Is your bank balance running dry and it’s not even the middle of the month yet? Have you been delaying the purchase of something important because of a major fund crunch? It’s not that uncommon to hit a lean phase every once in a while as even the best of us find it hard at times to keep expenditures in control. However, the situation becomes grave when money issues become a regular feature in life and make it hard to fulfil even daily needs.

What you need is self-intervention

Unless you are expected to inherit millions of dirhams from a rich ancestor or win the grand lottery, the only thing that can pull you out of the predicament is financial planning. Let’s be clear from the outset – turning cash deficit into surplus is an uphill task and the results will only start showing in the long run. Therefore, it’s vital to keep your nose to the grindstone and continue to save little by little to eventually fill the pot.

How do I rein in my money?

From preparing short-term and long-term financial goals to slashing major expenses, there are several measures you can adopt to gradually regain control over your finances.

Here are some tips that will help you rein in your money and plan for a better future:

#1 Review your monthly expenditure

Make a list of monthly expenses and identify any unnecessary spending as well as areas where you can save money. Take out an average of variable expenses such as power bills, gas, and food with figures from the past three months. Expenditure incurred just once or twice in a year like vacations can be divided by 12 and added to the monthly amount. Knowing where exactly the money is being spent is important as it helps cut down on unnecessary expenses, which leads us to the second tip.

#2 Identify unnecessary expenses, eliminate them

Have a look at your fixed expenses and see if can you save more money on each one of them. Can you swap your cable plan with a cheaper one? Would you save more money on a quarterly gym membership compared to a monthly one? Can you bring down phone bills with a cheaper plan or power bills with efficient use? Do you really need certain subscriptions or can you do without them? Ask yourself such questions to fix your priorities and bring down spending.

#3 Pay off your debts

The burden of debt weighs too heavy on your monthly expenditure and seems worse once you account for all the interest you are paying each month. Plus, with credit card interest rates in the UAE being as high as 40%, it’s advisable to keep such transactions to bare minimum and clear credit card dues on time.

#4 Save for emergencies

When you are barely able to meet your monthly expenses, coping with financial emergencies such as an accident or sudden job loss can become a nightmare. After bringing your financial statements back in the green, it’s important to set some money aside for unexpected expenses. Furthermore, putting more money into savings account and investing in systematic investment plans will also help you secure long-term goals.

#5 Never miss a deal

In the age of cut-throat competition, almost every company offers a discount on their products/services to attract more customers. Be it online sales, gift vouchers, lucrative subscription plans, or dine out coupons – make use of deals that can boost your monthly savings.