Payday maybe great for all but a couple of weeks post-salary and near-month end is a financial disaster for most. As the month begins, you’ll find that your account is full and you start off in a celebratory mood as you can now afford to buy those pair of shoes you’ve been coveting, dine out at that fancy restaurant that has been on your to-go list, restock your shelves, the whole shebang.

Then, a week after, you’re worrying about how you’re going to fuel your car, you’re already in debt having already borrowed from colleagues or friends. While it is arguable that the current state of the economy makes it’s almost impossible for one not to live from paycheck to paycheck or that your salary may not be enough to help cater to your financial responsibilities, the actual problem may be your financial habit(s). These are a few habits that’ll need to be curbed in order to enable you get back on your financial feet.

Contrary to popular belief, having a monthly budget doesn’t automatically mean you’re a penny-pincher it just makes you a frugal spender. The best part is, setting up a monthly budget is relatively easy.  You look at how much money you make, and you take out your necessary expenses so you can see what kind of money you have left over. The hard part is sticking with the budget. You need to make sure you set aside the money you need to live, with a little bit of wiggle room for unexpected price fluctuations (like food prices or gas going up). You’ll also need to include a small amount going into savings each month.

If you’ve been spending a lot on that gym membership or you’ve been paying for that outrageous cable package, now the time to start saving your money and make that paycheck last longer. You can lower your cable bill by taking out the premium channels and just subscribing to one of those prevalent movie streaming companies like Iroko TV, Netflix etc. You can also opt for walks around the neighborhood, getting some cut-rate gym equipments in place of that gym membership. Great way to save your money, be entertained and keep fit all at the same time!

We’ve all been victims of impulsive buying. Maybe you went shopping with a friend, swearing you weren’t going to spend any money and then *poof* you own a new shirt. Or maybe a new kitchen appliance caught your eye and you had to have it. Whatever the context may have been or what degree of planning you might have done prior to shopping, if you have ever bought something you did not plan on ahead of time you have participated in the culture of impulse buying. And if you regularly derive a feel-good buy from these spontaneous purchases, then it’s most likely a major reason why your paycheck hardly ever gets you through the month. You can curb this habit and save your money by carrying just cash, leave the cards at home, avoid mobile banking and shopping with friends that encourage this habit.

Most people spend their salaries before they even get it. From credit card bills running high to loans gotten from friends to salary advances taken from the workplace, the money is gone even before it comes. However, in order to save money, there’s one money rule everyone should follow, it should be this: Spend less than you earn. That’s not all, it is also important not to spend money before you earn it as well.  This helps eliminate your debt and helps you begin to save. In oder to do this, you’ll have to go through every monthly required bill, diligently track your spending and review you financial routines carefully.

The harsh reality of the economy we live in is that, to be able to survive and be financially stable, we have to take up side hustles that rake in those extras. So, feel free to take on a little side job or some freelance work now and again can help boost your monthly income significantly. It may only seem like a little each week, but even N5000 a week can add up to another bill being paid or more savings come at the end of the month. Take a look around and see what kind of extra money you can come up with in your spare time. You may just surprise yourself at how much further your paycheck can stretch with just a little adjustment.