Surviving a job that doesn't pay enough to cover your expenses is as emotionally draining as it is financially. Because getting a higher paying job is not always feasible, identify, eliminate and adjust your expenses to live within your means. Once that's accomplished, look for creative ways to bring in extra cash. It won't be easy, but if you budget well, you can survive a job that pays less than your expenses.
Create a budget. Write down all your monthly expenses such as rent, mortgage, car payments, utilities, insurance, credit cards and living expenses. Categorize these as essential and nonessential to give you an idea what you're working with.
Cut unnecessary expenses. Work out at home instead of paying for a gym membership. Eat in instead of dining out. Wait to rent movies instead of going to the theater.
Modify expenses you can't eliminate. Raises deductibles to lower insurance premiums. Contact your lender to refinance your mortgage. Transfer your credit card balances to low- or no-interest cards. These actions aren't always possible, but don't let that stop you from negotiating.
Avoid using credit cards. While fine for emergency purchases, the payments will add to your monthly expenses.
Use coupons and look for sales when shopping. Plan your trips in advance so you stick to what you need. Search the newspaper, mail and Internet for special offers to save money.
Find additional sources of income. Sell items at yard sales, flea markets or online auctions. Sell homemade items or baked goods at craft shows. Consider a part-time second job to supplement your income.
Put any money you can into savings. Build enough of a cash surplus and you can pay off debts and have money on hand for emergency.
Discuss your standing with your boss. Ask how you can improve your prospects for advancement. If you have to stay late, accept more responsibility or take on a leadership role, do so to better your finances.