How Not to Blow Your Paycheck in One Day

shopping-cart-66565_640“Hey, we got paid today, wanna go out to eat?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that on paydays at work.

It seems like people are hellbent on spending their entire paycheck in one weekend!  No matter how tempting it is to “have money, must spend” train of thought, there are some very real steps you can take to help you keep from finding yourself scraping money together to survive the days until your next payday.

Avoid the Commissary on Payday

There I sat in the car, preparing…making sure I had everything I needed: my purse, list, coupons, and cell phone in case I needed to call for backup. After I few deep breaths, I decided it was time to go in and battle the commissary on a payday.

You can’t tell me that the commissary is not a scary place to be on payday! It can be a downright terrifying experience when you have people walking around trying to manage three carts full of food with screaming kids, shoppers yelling at the shelf stockers because there are only 3 cans of baked beans left when they need 5 cans, and the checkout line wraps around half of the store.

Have you been the commissary on a non-payday? It’s great!  There are no lines and the shelves are fully stocked. So how can you get that wonderful experience? Budget your grocery money so you can either

  • go every two weeks opposite paydays
  • keep that money from burning a hole in your pocket and wait a couple days longer

Avoiding the commissary on payday can lead to a less stressful shopping experience, allowing you to be a little nicer to your spouse when you get home! It’s hard to let go of that “I have to defend myself” mood right away after arriving home. Aside from being more relaxed, shopping on non-paydays allows you to

  • To focus on what you need to buy
  • Diminish the need to impulse to spend

It’s inevitable, we see money in the account and tend to pay less attention to how much we spend because we know it’s there.

Other money saving tips for the commissary

  • Plan out your meals in advance
  • Make a list to bring to the store – and stick to it
  • Eat before you go shopping
  • Use coupons

And it’s not just the commissary. Restaurants are the same way.

Avoid Overspending on Meals Out

Want to go out to eat on the 15th? Hope you bring a snack for your two-hour wait! Should you survive the hunger pains and finally make it to your table and order, do you notice the other families around you eating like kings or do you indulge more than usual?

You can tell this is the only time they go out to eat, until next payday of course, because they order the most expensive meals and indulge in the alcohol more than usual.

Who wouldn’t want to walk into a restaurant on a Friday night and be able to be seated right away? Again, you can go out to eat on the non-payday weekend by just holding onto your money just a little bit longer. Your money will still be there a week later, I promise.

Once you see some money hanging around in your bank account still a week or so after payday, you might develop an attachment to it and decide you want to keep it that way! Plus, it’s more enjoyable to go out to eat when you decide rather than just out of habit on payday.

If you must go out to eat on a payday, you don’t have to buy the most expensive everything. Then maybe you’ll discover you can afford to go out to eat two times instead of just once.

Just a little food for thought since you still have over an hour before your food arrives at your table. Enjoy.

Kara Schulte

Kara Schulte

Kara Schulte is a Marine wife to her high school sweetheart. They met and grew up in Georgia, but now call North Carolina home. Kara has received her BS in Psychology, MA in Human Services and is an Accredited Financial Counselor®. She has experienced the devastating loss of her first daughter and the everyday joys of her second daughter. Motherhood has taught Kara the true meaning of patience and multitasking.

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