If you find yourself with a meager bank account the few days before payday, an expense audit might be your savior. For the budget challenged, doing an expense audit is as simple as pulling out your debit card statement and reviewing your purchases: the essential and not so essential.

Let’s take a look at a few common expenses anyone can slash from their monthly budget to save money and keep their bank account padded until payday.

Step 1: Identify all monthly expenses.

What are your monthly recurring expenses? Create two columns: essentials and non-essentials.

List your essentials along with the amount you expect to pay for them. After you’ve listed the essential recurring expenses, review your statement for random, not-so-essential purchases that somehow show up on your purchase history frequently. List these expenses on the non-essentials column. Take a hard look at both columns, and then decide what you can do without, even if for a short time, until you are able to maintain a solid spending plan throughout the month.

Step 2: Decide what to eliminate.

Check out the rest of the article over at USNews to see what you can eliminate.