If there’s one thing to learn from living on a $2,000 per month budget, it’s how to chop out unnecessary spending. Living on a small income can be tough — but keep in mind that it’s still possible to achieve concrete goals. You can still save money. Pay for the essentials like utilities and groceries. Pay toward loans — and yes, you can even have some left over for entertainment. All it takes is a little bit of planning.
When it comes down to it, the key to financial success is simple: Stick to your budget. Here are some tips that can help you along the way.
How to Spend Your $2K
First, write down your long- and short-term goals — writing them down wields such psychological power. Make sure you estimate the amount of money you’ll need to achieve those goals. Keep this list in your purse or your wallet so you can refer to it. Whenever you’re tempted to buy something you don’t need, always think of your end goals and why they’re important to you. Your goals can guide you and drive you throughout the continuous budgeting process.
Budget Your Weekly Spending
It’s super important to know how much you need — not want — to spend on each category of your life. Try this template. Your goal is to save more than you spend. Divvy up your money in several buckets — your rent and utilities will probably need a larger bucket than transportation and fun. For example, let’s say your weekly paycheck is $500. Your buckets should look something like this:
- Rent and utilities: $250
- Food: $75
- Food: $75
- Transportation: $25
- Save: $100
- Fun/Misc.: $50
Now, let’s say you’re out of money in your “fun” category, but you want to go to a birthday celebration. You could pull money from one of your other baskets, but remember, that means you’ll take money away from something else and that could thwart your plan to pay for utilities or food.
Constantly evaluate your spending habits or readjust your budget. Remember, the ultimate goal is to save! You never want your savings bucket to get to zero.
Reward yourself with a small incentive if you stay on track for an entire month. This way, you’ll keep yourself motivated because you met your goals for the month.
How to Stay on Track
There are many apps that alert you when you’ve overspent your money or help you plan out your budget. Join MoneyLion’s Core Membership — it’s a great way to keep track of your finances. The membership goes beyond simply having a zero-fee checking account and debit card — it gives you the tools you need to ensure financial success without adding overdraft fees, a minimum balance, or maintenance fees.
Here’s what the membership includes:
- Zero-fee checking account
- Zero-fee managed investment account
- 0% APR instant cash advance
- MoneyLion Visa Debit Card
Let’s say an emergency comes up and you’re short on rent. A MoneyLion membership allows you to advance up to $50 so you can pay your bill at 0% APR, this can cover your groceries or extra transportation fees for the week. Another perk of membership is that you’ll earn points for simple things, like everyday spending. Once you receive 2,500 points, MoneyLion will reward you with a $25 gift card to your choice of places like Amazon, Walmart, and AMC theatres.
It’s also a good idea to invest in addition to saving money. Investing is a good way to help build long-term wealth. MoneyLion can help you by creating a personalized portfolio and managing your accounts for you. You can add funds as you please, no matter how much or how little.
What to Do if You Need Extra Money Now
Don’t panic if you need money right this minute, and steer clear of applying for a payday loan. Payday loans are an easy way to get cash until your next paycheck — but they often come with prohibitively high interest rates.
Through MoneyLion, you can easily take out a cash advance until your next paycheck, and it comes with 0% interest. Check out Instacash.
Still need more cash to boost you until payday? Look around your house. What can you sell that you don’t need anymore? Can you do a mini-side hustle? That’s a good way to earn extra cash. You could walk dogs, drive for a ride-sharing service or find work on an app like Fiverr or Upwork.
Get on the Road to Financial Success
Budgets and hard work can ultimately lead you to financial freedom — even if you’ve only got $2,000 a month to work with. Imagine where your goals could lead.
No matter what, it’s important that you try to save so you hang on to some of that income in case you need it for the future.
MoneyLion has all the tools and resources you need to save and live on a $2,000 budget. All you need to do is to motivate yourself to get started.
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Cash advance requires current membership in Credit Builder Plus ($19.99 monthly fee) or Instacash with Banking ($9.99 monthly fee) membership programs. Instacash with Banking monthly fee is waived for members who connect and maintain recurring eligible direct deposits into their MoneyLion Checking Accounts. All Credit Builder Plus and Instacash with Banking members are automatically eligible to access either $25 or $50 of cash advance, depending on creditworthiness. Members can increase their cash advance limit to up to $250 by connecting and maintaining recurring eligible direct deposits into their MoneyLion Checking Accounts and after up to three consecutive direct deposits have cleared, or at MoneyLion’s discretion. See Membership Agreement and Cash Advance FAQs for more information.