How to Gain Financial Stability on a Tight Budget

Stacey Tisdale
March 20, 2022
2 mins
Topics:
No items found.

How to Gain Financial Stability on a Tight Budget

If it feels like your paycheck is spent before it even hits your bank account, you’re in good company – over 60% of people in the US live payday-to-payday. And though wages are rising nationwide, they’ve been outpaced by inflation and climbing costs of living. 

All this makes it difficult to get and stay ahead, but it’s still possible. These tips will show you how to gain financial stability on a tight budget. 

1. Define your long-term vision

It’s easy to fixate on “getting out” when you’re experiencing financial instability. Out from under your monthly expenses, out of the cycle of debt, and out of survival mode. But it’s tough to get away from something if you’re not sure where you’re headed.

What are your long-term financial goals? Maybe you’d like to purchase your first home, zero out your debts, or buy a Tesla. Defining your goals (even if they feel like dreams) provides direction, motivation, and a way to chart your progress.

2. Assess your financial situation

Taking inventory of your finances can be scary, especially if you’re hovering in the red. But if you want to learn how to gain financial stability, you need to understand your financial landscape.

Start by assessing your money pipeline. Where is your money coming from, and where is it going? Does your spending outweigh your monthly income? 

Review your transaction history and identify the expenses you can’t (or don’t want to) change, and those that could be reduced or eliminated. Tackle the latter to find more room in your monthly budget. 

3. Optimize Your Expenses

Decrease your monthly expenses where you can. This can look like: switching insurance policies; canceling unused memberships and subscriptions; or working with loan servicers to identify the most affordable repayment plans. 

Use the money you save to improve your financial situation – like growing your emergency savings or paying down a high-interest credit card. 

4. Start (and stick to) a budget

Budgets help you get more out of your money, even if there’s not much left after your monthly expenses. Crunch the numbers and determine which bills you’ll pay with which paycheck, set reasonable spending limits, and allocate a specific amount each month towards your financial goals. 

5. Prioritize your savings

Tight budgets leave little room for unexpected expenses. Having some money in savings can keep you from falling behind. Even a small rainy day fund can relieve financial pressure when life throws a curveball – like a blown tire, insurance co-payment, or impound fee. 

Allocate a specific, manageable amount for your savings from each paycheck. If you have an online account, you can even set up auto-withdrawal so you don’t even have to think about the transaction.

6. Tackle your debts

After you’ve built up your rainy day fund, it’s time to tackle your debts. If you carry high credit card balances and only pay your monthly minimum, you’re not alone – but it could be costing you thousands each year in interest. 

Start paying extra on your lowest-balance credit card (even a small amount helps!). Once you’ve paid that off, roll that amount over to the card with the next lowest balance. Rinse, wash, and repeat until you’ve paid off all your debt. This might take time, but it’s how you gain financial stability. 

Learn more: 6 Mistakes to Avoid While Paying Down Debt

7. Start saving for retirement

Don’t forget your future self! Thanks to compound interest, retirement investments become more valuable over time. That’s why it’s never too early to start contributing to a retirement account, especially if your employer matches.

If you don’t have an employer-sponsored option, look into Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). 

8. Keep your eye on the prize

Even the best plans hit speed bumps along the way. It’s okay to fall short of your monthly goals if you encounter a surprise expense or accidentally overspend.

Learning how to gain financial stability is a process, and missteps don’t mean you should quit. Be gentle with yourself, track your progress, and keep your sights on the future.

9. Start building your credit 

Poor credit impacts your ability to gain financial stability more than you think. You’ll pay higher interest rates, which means larger monthly payments. In many states, poor credit equals higher home and auto insurance premiums. You might even get passed over for career opportunities that would increase your salary. 

There are ways to build good credit fast, and not all of them require taking on additional debt. In fact, solutions like StellarFi help you build credit with the bills you pay each month already. 

The bills you pay should pay you back 

You don’t have to take on more debt to build credit. With StellarFi, you can build a positive credit history with rent payments, utilities bills, and even gym memberships. You pay all these bills every month, you should get some credit for it!

Getting started is easy. The more bills you link, the more you’ll affect your credit score. Ready to give it a try?

Topics:
No items found.

The StellarFi blog is intended to serve as an informational resource. While StellarFi can help you build your credit, we do not provide financial, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult a trusted advisor for financial, legal, or accounting guidance as needed.

Related Articles

New Student Loan Forgiveness Announced: Do You Qualify?

Learn the details of President Biden's latest student loan forgiveness announcement. Here's what's included, and who qualifies.

New Student Loan Forgiveness Announced: Do You Qualify?

Learn the details of President Biden's latest student loan forgiveness announcement. Here's what's included, and who qualifies.

New Student Loan Forgiveness Announced: Do You Qualify?

Learn the details of President Biden's latest student loan forgiveness announcement. Here's what's included, and who qualifies.

New Student Loan Forgiveness Announced: Do You Qualify?

Learn the details of President Biden's latest student loan forgiveness announcement. Here's what's included, and who qualifies.

How to Save Money by Training Your Brain

A few simple steps can help you create a lifetime of financial security. Here’s how to grow your savings by changing your brain.

How to Gain Financial Stability on a Tight Budget

It’s possible to gain financial stability on a tight budget. These tips will help you get (and stay) ahead.

Why Budgeting Is Important for Building Credit

Feeling stuck in your credit building process, or not sure where to even begin? Try starting with a solid budget. Learn why budgeting is important for building credit, and some tips for creating a budget for yourself or your household.

What is Personal Finance? How to Budget, Save, and Build Financial Wellness.

What is personal finance? Here’s what you need to know to budget, save, and build financial wellness with confidence and clarity. 

Should You Pay Off Debt or Save Your Money? Here’s the Surprising Truth.

People looking to build credit and improve their finances often wonder, should you pay off debt or save your money? Which is more impactful for your financial wellness?Here's everything you need to know about this tough decision.

How to Stop Spending Money: 5 Ways to Change Your Financial Habits

In many ways, learning how to stop spending money is about understanding yourself and your relationship with money. If willpower doesn't seem to help you resist the urge to swipe that credit card, try these tips instead.

5 Smart Money Moves for New Grads

Congratulations, graduate! Build financial freedom into your career with these five smart money moves for new grads.

Can Your Mental Health Predict Your Financial Health?

The connection between money and mental health impacts more areas of your life than you might think. Learn how mental health can determine your financial health, and the other way around. Plus, find some tips to keep your personal finances on track while you cope with psychological and emotional challenges.

How to Pay Down Student Loans Fast

Student loans unlock opportunities for new skills, careers, and earning potential. But student loans can also become an obstacle as they weigh down your budget and prevent you from obtaining financing for other things you'll need, like a home mortgage. Here's how to eliminate this debt as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Join our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy and provide consent to receive updates.

On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Nonpayment may negatively impact your credit score. StellarFinance, Inc. will report your on-time payments to Experian®, Equifax® and TransUnion®. Impact on your credit may vary, as credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.