What to Do When You’re Out of Money

Beautiful casual woman showing her empty wallet.

By: Darci Maxwell


Running out of money before your next paycheck is a stressful experience.  Unfortunately you need money in order to survive in this world.  Read on to learn what you should do if you’re out of money and still have a bit of time before you get paid again.


Make A Plan

The first thing you need to do is make a plan.  Without a plan, the next few weeks will be disastrous.  Get organized and determine what you need to do in order to make it until your next paycheck.  Make a list of any expenses that you will have until the end of the month, including bills, debts, utilities, etc. and decide which ones are necessary, and which ones you can go without.  

Bankruptcy - Business Person holding an empty wallet

Stop Spending

The next thing you need to do is stop spending, and go into survival mode.  You have to eat, and you have to have a place to live, but other than that, you don’t need much else.  Don’t buy any clothes, jewelry, entertainment (such as going to see a movie or going to a skate rink), or anything else that you don’t “need.”  It is going to be hard, but you need to do it to take care of you and your family.  


Shop Smart

You still need to eat, but you don’t need to eat caviar every night.  If you have any food in your pantry, try to eat it instead of buying something new.  Even if you’re stuck eating powdered mashed potatoes or cream of mushroom soup for a few days.  If you do need to buy food, you shouldn’t just buy whatever you want, you need to shop smart.  The best foods to buy are brown rice, spaghetti (or other noodles), chilli, potatoes, green vegetables, etc.  As much as you can, cook your own food, and even make your own bread.  


Cut Your Bills

You need to find a way to cut your bills so that you can survive during the next few weeks.  Call your phone providor, cable company, credit card company, etc. and negotiate a lower rate.  Do anything that you can to cut back on utilities by taking shorter showers, unplugging electronics, changing your thermostat a few degrees, turning off lights, etc.  And if you have any medical bills, try lowering it by reading it to check for inaccuracies, asking for a lower rate, etc.  If you have a gym membership, magazine subscription, etc. cancel it.  

Woman having financial / money problems

Generate Income

It may be time to find another way to generate income.  If you can, get a second job (you may need to put down your pride and get any job that you can take, even if it is flipping burgers on the weekends).  If you can’t, look around your home and see if there is anything that you can sell.  Again, you may need to swallow your pride and sell some of the things that you care about in order to make it until the next month (it would be quite embarrassing if you ended up homeless because you could not part with some of your wardrobe).  You also could try selling plasma, or reselling things that you find in the “Free” section of Craigslist or other online yard sale site.  Maybe you could take a temporary job cleaning houses, mowing lawns, or other quick jobs.


How to Borrow

At the end of the day, your assets and abilities may not be enough to help you make it until your next paycheck.  It may be necessary to borrow money.  There are three main ways that you can borrow.  Start with your friends or family.  Ask them if they have anything that they can loan to you and your family to help you until you can get back on your feet.  The next thing you can do is let your bank account overdraft.  If you spend more than you have, your bank will give you a temporary “loan” known as an overdraft.  You will have to pay a fee, and sometimes it is quite large, so this is not always a good idea.   Next, look into the cost of using a credit card or taking out a short term loan.  Make sure that you fully examine your options before borrowing any money.  However, you should avoid Pay Day loans under any circumstance.  The interest fees are astronomical, and they can trap you into a borrowing cycle.  To learn more about why you should avoid payday loans, check out this blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *