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    • adventureofmemories
    • By adventureofmemories 6th Jan 18, 12:37 AM
    • 176Posts
    • 541Thanks
    Tips to not live pay-to-pay
    • #1
    • 6th Jan 18, 12:37 AM
    Tips to not live pay-to-pay 6th Jan 18 at 12:37 AM
    I get paid on the 5th working day of every month.
    I was wondering if there's any tips that would help me to not rely on the next pay day?
    Debt to fiancee - £404.00 (left to pay) | Save £12,000 in 2018 - £371.90 all together|2,018 items in 2018 (8/2,018)
Page 1
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 6th Jan 18, 1:12 AM
    • 7,893 Posts
    • 9,974 Thanks
    • #2
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:12 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:12 AM
    Spend less than you earn.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 6th Jan 18, 1:29 AM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    • #3
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:29 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:29 AM
    Without knowing all the details of your personal finances it is hard for anyone to offer much in the way of suggestions, but I'll try with a few things to consider.

    1) Draw up a proper budget. Work out exactly what your monthly outgoings come to. Don't guess. Deduct this from your income and then allocate a small amount to entertainment and a larger amount to savings. Put the savings in a savings account and in a sense forget about; that is no longer money you have to spend.

    2) Do you have a TV subscription (Sky, Virgin etc.)? Cancel it. If you are using up all of your salary each month (or more/) then you cannot afford this luxury.

    3) How much are you paying for a mobile phone? As a rule of thumb, if it is more than £10 p/m it is too much. Find a better deal on SIM only or even PAYG. Don't sign up to any contracts where you get a new phone. These are hideously expensive and it would seem you would be spending money you don't really have.

    4) Plan your meals for the week within a budget and then shop using a shopping list. Don't buy items that simply catch your eye. It can also be very helpful to do some batch cooking so that you freeze portions for use on evenings where you really don't have the energy, time, or inclination to cook. Don't buy take-aways.

    5) Make your own lunch and take it to work. Do this every day without fail (and do the same for breakfast if you buy that on the go too). Convenience lunches are stupidly expensive. You can also use leftovers from evening meals to make lunches from too.

    6) Don't buy take-away coffee. It might taste good, but you are paying through the nose for it. If work doesn't provide reasonable facilities for making a drink then take a flask with you. If you like real coffee (rather than instant) you can make a flask of that. Fresh coffee need not be particularly expensive if bought from the right place (see below).

    7) Buy supermarket own brand products (unless the brand name is on promotion and works out cheaper) and do most of your shopping at "discount retailers" like Aldi and Lidl. The quality is no worse and can often be better.

    8) If you drive a car then walk more when it is realistic to do so. You can save on fuel (not to mention wear and tear on the vehicle - all of which comes at a cost).

    9) Allow yourself only a limited amount to spend on going out etc. It is too easy to fritter away money.

    10) Check that you are on the best deal for gas and electricity. If not then switch and do this religiously.

    11) Do the same with your broadband + phone. Also ask yourself what level of service you really need, e.g. do you honestly need fibre? The answer is almost certainly not, so don't pay for it.

    12) Ignore the deals in the weekly MSE e-mail! They might sound like they are a great way of saving money, but actually they are encouraging you to spend more. If there happens to be one that coincides with something you were already intending to buy then that is different, but otherwise, ignore them.

    13) Keep a track of all of your spending on a spreadsheet and update it every single time you spend money (allocating all known commitments, e.g. gas, electricity etc, at the start of the month). This way you will know how much you have at any given time. Don't be tempted to spend more and think that you will make it back by spending less next month!

    14) Never buy anything on impulse. Think about it and consider whether you really need it and whether you can really afford it. Take some real time to do that, not just a few seconds.

    15) Don't go shopping. What I mean is don't go out just to look round the shops as you will most likely end up spending money that you don't need to.

    I know that some of these things might sound obvious or patronising, but they aren't intended to be. The most common cause of people's financial stress is lack of careful money management. You need to be ruthless in making sure that you spend less than you have coming in, so that you can really begin to save. This will take willpower and determination, but it will pay dividends.

