4 life hacks for when you run out of money

By Lauren
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    What do you do when you run out of money? With all of the Life Hacks articles out there, here's one for when you really need help and are out of money. These might not be fun, but being broke is less fun. You can start changing your financial situation right now!

    Let's assume that you get paid bi-weekly on Fridays.  Two days after you get paid, you are already out of money.

    Does this sound too familiar?

    So, what do you do when you run out of money?  We’ve been in this situation many times and we have learned a few things to help us make sure we don’t run out of money.

    4 Life Hacks for when you run out of money:

    1.) Find something to sell.

    I specifically remember a time a few years ago, we had an unexpected expense pop up that we did not budget for. Because of that, we had depleted our two-week budget only one week after getting paid. We had 4 choices at that point:

    • Be broke and out of money for the next two weeks
    • Dip into our emergency savings
    • Use a credit card
    • Get creative

    We went with option #4. We got creative and found something to sell. I decided to take an old diamond ring that I never wore and sell it to a jewelry consignment store for $100 (it was a very small diamond).  This $100 was the exact amount of money that we had to pay out for the unexpected expense, so it was a win!

    Need some fresh ideas on things you can sell around your house? Check out this list of 25 things that you never knew you could sell on eBay!

    Often times you have the money already laying around in your house and if you are willing to part with those items it can help you get back on track.

    2.) Eat out of your pantry.

    Once in a while, we take a week where we challenge ourselves to eat out of the pantry. What this means is that you buy only the minimum you need to feed yourselves for that week.

    Take inventory of the food that you have in your pantry and freezer, then create meals around those foods.  This is extremely helpful when you have run out of money at the end of a pay cycle and won’t get paid for another week.   You will be surprised how resourceful you will become when you use this method.

    Personally, we always have a few freezer meals ready to go. Check out these AMAZING freezer meals where you can make 20 meals at a time in less than 3 hours, for about $150!

    3.) Don’t run out of money in the first place.

    Easier said than done, right?  Often times, this isn’t something you can have much control over, but when you set a budget every month it really helps! Setting a budget helps you figure out what week you can pay for what things.

    Ok – so maybe budgeting isn't exactly a “life hack”, but when 68% of Americans don't do this, it kind of is. Having trouble getting started with a budget? I want to help!


    When you plan out your month ahead of time, you can usually make sure that you don't run out of money. Obviously, things will come up every now and then, but that's what an emergency fund is for!

    Here are 5 Ways to get a $1,000 emergency fund fast – without getting a second job.

    By budgeting, we also found that the first half of the month was always more expensive than our second half and we were running out of money early in the month.  By making a few quick phone calls, we were able to switch our due dates on many of these bills. This helped to even out the month's expenses.

    4.) Start a 21 spending freeze

    This one is easier said than done. But it's so good to do every now and then.

    Simply vow to not spend any unnecessary money until after those 21 days are up! I bet you will start seeing that you were spending money on things that you didn’t need, and then wouldn’t have money to spend on those things you do need.

    Once you are done with that 21-day spending freeze, you should be more aware of how you were spending money, and that should help you make your money last longer.

    It can be discouraging when you get paid and almost the second it enters your bank account, it already is gone.  But keep in mind that you can make some pretty significant progress if you follow the four steps above.

    Do you have any other life hacks for what to do when you run out of money?

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