Even when money is tight, you can still get to the end of the month and possibly have a few dollars left over. The trick is to know where every penny goes and make it stretch as far as possible. Use these tips every month and you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish even with a lower income.
Stick to Your Budget
Your budget works best when all your spending remains within the amount you allocate for each line item. At first, you may run out of funds for things like food. If there’s still another week until the month is over, that means preparing meals using whatever is left in the refrigerator rather than running out to buy more food.
Shop With a List
Wherever you go shopping, always have a list prepared in advance. This accomplishes two things. First, you don’t forget to buy something that you really need. Second, it helps minimize the temptation to buy on impulse. If it’s not on the list, you don’t buy it.
Switching From Debit to Cash
Debit cards are convenient but they also take away some of the reality of spending money. It’s too easy to rationalize going a dollar or two over your budget for food this week if you use plastic to pay. Switching from debit to cash puts you in control of how much you spend.
Slip just enough cash into an envelope for that trip to the supermarket. Jot down the cost of each item you place it in the cart. When you are approaching the amount of money in the envelope, it’s time to check out.
Take a Lunch
Many people don’t realize how much they spend on lunches each day. Even if you grab something at a fast-food place, the cost will add up over the course of a month. Preparing something at home and taking it along will stretch your food dollars noticeably.
Cut the Cable
A decent omnidirectional antenna will have an average range of 50 miles and set you back $30.00 or less. Thanks to digital signaling, most stations now offer up to four sub-channels of programming along with their primary channels. That means if you have five TV stations in your city, the antenna could pull in as many as 25 channels. After your initial investment in the antenna, your monthly TV watching is free.
These are just a few ways to stretch your paycheck and still enjoy a decent quality of life. Start with these ideas and you’ll quickly come up with other ways to trim expenses and save money. When you see the balance in your savings account grow by a few dollars each month, you’ll know the effort is worth it.