How to survive until payday

Updated on 05 January 2023

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make sure you don't get into debt this month.

Work out what money you have

The first step to budgeting until payday is to work out what money you actually have.

If you overspent during the Christmas break it can be tempting to avoid looking at the damage to your bank balance, but burying your head in the sand and ignoring the problem is only going to make things worse.

Take the plunge, log onto your online banking and take a long, hard look at how much you have to work with.

Now go through your essential bills, to see what you have left over.

There are loads of budgeting apps out there, and some banks even have their own online or app budgeting functions. Citizens Advice also has a comprehensive budget calculator.

Use cash, not your debit card

Once you know how much is in the bank, withdraw a set amount for the week.

Using your debit card can be misleading as it's easy to lose track of what you're spending (unless you regularly check your balance via a banking app).

If you have hard cash in your hands it's much easier to see when it's running out. 

And once you take a set amount of money out for the week, try really hard to not go the cash point again.

Give up luxuries

If you need to cheer yourself up then look for free options.

Treat yourself to an evening in with a good film and nice bath as opposed to splurging money you don't have in the sales.

Just because the item is reduced doesn't mean it makes good money sense to buy it!

We've put together a guide full of hints and tips for cutting the cost of your groceries and we have a weekly roundup of the top supermarket deals.

Explore saving opportunities

When you have cash, it's easy to turn a blind eye to wasteful habits.

But when money is tight it's time to explore ways in which you can cut back on spending.

Can your mobile phone contract be reduced if you shopped around for a new one?

It may seem a hassle but these small savings could mean the difference between a desperate month and a doable one.

Sell stuff you don't need

If you have a load of stuff you no longer want or need, why leave it cluttering up your house? Selling stuff on eBay is a great way to make some extra cash. Read How to sell successfully on eBay.

Alternatively, you could head down to your local car boot sale. Check out our guide on how to make a fortune from car boot sales.

Earn extra cash: easy ways to make money

Don't look for easy options

It's tempting to seek shortcuts when you're struggling. However, many of the easy options available are too good to be true.

Payday or short-term loans, for example, are not a good idea.

The interest on these loans is usually extortionate, so while you'll make it through to payday you'll have to pay a huge chunk of your wages to the loan provider once you do get paid.

This could mean you'll fall into the vicious cycle of doing the same thing every month.

Likewise using store cards or credit cards may not be a lasting solution.

If you have to buy on credit, make sure it's on a 0% new purchases card – at least then you won't end up forking out loads of money in interest.

Even then you should have a plan for reducing your expenses to meet your income. And if you have existing credit card debt that's racking up interest, be sure to switch it to an interest-free balance transfer card.


Be the first to comment

Do you want to comment on this article? You need to be signed in for this feature

Copyright © All rights reserved.