    Once your finances are in better shape then you can afford to indulge in a few more luxuries, but you still need to be sensible about these and keep a close eye on the spending.
    Last edited by ValiantSon; 06-01-2018 at 1:36 AM.
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 6th Jan 18, 9:22 AM
    • 7,382 Posts
    • 5,832 Thanks
    • #4
    • 6th Jan 18, 9:22 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Jan 18, 9:22 AM
    Increase your earnings to a lot more than you need to live.
    • BatchedMetting
    • By BatchedMetting 6th Jan 18, 9:38 AM
    • 112 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    • #5
    • 6th Jan 18, 9:38 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Jan 18, 9:38 AM
    Great list, thanks!
    • binaryuniverse
    • By binaryuniverse 6th Jan 18, 9:39 AM
    • 575 Posts
    • 331 Thanks
    • #6
    • 6th Jan 18, 9:39 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Jan 18, 9:39 AM
    Very helpful post by ValiantSon, there. And, as PeacefulWaters says, it really is as simple as spending less than you earn. Although it's not easy to break habits, in the initial phase. And I appreciate it's extremely difficult to achieve if you are on a low salary/minimum wage.

    I'd suggest you stop seeing £0 as your target to hit, each month. Or, if you are living in your overdraft, your overdraft limit as the target.
    When I started saving, my first aim was to give myself my own 'overdraft' of £500. By that I mean I would always have at least £500 in my account, and not dip below that. So when payday came about I had £500 + salary in my account.
    Build from there. If you can get to £500, then try for £1000. Then higher and higher. Any extra you have can go in to savings accounts to earn interest.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 6th Jan 18, 12:47 PM
    • 2,680 Posts
    • 4,279 Thanks
    • #7
    • 6th Jan 18, 12:47 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jan 18, 12:47 PM
    There's lots of great advice on the Debt-Free Wannabe board, and on the Old Style Money Saving board.

    But yes, basically it's all about learning to live within your means. Or as my mother says, make every penny a prisoner.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 6th Jan 18, 1:20 PM
    • 6,003 Posts
    • 11,917 Thanks
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:20 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:20 PM
    Helpful post by Valiant. My advice would be save a proportion of your salary each month in an emergency fund/savings buffer. Think ahead to what expenditure you have coming out during the year. Plan any house projects/car replacements well in advance and save up.

    Oh and avoid debt and credit cards like the plague.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to
    • JustAnotherSaver
    • By JustAnotherSaver 6th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    • 2,858 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    • #9
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    I find a lot of people I work with who live pay to pay simply buy a lot of crap that they don't need.

    They buy their dinners in rather than making dinners at home.
    Constantly 'treating' themselves

    So on and so forth. Just a lot of stuff they don't need. Then they complain about having no money.

    Depends on priorities. If your priority is to have someone make your dinner for you for example then go ahead. Mine is to make it myself and not pay as much. Just an example but they all add up.

    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 6th Jan 18, 1:30 PM
    • 3,550 Posts
    • 913 Thanks
    I get paid on the 5th working day of every month.
    I was wondering if there's any tips that would help me to not rely on the next pay day?
    Originally posted by adventureofmemories
    Live frugally until in the current month you are spending last month's incoming funds. Put a different way, leapfrog over a month. I've been doing this for at least 5 years and it promotes better budget planning. Also a feature of YNAB.
    • datlex
    • By datlex 6th Jan 18, 1:40 PM
    • 1,556 Posts
    • 1,396 Thanks
    Save at the start of the month. Over time you will build a buffer. Then follow advise above about cut backs. Also try to gain extras pounds/ means of spending e.g. vouchers.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 6th Jan 18, 3:21 PM
    • 2,680 Posts
    • 4,279 Thanks
    Another tip is to not have direct debits, standing orders etc going out the day you get paid. Try to time them for +/- 5 days after pay day. That way, if you're pay is delayed for any reason (bank holiday, IT meltdown at the bank, employer incompetence) you're not in deep doo-dah immediately.

