"What to do when you've run out of money before the end of the month"
"How to budget when you can't make ends meet"
"Ways to make it to payday when you're broke"
These types of headlines seem to make it into my Pinterest browsing almost every single day. While these mom blogs and finance help websites are surely trying to give some good advice to people who need it, I often find the titles of these articles to be ridiculous.
Spend less money than you make.
It's that simple.
And if you can't spend less money than you make -- if you literally have no way to cut down your spending at all -- then make more money.
Of course this is easier said than done, but starting with a personal budget is probably the best way to start and the best way to stay out of a mess like that.
Let's say you are keeping a budget each month and at the end of all your bills, rent, payments, etc. you only have $100 left, then you know you can't afford to take on a car payment, buy that Gucci purse on a whim, or go skydiving just for fun. Those are things you will have to plan for or risk not having enough money to cover your bills. Don't do that.
Keeping a budget is easy but it's hard. It's easy in the sense that it doesn't take long to keep up with and doesn't have to cost any money (you can use pen and paper or a free app such as Every Dollar). But it is hard because you are putting restrictions on yourself.
If you're married, you and your spouse can keep each other accountable. If you're single, have a parent or a friend keep you accountable.
Telling yourself "no" or "wait" is difficult. But it will save you a lot of heartache in the future to plan your spending and work that plan.
Of course there are unfortunate situations where people lose their jobs and go through a difficult financial time. But again, failing to have a plan in place for how to spend the money you do have coming in will not make the situation any better.