For many of us, the week before payday is not easy. Our bank account is on reserve, and the expenses start coming out of nowhere. If you can relate, consider setting up a small budget for the week before payday.

Let’s look at three easy ways that you can budget, plan, and track your expenses to make sure you survive until payday.

Set a budget for the week

Before you even begin counting the days till payday, sit down and make a list of all your expenses for that week leading up to payday. Don’t forget about the little things like bread and milk, transport fare (if you’re going to work) and data. Next, allocate a certain amount of money to each expense for the week. Make sure you don’t spend more than the amount of money allocated. It takes practice, but it really helps you save a few Rand before your salary is paid.

Plan for dinner

Even though we’ve been working from home, some of us do enjoy treating ourselves to takeout after payday. If you’re trying to be disciplined, however, you may want to end this little ritual. Instead, start meal planning. You’ll need to decide on what you’d like to cook at home each day — make a shopping list of all the ingredients needed to cook your meal each night, and go out to the store and buy it. It’s a good idea to buy only what’s on your list. Don’t be tempted by promotions on items. If you’re easily tempted, then set a spending limit and stick to it.

Check in with your upcoming debit orders

Try to keep tabs on your debit orders so that you have an idea of how much money will be debited from your account, and on which date. If possible, schedule all of your debit orders to go off on or around payday. This will help you quickly see what’s actually available without having to budget for upcoming debit orders. Protect your account against debit order fraud by using a DebiCheck debit order. This will allow you to approve each new debit order mandate, so that you’re fully aware of when the debit order in question will be processed, and for how much.

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