It’s an easy situation to find yourself in – payday is still a few days away and you’re running on the dregs of your bank account with only a couple of pounds left to last you! These tips and tricks can help you both survive until payday now, while it’s painful and, if you use them all month round, make sure you don’t end up in dire straits month after month, too!
Ditch your card
Keeping track of your money can be tricky at the best of times, but with everything from auto-top up travelcards to contactless payments to the ability to pay using your smartphone becoming increasingly popular, it’s even harder to keep tabs on all your pennies. As much as it may seem a technological step backwards, leaving your plastic at home and going back to cold hard cash can be a great way to make your money last. Work out how much you can spend, withdraw it from your account, and divide it up by the number of days it has to last for. You’ll think a lot differently about those everyday impulses when you see the physical money disappearing from your wallet!
Become a night-time shopper
It is well known that supermarkets slap a discount on produce coming close to its use-by date in the evenings to help it sell and reduce waste, so if you’re penny-pinching, hunting down these bargain items can be a great way to keep yourself well-fed even when your bank balance is a little hungry. Most foods will freeze well, so it’s possible that you can pick up enough to last you a few days and freeze what you won’t eat that day. You might be pleasantly surprised by how luxuriously you can eat for a fraction of the original cost.
Cafes and restaurants that specialise in lunchtime food will also often mark down their sandwiches and salads towards the end of the day (sometimes by more than 50%) so picking up a treat of an evening meal instead of popping into the supermarket on your way home could be more cost effective if you play your cards right.
Another easy way to save some cash on your food shopping is to wave goodbye to branded products temporarily – you could save as much as 30% on your shop by buying generic own brand items. Some supermarkets will even discount the perfectly good veg that doesn’t quite match their beauty standards, so if you’re not put off by a few wonky carrots then you could really cash in!
These days, there are hundreds of apps with clever ways to make money in just a few swipes and taps. From completing online surveys in exchange for vouchers or even cash to picking up occasional extra work, there’s not much you can’t do through a smartphone in this day and age. Our favourites are Spacehop – an app that enables you to rent out your home as office space during the day to freelancers, bloggers and startups who need a change of scenery – and TaskRabbit, the app that enables you to get paid by the hour to pick up odd jobs here and there. You could even become a Deliveroo driver/rider as a way to make a little extra cash. Finding ways to survive until payday has never been easier.
When you’re running low on funds and wondering how you’ll survive until payday, making it into a challenge to see how little you can spend can be a way to tip the situation on its head and make you feel good about how thrifty you can be, rather than punishing yourself for running out of money before payday. Can you “downgrade” your commute to a walk or bike ride instead of driving or taking the train? How about trying to go a whole day without spending any money at all? Turning a potentially worrisome situation into a challenge can give you a real sense of accomplishment when you succeed, and who knows – you might even find yourself sticking to some of these habits to save money even after payday!
What do you do to save money when you’re already running low? Do you have any tips and tricks that help you survive until payday? Let us know in the comments!