How to Survive Between Paychecks

WorkThere is an awkward transition period when you are starting a new job. New jobs are great but they usually come with new expenses–new clothing, for example. And most often, you won’t see a paycheck from a new job right away. It could take up to a month sometimes to get your profile going in the payroll systems. So if you don’t have money saved up to use for such an occasion, you might find yourself temporarily broke. But there are things you can do to make your dollar stretch until you get paid.

“Cut out unnecessary spending. Bills should be your first priority, so cut out any unnecessary spending until your checking account is sufficiently replenished,” offers Kendal Perez, savings expert with “For example, avoid takeout meals, after work happy hour events and morning lattes for the first two weeks of your new job. If possible, consider alternative transportation to cut down on fuel costs, and keep your home or apartment cooler or warmer than you’d like to reduce your energy bill temporarily.”

Do some coupon clipping. You will probably be amazed at the savings. “Stretch your money with coupons and discount gift cards. If you find yourself in need of making a purchase to support your new position, like professional work attire, stretch your budget with coupons and discount gift cards,” notes Perez.

Besides saving money by buying your new work wardrobe online, you can try out some consignment shops. “Gently-used work attire costs a fraction of retail prices and can help you look sharp without cutting your budget,” says Perez.

Once you start work, don’t spend money on having an expensive lunch. “Brown bag it. It may be tempting to join your new co-workers for lunch, but at $6 to $10 a pop, daily lunch outings will break your budget! Bring your lunch from home and join your co-workers once a month to stay social,” says Perez. “Eat like a college student. If your fridge happens to be empty during your first day on the job, eat like a college student for the next two weeks to save money for bills. Stock up on Ramen, meat markdowns (freeze whatever you don’t eat right away), canned tuna, beans and other cheap foodstuffs to keep hunger at bay while you wait for your first paycheck!”