It can be difficult finding the money for all your expenses in tight financial times, but if you find yourself short at the end of most months, you may want to reconsider the way you budget. Here are a few tips you can use to stretch your monthly budget further.

If surprise expenses have affected your ability to pay for budget necessities, you may also be able to get some extra help with a payday loan from Cash Fast Loan Center in Gastonia, North Carolina.

Payday Loans and Other Ways to Make Your Budget Go Farther

Prioritize Expenses

At the start of each month, it is important to sit down and settle on financial priorities. Before you spend a penny, decide which of your monthly expenses are the most important. This list should have housing, utilities, and food at the top. These expenses should ideally fall just under 50% of your income. When these costs are taken care of, spend about 20% of your income on debt. Whatever money is leftover can be spent on entertainment and other discretionary expenses.

Set Aside Money for Necessities

Once you budget out your high-priority payments, pay them immediately. If you can’t pay early, set the cash aside in an envelope. This puts this money out of play while you spend on wants through the month.

Make Allowances

Split the money you have leftover further. Set aside as much as you’re comfortable with to go into a savings account. The rest can go towards whatever you want to spend it on. If you’re can’t manage to save any money, you may need to examine your buying habits to see if there are places you can spend less.

Track Your Spending

Keep a record of everything you buy. If you have a debit card, you can look at your statements. If you don’t, carry a pocket notebook and make a log. At the end of the month, break each expenditure into categories, like entertainment, meals out, shopping, travel, or gifts.

You may find that you spend more on certain areas than others. Maybe you spend a lot on gas station snacks. Perhaps you go to the movie theater too often. Use this knowledge to change your behavior.

Look Out for Common Budget Drainers

Dig through your monthly expenditure records for some easy cuts you can make. For instance, if you have Roku, Hulu, or Netflix, you can probably cut your cable service and save around $80 a month. Some other typical budget drains include:

  • Meals out
  • Coffee
  • Data-heavy mobile phone plans
  • Trips to the theater

Avoid Credit Cards

When you aren’t drawing from an amount of cash or a finite checking account, it can be easy to spend over budget. This is what makes credit cards dangerous. It can be easy to talk yourself into making small charges past your budget, as long as you pay them back immediately. Small charges add up, and before long, paying down your credit card becomes one of your biggest expenses.

Adjust Your Budget and Plan Ahead

One budget plan won’t cover you for every month. You can’t plan for all expenses, but make sure to account for ones you can prepare for. For instance, you’ll need to set some money aside for gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays. Keep your budget flexible and rework it and the start of each new month.

Take Out a Payday Loan

If an expense comes that you didn’t expect, don’t let it derail your budget. You can get back on track with a payday loan from Cash Fast Loan Centers. We have convenient locations near Gastonia, North Carolina, and appointments take just 15 minutes.