I’ve budgeted and cut down on my spending, but it’s still not enough – now what?

As tough as it is to find yourself cutting down on spending and not having enough to carry you each month, there are still some options.

The biggest action you can take is, of course, to make more money. With the pandemic being over, on-demand services like delivery services and driving services have given people a side-hustle that has boosted their monthly incomes. As well, if you haven’t received a wage increase in over a year, it might be a good time to ask for one. Or, and this is something we know a few of members have considered, moving to a new job that pays higher wages.

There are other things to help you with expenses.

One is to negotiate a lower APR with your credit card company. If you’ve been making payments on-time, and your credit card utilization is rather low (30% or less), credit card companies will be more receptive to lowering it. This lower APR means a lower interest rate paid each month.

Next, you might need to revisit your budget just to make sure it is current and correct. Some people use budgeting as the tool it is meant for – to stick to a plan of spending. But remember that the tool is morphic; it will change as you need it to change.

One of the last things to consider is timing. So, when you go to the store, do you go once a week, or every day, or every other day? When you are out, do you purchase a little something extra not on your list? Are you buying things off of sale (meaning you buy them the week after they are on sale)? Timing is extremely important as minor things like spending and overspending on gas, buying too many checkout aisle items and even just buying items at the wrong time could lead to invisible overspending.