Many people find that they are struggling to get by more and more these days. Wages have been cut and taxes and prices are rising. So, what’s the best way to plan a tight budget that will help you to survive and make the most out of the money you do have?

Create a Budget

The first step towards getting through tough financial times is to make a good budget. Figure out how much money you need for all the essentials, and allocate the minimum amount to each thing. It might be a good idea to use a good budget template from the internet. A spreadsheet where you can enter all your financial information is a great way to keep track of your income and expenditure. This way, you will know exactly where your money is going, and you won’t find yourself short at the end of the month.

Change Brands

It is always worth shopping around when you do your grocery shopping. If you always buy the same brands, check online or visit other stores to compare prices. Consider changing your usual brands to cheaper own-brand products. This could save you a significant amount on your food bill every month.

Buy Second-Hand
When you need new clothes, or your children do, it is worth thinking about exploring charity and second-hand shops. There are some wonderful bargains available in clothing, and many of it has only been worn once. If you’re lucky, you may even find designer brands for a small fraction of the cost. Buying second-hand clothing can save you a small fortune in clothing costs.

Be Strict With Yourself

If you’re suffering financially, you need to learn how to be strict with yourself and stop impulse spending. If you have been in the habit of buying things you want when you see them, controlling that impulse will help you to save money. In addition, if you are used to buying your lunch in the canteen or a store during your working day, bringing a packed lunch can really reduce costs.

Cut Down

Cutting down on your expenses is another great way to save money. Some luxury things can be cut and you will hardly notice the difference. For example, you could cut the sports or movie package from your cable, or change your cell phone bill to a lower monthly payment. Another option is to consider cutting down on the amount of money you spend on social events. If you visit the cinema every week, consider cutting this down to once or twice a month.

Deal With Your Debts

If you are in serious debt, you should contact your bank or lending facility to discuss a viable repayment scheme that will suit you. They should be able to work something out with you that you can afford to pay back. Avoiding the problem only leads to a higher build-up on interest due on the loan and an even bigger problem.