Struggling To Make Ends Meet? Tips To Survive When Money Is Tight

Couple with Bills image

Having a family is expensive, there's no doubt about that! But what happens when your family hits a financial roadblock and is struggling to make ends meet?

First and foremost, if you've found yourself in a hole, stop digging. You can't spend what you don't have, and racking up debt is the last thing you want. Beyond altering your spending habits, here are four additional things you can do to help your family survive when money is tight.

1. Call the companies you owe money to. If you owe student loans, call your lenders to see if you can get your monthly payments reduced. Call the cable and gas company to see what they can do to lower your bill. You can also contact your auto and life insurance policies to see how they can help.

2. Meal plan. Meal planning is a creative way to save big money throughout the month. It allows you to eat out of the pantry, use the food that you have, and waste less. For example, don't buy so many options for your children; they only need one type of cereal at a time! Also, consider eating out less at work and packing your lunch more. If you eat out as a family, find a restaurant where kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. By eating more at home or being more selective when you dine out, you can save an average of $15-$200 a week.

3. Declutter and sell things.
Go through your home and take an inventory on the things that you need and the things that are just taking up room. Do the kids play with that toy? Could these items provide value to someone else? Clean, declutter, organize and sell your items on Facebook Marketplace or at a garage sale.

4. Have a fun budget.
A fun budget is important to have to reward yourself and your family. Put a small amount aside for family fun that could include a trip to the ice cream shop or pizza parlor for a Friday night dinner. Check out Groupon for discounts, attend early movies that have cheaper prices, or find cheap or free family fun at neighborhood parks or play gyms.