    I remember a colleague of mine - in fact she was my line manager - being completely frazzled (and other words beginning with f...) because our pay was going to be a day late.
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 6th Jan 18, 3:28 PM
    • 3,421 Posts
    • 5,826 Thanks
    After all direct debits, standing orders are paid out split the remainder into five, each week take one of the five out of the bank as cash and use only that for the week, do not use your bank card for anything else.

    After three months you!!!8217;ll have two weeks worth of money in the bank, after 12 months you!!!8217;ll have two months wages in the bank.
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites

    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • WibblyGirly
    • By WibblyGirly 6th Jan 18, 5:25 PM
    • 333 Posts
    • 593 Thanks
    When I lived alone and was really poor, I used to take money out in cash and put it in envelopes for each weeks bus fare to work and weekly food shop. Then just left my card at home and tried to take pack ups. I used to eat a lot of cheap foods like tins of spaghetti and those mugshot pasta things for 40p for lunches.
    I only got out of that cycle by getting a better paid job (my previous one had cut my hours 2 months after getting a flat on my own). I also used to have £1 from Morrisons! It was the worst diet of my life but it was cheap, I could live off about £15 a week for food shop when done as £ per meal.
    • Oscartwiglet
    • By Oscartwiglet 6th Jan 18, 9:18 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    There are some really good tips here, I also feel like I have got into a cycle of living pay check to pay check and need to stop wasting money on buying lunch and coffee out.
    • No_6
    • By No_6 6th Jan 18, 10:25 PM
    • 588 Posts
    • 119 Thanks
    I think V..S has said it all in that LONG post !
    • Mr_Curious
    • By Mr_Curious 7th Jan 18, 10:20 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    What I find incredibly useful is this:

    Pay yourself when you are paid, preferable into a Regular Saver for the benefit of interest. See it as another outgoing and stick to it. This could be anything from £25 - £300 a month depending on your circumstances. Its surprising how you soon get used to 'not having it' and when it matures start a new regular saver and move the matured amount into the best interest account you can find. Or if the temptation to spend is too much stick it into a 1 year savings band. When the regular saver matures, consolidate saving and start again...

    • ouraggie
    • By ouraggie 8th Jan 18, 10:02 AM
    • 73 Posts
    • 138 Thanks
    At uni I had a good friend who was more than hopeless with money and had always spent every termly grant cheque way before the end of term, whilst marveling at my ability to never be overdrawn.. In the end i started frog marching him to the accommodation office on grant cheque day to give them a cheque for his terms rent, He still ran out of money but at least his rent was paid.
    We then opened him a bank account in MY name. He paid his remaining grant into this. We divided the balance by 12 ((ten or eleven term weeks and an " emergency fund") and I withdrew the weekly amount for him to spend from the cash point. He had no cash point card. Any emergencies (such as the time he reversed his car over a mate's guitar!) were paid out from the emergency stash as needed. One time his emergency fund didn't cover it and he was about £50 short. This was "repaid" by giving him £5 less a week for 10 weeks, till it was recouped.
    All above board, as I gave him the statements and he could ask me for a balance at any time from the cash point. It was helped by his dad agreeing to pay off his £182 overdraft (this was a lot of money in the early 80s) so he could start with a zero deficit. It worked, though. He became pretty much solven till we graduated.
    Saw him a couple of years ago. He said he still does the emergency fund thing with his now huge salary (going by his car/watch).
    Do you have a friend/relative who could do this with you? Or would you have the willpower to do it yourself?
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 8th Jan 18, 10:49 AM
    • 2,680 Posts
    • 4,279 Thanks
    This may sound harsh (and, to be fair, when she said it, it was intended to be harsh...) - but my old mother always used to say 'Any fool can spend money'.

    So - don't be a fool. Follow ValiantSon's advice.
    • longleggedhair
    • By longleggedhair 8th Jan 18, 11:30 AM
    • 301 Posts
    • 371 Thanks
    I have a relative who had built up a £2000 overdraft. It depressed her because when she was paid she was still overdrawn.

    She did it by withdrawing £50 a week to live on for her food, transport etc. She then left her card at home. She said it helped her to focus on what she really needed. She had paid the OD off in a few months. She said that by physically handing over the cash it was more "painful" and helped her to focus.

    Or you can be just like me and be a tight git!
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