How to Plug Spending Leaks

September 22, 2017
It may seem impossible to get your monthly budget under control. If you have a low salary or do not have a steady job, your income may seem like it is never enough.
How to Plug Spending Leaks

There are always ways to improve your personal finances, no matter what your income is. Yes, it may take a little more effort if you have a low monthly income, but you should be able to plan a workable budget, plug spending leaks, plan for emergencies and cut costs so that you can be financially comfortable.

Plug spending leaks

If you list your monthly expenses and spending, you should see several areas that are surprisingly expensive. Everyone has “spending leaks” where they use more money than is necessary. Your goal should be to minimize these leaks so that you have more income at your disposal each month. Perhaps you buy coffee at a shop and could save money by making it at home. Or you pay for cable TV but do not often watch it. Plugging even one or two of the leaks can have a positive effect on your finances.

Fixed-expense leaks

Some things are absolutely necessary (food, a home, utilities, a car). Obviously, you cannot eliminate these costs. However, you can cut them down, even by a little bit. For example, you could buy cheaper brands when shopping for food or toiletries. You could remember to turn off lights and take shorter showers to lower your utility bills. You could find ways to lower your phone or internet costs. On their own, these things may only save a few dollars each, but together these savings can give you a consistent amount of extra money each month.

Find all your leaks with a zero-sum budget

If you are still struggling, you can create a zero-sum budget to help you get your spending in order. This might seem a bit extreme, but it can help with financial discipline right away. A zero-sum budget means that you have a plan for every single dollar that you earn. This will force you to lower expenses so that you can have some money left over for leisure expenses or savings. Again, this is not the easiest option, especially if you struggle with financial discipline, but it will get you on track in terms of budget and organization.

Plan for emergencies

You should save a small percentage of your income every month in a special fund that is meant to cover emergencies. The goal of this fund is not to cover all of your expenses, but to save consistently so that unexpected expenses (car repairs or necessary travel) are more manageable. To cover the rest of these surprise costs, you can get an online personal loan. These loans, which do not require a complete credit check if you can provide a pay stub and bank statement, are quick and easy. The process only takes a few hours. You can then pay for your expense and use your emergency fund to get started with paying off the loan right away.