How to Make Ends Meet

by Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017

How to Make Ends Meet. It isn't clear where the phrase "to make ends meet" came from, but it's meaning is understood. To make ends meet means to live within your means, or not spend more than you earn. Achieving this can sometimes mean having to take a hard look at what you consider your needs versus wants.

Step 1

Make a spending plan based on how much money you make in a month. Keep track of all of your expenses for a month and create a plan. Continue to track your expenses so you can make it more accurate and stay on track. Look at where you spend money, and investigate ways to lower these costs.

Step 2

Sign up for your grocery store's loyalty card, which will give you the sale prices on many items when you shop. Consult the store's advertising circular, stock up on frequently used items and plan your weekly meals according to what's on sale. Clip coupons from the Sunday paper; combine them with store specials for added savings.

Step 3

Consider how you can lower your monthly bills. Lower your service for your landline phone to the minimum, or get rid of it completely and just use your cell phone. Learn ways to save money on utility bills through home improvements or just by keeping the house a little warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.

Step 4

Stop spending money that you don't have, and use credit cards strictly for emergencies. Using credit cards to pay for things because you don't have the money right now amounts to spending money that you haven't earned yet. Continuing to do this over the long term makes it very hard to catch up.

Step 5

Buy used instead of new. Many items have life left in them long after they have outlived their usefulness to the original owner. Consider community programs online and as advertised in the newspaper.