - swapping posh brands for home brands can significantly cut your shopping bill.
7. Reduce your bills
Rather than trying to survive until the end of the month, why not try and reduce your end of month costs?
- Try going to internet cafes and libraries to use their wifi rather than building up your bill.
- Take a shower at the gym or leisure center, or use your friends/parents house.
- Eat food that’s ready prepared so you don’t have to turn on the oven/microwave.
- Leave the lights off in your house, and use the torch on your phone to get around.
- Every time you have a bath, save the water and keep it stored in buckets. You can now use this to flush the toilet!
- Open your curtains and blinds fully to let sunlight in. This can both brighten and heat your home.
Some of these methods may be a bit extreme, but desperate times, desperate measures!
8. Pick up some part-time work
If you’re willing to mow someone’s lawn, cut someone’s hair or babysit, you can earn a little bit of cash for minimal effort. Alternatively, ask friends or family members who run businesses if there are any short shifts going each week. Everything you earn can quickly add up.
Plus, this way, you have a steady role to carry forward to the next month, and the month after. So each time you struggle with the payday wait, you’ve got some income to turn to.