Struggling to make it to payday is more normal than you think.
So we need to find our own ways to beat inflation prices and not run out of money.
Yes that means cutting back expenses, like your monthly pedicures, and downloading a budgeting app, like ours 😈 Sometimes it even means having to take a cash advance to avoid those nasty overdraft fees.
But you’re going to get through this.
So we’re sharing budgeting hacks that can actually help you make it to payday without stressing you out too much.
Figure out all your essential bills
This is sh*t like rent, electricity, wifi, health insurance, etc. Stuff that if you don’t pay, it will literally screw you over.
The reason for doing this is because you need to make sure you 100% have enough money to cover this stuff. Everything else you can figure out later.
So set this money aside in a separate account and set up automatic payments. That way you never accidentally use those funds on takeout, and you never get charged extra fees for being late on a payment.
(We’ll talk about those nasty fees later.)
Meal plan before going grocery shopping
There’s nothing like spending $80 at the grocery store and then not being able to make an actual meal with whatever you bought.
So start meal planning.
POV: Monday it’s overnight oats, a sandwich, and a chicken stir-fry for dinner. Tuesday avocado toast, stir-fry leftovers, and tacos.
You see where I’m going with this…
When you plan out your week this way, you’ll make sure you're getting the right things at the grocery store to make it through the week.
You’ll also be cutting back on certain items you may not be needing.
Or maybe you’ll decide no sour cream for the tacos, Cheese balls are your true calling.
Most grocery stores have online ordering systems.
To help you make the most of your budget, build your cart online. You’ll get access to products actually being sold at your grocery store. And you’ll get to plan ahead of time whether you have the money to splurge on some extra snacks.
No more taking things off the conveyor belt at checkout.
Instead, you’ll be leaving the grocery store on budget with some real a$$ meals, and won’t have to succumb to the McChicken life.
Download a budgeting app
Budgets can be daunting AF.
Especially if you’ve tried them before and you’ve failed miserably.
(We’ve all been there.)
But we promise with the right tools, budgeting can be easy to set up and actually work for you.
You’ll want to find a budgeting app that connects to your bank account in read-only mode. That way, it can help you make a budget that takes into account your regular spending habits.
Ready for a shameless plug?
Cleo has a ridiculously easy to set up budget with an AI assistant (Cleo herself) to help you stay on track.
She can help you:
📝 Make monthly targets based on your spending
📝 Breakdown your spending by category
📝Manage all your bills
She can even send you no bull shit reminders to keep you on top of your spending.
Just this weekend, I got a notification from Cleo letting me know I’d reached my monthly wine budget for the month 💅
Start an emergency fund
The king of finance, Dave Ramsey, says to get in control of your finances, you need is a $1,000 emergency fund.
Ok… we know that the current state of inflation may be an emergency, but that’s exactly why you should have one.
Things like emergency vet appointments or car repairs can pop up when you least expect them.
And they’re things you kinda have to pay.
So set aside what you can—even if it’s only $20 a month. Anything will help you to start building a solid emergency fund.
Get in the coupon game
There is nothing cringy about extra savings. So get over your fear of coupons and get an app that can help you save at the cash register.
Nowadays couponing is so much easier.
I mean you can still print and cut out coupons if you want, but downloading an app or web extension is just so much easier.
Here are a few of our favs:
Many coupons will let you stack savings, so be sure to read the fine print and load up as many as you can.
And if you’re really into saving cash – then you got to know about Double Coupon Day.
Yep, pretty much like it sounds. On a certain day of the week, grocery stores will double the value of your coupons.
Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
Do you really need subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hayu?
Or can you cut a few while you're waiting for that sexy promotion you’ve been working so hard for 👀
On average, most people are spending $30 a month on only video streaming services. And that doesn't even include music streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music.
Take a look at your subscriptions and make an executive decision on what you can live without.
Maybe you switch to the free version of Spotify and just deal with the ads for now. Or you go halfsies on a few streaming services with your friends.
Cutting some of your subscriptions can be an easy way to save some extra cash so you’re not struggling the few days before you get paid.
Avoid overdrafting at all costs
Did you know the average overdraft cost is $35 EVERY TIME?
And most people who overdraft spend $100 a month—that’s $1,200 a year. That could be money put towards your emergency fund or towards gas.
It’s honestly sickening to think that most banks make most of their money off of overdraft charges. So yes it is the poor making the rich richer when you think about it…
But there are ways around overdraft fees.
Instead of overdrafting and getting charged $35, you can just ask Cleo to spot you instead (last plug we promise).
As a part of our Cleo Plus subscription, you can get access to our cashback, credit score, and cash advance features.
Get up to $250* spot, with no credit checks, no interest, and no late fees (eligibility requirements apply.) Funds usually arrive in 7 minutes.
Just download Cleo to get started.
*Cleo Plus is our subscription service, which offers eligible users cashback on your money, information on your credit score, and access to cash advances (“Cash Advance”). Advance amounts will vary based on eligibility. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can also apply for cash advance by contacting our customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about eligibility, repayment, and overall terms, please visit: meetcleo.com/terms.