Really, it’s not always easy to turn around every penny. You get tired of it if you always have to say no and can’t do anything. You feel that it will not end and you will always have to live like that. And if you just keep hoping that there will be more work, more income and more freedom and it will never come, it would make you moody and depressed.

But I am convinced that everything stops once, that this also passes and you can close this period. But until that time you have to keep your head above water and ensure that you don’t go under it.

If you’re unable to stay positive for a while, I hope these thoughts will cheer you up again. If you keep thinking negatively nothing will change.

1. Remind yourself why you have a low budget.

Why? What’s the reason that you are in this situation and don’t have much to spend? This can have a different reason for everyone. Do you have to make a living from one income so that the other can take care of and raise the children, are there debts, is there a high mortgage against which you hate, are you sick at home or are you fired. It could be all kinds of reasons why you don’t have enough money. Whatever the reason, try to remember what the reason is. Be aware why you’re in this situation. You have to understand. It can help you if you are gloomy about how your finances are doing.

2. Try to be creative.

There are many things that you can do that are free or don’t cost much. I was only at home for a while, because I didn’t spend any money. The safest way, of course, but you will lock yourself up and that’s not good for anyone. Take your children to a playground or park, go for a picnic, to the library, the beach, flea markets, free museum or cultural routes organized in your hometown. Sometimes you have to search, but there are often many free things to do in your own place of residence. You can also organize something yourself, for example a creative afternoon in the community center or do something else fun with neighbors. You have to do really nice things to stay positive. It’s also a challenge to find something that is free or costs as little as possible. And really take action, just do it!

3. Just jump outside the tire.(Dutch expression)

Excessions don’t always have to be expensive and must be able to occasionally. Try to reserve something in your monthly budget for a moment for yourself or something nice that you would like to have but never actually buy. Even if it’s only five or ten dollars. Buy a nice magazine or go get an ice cream with the kids.

Allow yourself this. And you really need this lucky moment now and then. That’s how you keep it up. It also prevents you from suddenly spending a large amount if you can’t hold back for a moment if you deny yourself everything.

4. It’s often a period.

Comfort yourself with the thought that this situation you’re in will pass again. Be convinced of that. Some of us will have to live longer on a low budget than others, but assume that better times will come for you too. You’ll find work, get a raise, can work more hours or have an extra income. It can all happen, as long as you keep believing in it. In time this will also positively change your budget.

5. Focus.

Make a list of important things in your life. Take a good look at this and realize what it’s all about for YOU in YOUR life. This list is your focus. Do you want new clothes, on vacation or a different car? Or do you find your partner, your children, your family, your health and spending time together important? Focus what life is all about. Often you realize that the most important things don’t have to cost you money at all.

There is always time to make money, but the time to spend with your family can be very short. Don’t forget to enjoy this. List your priorities and make sure that you make your decisions based on your list. The rest is often all material, this can be replaced and doesn’t give you the memories that you cherish later that you could miss instead of focusing on. You don’t want that, do you?

6. Give to others.

Although you don’t have much to spend, you have to watch out that you keep everything to yourself and only think about yourself. Remember that there are always people who are worse off than you. If you are fighting with your own (financial) situation, there is always someone who is even worse and is fighting a bigger fight. If you feel down, look for a way to help others. No better feeling than that I think.

It doesn’t always have to cost anything. I say love is free. Be there for someone who needs a listening ear or who can help you with a job at home or with a message. It really gives a good feeling to be there for someone and here you get the positive moments for yourself. Who does well, meets well!

Try to stay optimistic when you live on a tight budget. It can be a big fight with yourself if you forget why you are in this situation. Try to make it fun and don’t forget that this period also passes once. So keep focusing on what is important to you and what makes you happy. You are really on your way to a happier life and a better budget.

Don’t forget to check how far you are during this trip. Maybe you have already repaid a large part of your debts or your mortgage, you have found work or an extra income. If you stay positive, you will achieve a lot.

Good luck!

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Over the last 20 years Jolanda has raised her son by herself and has experienced how hard life can be for a single mother. Health issues, losing her job, relationship issues and financial problems where just a few of the hurdles that life had in store for her.

But she always comes back from that valley and she picked herself up. Always taken other steps to see where it could take her. Looking for possibilities instead of impossibilities. That's her motto!

She is a budget coach, a life coach and has much down to earth Dutch experience. 

She is most known for her blogs about saving money, making money, her printables and many tips and advice about life itself.