Does it feel like you can’t make it to the end of the month after you get paid? If so, you’re not alone. For a lot of Jamaicans, their salary doesn’t seem to cover everything they want it to. Aside from getting a raise, what can you do to make your salary last longer?

Let’s take a look at ten of our favourite tips to help you make it to payday without having sleep for dinner.

#1: Know Your Budget

Knowing how much you make and how much you want to spend is one thing. However, creating a budget and sticking to it is an entirely different ballgame. Your budget should cover the essentials (like food, shelter and savings) first, before you get to non-essentials. Creating a budget helps you to spend your money wisely.

#2: Live Within Your Means

Creating a budget is one thing, but sticking to it is another. Recognizing that you won’t have enough money to do everything you want to do each month is the first step to living within your means. Additionally, reviewing your budget will help you to cut down on spending in areas that you truly can’t afford.

#3: Make Your Own Lunch

If you work outside of your home, your lunch bill can easily total thousands at the end of the week. You can save money by preparing your own lunch and taking it to work with you. This option also happens to be healthier. (Get a 24-pack of lunch containers.)

#4: Shop in Bulk

Have you ever checked the prices at the supermarket vs. the quantity of the item you’re buying? For example, a bottle of oil that is double the size is often less than twice the price. The more of an item you buy, the more you save. Buy things that you’ll use throughout the month in larger quantities at once, instead of buying smaller quantities every single week. (Shop from Pricesmart with us.)

#5: Walk When You Can

Transportation costs can easily add up to a huge portion of your monthly spend. Consider saving on gas or taxi fare by walking all of part of the distance, where possible. In addition to saving money, you’ll also get some well-needed exercise.

#6: Use Your Debit or Credit Card Less

It’s a scientifically proven fact that we spend 12-18% more when we use plastic. Using cash instead of your cards will force you to stick to your budget, since you don’t have any extra money on hand to change your mind. Decide how much you’re going to spend for the week and withdraw that amount at an ATM at the beginning of each week.

#7: Say No To Friends & Family

Saving money can be difficult when you have friends who outearn you, or friends who enjoy spending every weekend doing something. Sometimes, in order to make your salary last longer and ultimately save money, you have to get comfortable with telling your friends and family no when they invite you out, or make unplanned requests that involve spending money.

#8: Get A Ride

If you drive to work and have coworkers who do the same and live in the same area, you can consider carpooling with them. Setting up a carpool schedule will cut down the amount of money you spend on transportation, or will lighten the burden if your coworkers contribute to gas. Getting a ride to work can save you thousands every month.

#9: Have A Plan For Extra Money

Sometimes, you’ll come into extra money. Instead of blowing it on an impulse purchase, stop and think of a way to spend any extra money this month that will lighten the load for next month. Things like saving, buying groceries in bulk that you will need eventually will make a big difference.

#10: Go For Long Term Benefits

Thinking long-term will do you a world of good in making your salary last longer. Shifting your focus from short term benefits, to things that you can do now that will impact you six months, a year and years into the future will help you make better financial decisions right now.