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Saving money and increasing income

How can I make my money last until payday?

When you're waiting for payday, some months can seem much longer than others, especially if you're trying to pay off debt or struggling to manage your finances.

If you're worried whether your money will last until payday, these money-saving and budgeting tips can help.

Look at what money you have left until payday

If you haven't already, make a budget. This will detail the money you have left till payday, and all the bills and living costs you have to cover in the meantime. Once you've done this, you should have an idea of how much money you have left, and what you'll need to cover.

Set yourself a daily spending allowance

Once you've put together a budget, you'll know how much money you have left. Think about what you can comfortably spend each day leading up to payday. For example, one section of your budget should be for food. You could divide this total amount between the number of days left until payday. This'll give you a daily limit to stick to.

Keep a close eye on your spending

It's easy to lose track of what you're paying out each month, even on small purchases such as lunch meal deals and snacks.

There are free mobile phone apps you can download which'll help you track your spending. They can also help you spot areas where you can save money.

Keep a spending diary

A spending diary can not only help you track what you spend each day, but how you were feeling at the time. For example, you might feel the urge to 'boredom shop' during your lunch break. If this is the case, a spending diary can help you spot a pattern you should break. You can then avoid feeling bored during lunch by reading a book or listening to a podcast instead.

Check for cashback and points you can spend

Do you use cashback websites? You may have some available credit on your account that you can trade in for cash. If possible, try trading the cashback in for a specific retailer or chain. This'll often give your cashback an extra boost.

Do you have a card where you collect points while shopping? Now's the time to see if you can use these points to reduce your food shopping or other living costs.

Plan your meals until payday

Take a look at what food you currently have in the cupboard and freezer. How many meals can you make out of this food? Would buying some staples such as pasta and rice make these ingredients stretch further? Planning your meals can help prevent you spending more money on food than you'd like. Also, batch cooking and freezing food can help your meals go even further.

Remember: you should never go without nutritious food or proper meals in order to pay off debt or maintain a budget. If you're already cutting back on food or worrying that you might have to, please get in touch with us.

Check you're getting the best deals on your bills

When was the last time you checked to see if you could get a better deal on your energy? Are you spending too much on your phone contract? You might not make savings on these bills straight away, but it's still worth seeing if you can get a cheaper deal elsewhere, or negotiate a better deal with your current supplier.

Have fun for free

When living on a budget, you may wonder how you can see friends and have a healthy social life without spending lots of money. Try to think of ways you can spend quality time with your favourite people for free. You could:

  • Check your local council website for free arts and culture events in your local area
  • Invite your friends around to your house for movies and snacks
  • Find a nature trail and go walking with your loved ones

Avoid payday loans

If you have to wait a while until payday, you might be tempted to use your overdraft or take out a payday loan. These products can end up costing you much more in the long term. You may even find yourself relying on credit to pay for your living expenses each month.

If you're on a debt solution, taking credit out is likely to be against the terms of your agreement. If you're considering taking out credit, please speak to your debt solution provider who can review your situation.

I'm always struggling between paydays. What can I do?

If money is always tight between paydays, putting together a budget can help you understand your finances. It can also help you spot opportunities to save money on your living costs.

If you're trying to pay off debt, you may benefit from free debt advice. Our online debt advice can help you put together a personal action plan. It'll also recommend a debt solution that'll benefit you.