Stretch your money in a world that has experienced raging price increases in everyday items and essential commodities in the past two years. Due to inflation, many people have witnessed their everyday expenses rise through the roof, which keeps getting worse each month. In times like this, you might feel lost and scared that your paycheck doesn’t last through the month. That’s why it’s essential to occasionally reassess your income and expenditure to see where savings can be made. With just a few changes, you can stretch your money further and feel less overwhelmed. Consider these five strategies below.
Adjust your budget
If you’ve been working with a budget for a long time, when was the last time you had it analyzed and reviewed? It might surprise you that your current budget isn’t ideal for your current situation and needs to be adjusted. Once you’ve tracked how your money is spent, you’re better positioned to adjust your budget to suit your current state. If you’re new to budgeting, it might take some time to get the hang of it. Rely on budgeting apps to help make money tracking, financial goal setting, and savings easier for you.
Pay your bills on time
If you can afford it, ensure that all bills are paid on time. Paying bills on time is essential because it can help you save money by avoiding late payments and interest fees. It’s also a great way to build and boost your credit score, allowing you to become eligible for some of the best interest rates on loans and credit cards. Lastly, the earlier you pay off your bills, the quicker you’ll be able to fully pay off all debts and have more money to spend on yourself, your family, and other things of choice.
Negotiate regular bills
When money is tight, you need to get innovative. One of such innovations is to strive to pay less for some of your regular expenses. A typical example is your cable and internet costs. Depending on your provider, you might qualify for lower payment rates as a loyal subscriber or a discounter promotion on their service. For other services like insurance, find out if you qualify for any discounts or compare companies to find those that do.
Track your expenses
The best way to stretch your money is to first know how that money is usually spent. When you can know in detail what you’re currently doing with your money, you can get a deeper sense of your fixed monthly expenses, such as your mortgage/rent, and car payments. This simple exercise might open your eyes to the fact that for example, your car consumes a lot of fuel which means a lot of spending happens at the gas station. To curb this, you might start thinking about investing in a quality used car with low fuel consumption from reputable used car dealers near you. Tracking your expenses is as simple as carrying a notebook and noting everything you purchase or keeping receipts to input into a digital spreadsheet later.
Avoid impulse purchases
For some people, impulse purchases are their downfall. If you find yourself on this boat, you should work at halting these impulsive purchases for some time. The best way to do that is to ask yourself if something you’re purchasing is a want or a need. You can also avoid certain stores, or store aisles such as jewelry, shoes, and wine, for some time.
It’s clear that with a few smart saving steps, you can stretch your money each month without being homeless or hungry. The key is knowing where your money goes and re-route it using a budget. The rest, which includes punctual bill payments and negotiating prices, are also great to help you keep a couple of extra hundred in your pocket.