Tons of us have been there at one point in our lives. With insignificant savings, each paycheck can feel like a blessing and a curse: it will get you through the coming days, but how long will the money last?

I’ve put together a list of tips that have worked for my clients, and I hope that it will help you get your budget back on track. Don’t worry, you really can relieve the stress and worry that comes with financial uncertainty!

Find Out Where Your Money Is Going

While it might seem obvious, this first step is essential!

If you don’t have one yet, creating a budget and tracking your expenses will make a world of difference when it comes to taking control of your finances.

There are a bunch of helpful apps out there for making budgeting painless. Many people say “YNAB” (You Need a Budget) makes budgeting really easy. Search around and compare budgeting apps, but whatever you choose, just starting to plan your budget will go a long way.

Make It Easy To Save

Fat wallet

Regardless of whether you need to build your retirement savings, a mortgage down payment, or some other big expense, saving should be as quick and painless as possible.

The easiest way to save money over time is to set up automatic transfers/withdrawals from your paycheques. The money that comes in with your paycheque gets automatically transferred into a savings account. That way, you don’t need to think about saving, and with the rest of the money, you can spend it freely as your budget (you did make a budget, right?) permits.

It’s good to start small, withdrawing only a few percent from your paycheque. Once you’re comfortable, bump up the percentage over time and watch your savings grow! Eventually, saving up to 15% or more of your pay can quickly build a serious savings account, and it will be so easy that you won’t even think about it!

Learn To Do More With Less

It seems obvious, but there’s a catch that trips a lot of people up.

If you spend all of your money each month, your savings really can’t grow at all, and if you’re in debt from credit cards or loans, you’re probably losing a bunch of money!

You might not need the fanciest car on the block or a $5 coffee every morning. You might be able to shop at more affordable grocery stores or rent/buy a place that’s a little bit more affordable.

There are too many ways you can minimize your spending habits, so go over that budget (you really have made a budget by now, right?) and see what you can whittle down. It can be a lot of fun, especially when you put all that money you’ve been saving to good use!

Take It Easy On The Takeout

So many people don’t know how to cook. I was lucky that my mom taught me how to cook and bake when I was younger, as I’ve been able to use these skills to save an unthinkable amount of money over the years.

It’s really easy to pick up some basic cooking skills, and it’s a lot of fun to work your magic in the kitchen.

Want to make it more exciting? Invite some friends over to cook with you (or sample some of your creations). Making cooking into a social activity lets you and your guests eat more affordably, and you might learn some new tips or techniques from your fellow chefs!