You do not have to be a slave to your finances or any debt that you might be in. If you are struggling with your bills you need to understand that you can learn to regain control over your finances which will make it easier for you to stretch your paycheck out and will help alleviate some of the stress caused from feeling like you are out of control. The best thing that you can do to regain your control is to become more organized and make yourself sit down and set up a budget.
The first thing you need to do is to make out a budget sheet. There is nothing worse than not knowing exactly where all of your money is going. If you don't know where it's going, how are you going to be able to be in control? You won't. So open up an Excel sheet and start putting down every single one of your bills and make sure to arrange them in order of when they are due. Also remember you can pay some of your bills up to two weeks late before you get charged any kind of late fees, however, as for credit cards, never do this, always pay them on or before their due dates. Once you have all of your bills on your budget sheet then figure out which paycheck will pay which bills and during what time of the month.
Once you have finished that, if you have money left over then you need to include this in your budget sheet. You should take a certain amount from this money left over and allocate it for your gas, your groceries and for other personal items you need during the month.
If you have any money left for extra spending this is the money that you should take out of your paycheck as cash. By having this cash on you and telling yourself once it's gone, it's gone will help you to stop from going over your budget. You will simply need to wait for your next paycheck for any spending cash. This also cuts down on any mistakes in your checkbook.
Take all of your loose change and put it in a piggy bank or a jar. If you give it a chance, you will discover that loose change can build up really quickly and this money can be used for emergencies or for any other kind of unexpected expense.
When paying on your credit cards remember to always pay more than what they say is the minimum payment due. This way you will be paying off on the interest as well and they will bet getting less interest out of you over the long term. Even if it's just $5 over the minimum is going to help immensely.
Make sure that you make a grocery list every time you go to the store, you are going to spend less. If you go without a list it makes it far too easy to spend more and then you will be going over your budget. So always take a list and stick with it.
You should also try and plan your meals out for an entire week and then write down all of the ingredients you are going to need to make these meals. Add up everything and if there is any extra money left from your grocery budget then you can allow yourself to treat yourself to something special from the grocery store.
After you have regained control of your finances you might want to consider setting up a savings account. This way you can take any or some of your extra money and put it away in your savings account right from your paycheck. Doing it this way will make it less tempting for you to avoid putting it in the account and spending it instead. This is a great way for you to sock some money away for a vacation that you might like to be able to take in the near future.