Managing funds when money is tight
Do you have a tough time paying bills some months? Managing money can be hard when you don’t have much of it. And a tight budget can be particularly difficult this time of year when you may want to buy holiday gifts or plan holiday gatherings.
These practical hints can help stretch your dollars:
- Decide how much you can spend each week or month. Keep track of your spending habits so you can see how you’re using your money.
- Check store ads for money-saving coupons or sales, but don’t buy something if you don’t really need it.
- When shopping for a big-ticket item, like a TV, save gas or bus fare by calling stores first to check their prices.
- Set a gift-giving budget—and stick to it. Layaway may be an option, but be sure to ask about fees. If you have a lot of family or friends, consider picking names out of a hat and buying just one gift. Or consider giving baked goods or other homemade gifts—they’re inexpensive and from the heart!
- If you’re often late paying a particular bill, ask the company for a different due date—one that better lines up with the dates you receive income or benefits. That will help you avoid late fees.
- Find out if you qualify for benefits such as home-heating assistance or help buying food. Visit benefits.gov, choose “State” and then scroll down to find Pennsylvania.
“It isn’t always easy to stay on budget and to not overspend. But having a plan for managing your money helps.”
—Sam D’Antonio, Chief Financial Officer for Mercy LIFE