If you have no savings and find more money is going out than coming in, you have a serious problem. It is not your income that is creating a problem; rather, it is your spending habits that are making a mess of your finances.
Are you spending too much?
Even if you earn minimum wage, you should be able to meet your basic needs. However, if you are unable to pay for basic living needs, take a closer look at your expenses.
Here are some ways that you can tighten your budget and save some money without getting into a debt trap.
Make a list
Make a detailed list of every penny you spend each week, then prioritise the spending, with the essentials at the top of the list and luxuries at the bottom.
Things such as rent, travel to and from work, utilities and food are essentials, but nights out, gifts, alcohol and cinema are luxuries.
Delete the luxuries
These luxuries are often high-expense items that drain your money. Delete the frivolous expenses if you want to save money.
Trim the essentials
If you can move into a cheaper apartment, it will help you save rent. Similarly, if you share an apartment with others, you can reduce your cost of living and enjoy social interaction without going out.
Learn to cook instead of ordering a takeaway or eating at a restaurant every night. Pack a sandwich for lunch instead of spending on over-priced readymade sandwiches.
Look at your commute to work. Do you have to drive or take a taxi? If your workplace is not too far, think about walking or cycling to work. It is eco-friendly and healthy.
These rules are tough to follow, but they will keep you out of the red zone and help you save money. Remember, if you budget for today, you will be able to save for tomorrow.