What To Do When You Just Don’t Have Enough Money

You’ve cut back on groceries. And you’ve worked extra hours. And you’ve pulled the money you had saved for something special. But still, somehow, you’re going to be short on bills by the end of the month. What do you do when you’ve done all you can but just don’t have enough money to make ends meet? Check out the tips below to help you get through your rough patch and make your way towards a better financial situation. 

Image via Flickr/ 401(K) 2012

1. Figure out the problem 

When money troubles hit, a good first step is to figure out exactly what the problem is. Is the struggle ongoing or is it a one-month issue caused by an unexpected accident or bill? In general, there are two issues that cause money woes: Too much going out or too little coming in.

Do you make enough money to cover all your expenses but still find yourself coming up short? Consider where you spend your discretionary income. If you subtract your expenses from your income and it turns out you simply can’t cover your bills with the money you have coming in, think about ways you might be able to add to your income. For example, look at who is working. If all the grown-ups at home aren’t working, is it possible for that to happen? Are there other, higher paying jobs available? Is taking in a paying roommate possible? Is going back to school or to a training program that opens doors possible? 

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2. Ask for help 

If you’re struggling to make ends meet you should reach out and ask for help. Reach out to your local department of social services to see if you qualify for assistance with groceries or housing. Try local non-profits for any specific needs you may have such as winter clothes or school supplies. If you don’t know where to start, your local United Way will be able to direct you. 

3. Make a plan 

Living paycheck to paycheck or relying on help from family and friends is stressful. Even if there’s nothing you can do this month, think about where you want to be financially a few months from now. So, start to make a plan to get there. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find enough money by clipping coupons or eliminating your weekly cup of coffee. Think about the big changes you need to make, research who can help you make them, and get started. 

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Good luck!

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What To Do When You Just Don’t Have Enough Money

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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