Nov 7, 2012

A Cure for End of the Month, No Money Blues

If you've ever had more month than money, you know how easy it is to get overdrawn, get into debt, or just plain suffer without until the next paycheck. But as the economy worsens, more and more of us are learning that with just a little planning, the End of the Month, No Money Blues don't have to strike. Here are three simple steps I take to help prevent end-of-the-month squeezes:

1. Have extra food on hand. But be organized about it. Don't just buy random, miscellaneous things, or you'll end up serving Ramen noodles with Saltine crackers for your family's dinner. Instead, pick a few meals everyone likes and stock up on the ingredients for them. You should be able to make these meals without fresh ingredients because you n eedto be able to store those ingredients for at least a few months. The best choices are meals that can be made with canned or dried food, like my Heart "Dump It" meal.

How many extra meals you keep on hand is up to you. At the very least, you should have a few days worth of food. I suggest maintaining at least enough food to last you a week or two, should you really feel a financial end-of-month crunch (or should a natural disaster strike).

Now, I don't expect you to buy all this food in one fell swoop, thus ensuring you'll have the End of the Month, No Money blues this month. Instead, buy a little at a time, when it is on sale. And don't touch your extra food unless you really need to.

2. Always have one extra in the cupboard. When it comes to other necessities, like toilet paper, toothpaste, or laundry soap, buy one extra (ideally when its on sale). As soon as you use up one tube of toothpaste, you may open the extra you have stored away - but be sure to replace it next time you go shopping.

3. Learn to use less. If you consistently don't have enough money at the end of the month, first you need to carefully whittle away at your budget. (What? Don't have a budget? That may be your whole problem! Learn how to start one here.) But another way to ensure you have enough every month is simply to use less. For example, learn to use washable dish cloths instead of always using paper towels; switch to reusable, cloth menstrual pads instead of disposable ones; and learn to use less laundry detergent.

For more ideas on making your money last until the end of the month, check out these posts:

10 Expensive Food Habits That are Killing Your Budget 

Bill Lowering Sites

10 Wasteful Practices

Grocery Price Books Make Good Cents

7 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill

Saving $ on Electricity

Upcycling & Remaking Clothes

DIY Haircuts

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2 comments:

  1. Hi, I was just thinking after the storm Sandy, how many people realized how important it is to have something put back.
    I once got on a sight that talked about using only ten dollars every pay check to start a well stocked pantry. I may need to find that one and make a post about it.
    Blessings, Roxy

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  2. Living, I agree that it's important. The government admits it can't take care of us in this regard and suggests we have WEEKS worth of food and other supplies on hand. And if we can't use it for ourselves, we can use it for our neighbors in need. You may also find this post helpful: http://proverbsthirtyonewoman.blogspot.com/2012/03/ways-to-stock-your-pantry-on-cheap.html

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