Saving money and making ends meet between pay check’s has become a way of life for many people and while you may make some cutbacks or savings through necessity, you might also enjoy the satisfaction achieved from some penny pinching ideas. Learning how to make the most of your money and stretching the value of your dollars will make it feel like you have got a bigger paycheck at the end of the month.
Working out your finances
The first thing you need to do as a priority is to actually sit down and work out where all your money goes by making a list of all your outgoings and what bills you have to pay. You have to be completely honest with yourself and list every item that you spend money on because that treat of a take away pizza or a donut and coffee can all add up over a month.
Once you have an accurate picture of how much you have to spend and how much you “waste”, you can get to work on stretching the dollars you earn as efficiently as possible.
Immediate ways of saving money
We are all creatures of habit and what we spend money on regularly becomes part of our routine, so a ruthless appraisal of where all your money goes will hopefully shock you into changing or even ditching a few wasteful financial habits, so that your money is used more efficiently.
Frugal living does mean making sacrifices and compromises but basic money saving tactics such as using coupons when you shop and switching to re-usable from disposable on items where possible are sound economics that will help you save money with very little extra effort.
The concept of actually saving any money from your income when you are trying to stretch your dollars as it is does seem like a distant dream, but having a small amount of savings in an emergency fund will actually save you money.
The reason this works is that if you get an unexpected car repair bill or say the boiler needs repairing, if you don’t have some spare cash stashed away for life’s emergencies, you are probably going to borrow on your credit card or even from a payday loan company at heft interest rates, meaning that the repair could cost you a lot more once you have repaid the total amount than if you used your emergency savings to pay the bill.
Turn a hobby into a habit
Saving money and finding ways of reducing your costs can be hobby for some and even if you start through necessity, your dollar stretching ideas can quickly become a habit that will save you money and help you to put some spare cash away for emergencies.
There are literally thousands of money saving tips and ideas available on the internet from small savings such as making your own sauces rather than buying more expensive readymade ones – all the way to extreme couponing where some very resourceful people seem to be able to almost get their entire shopping for almost nothing. This is usually done by taking advantage of the various offers across a number of shops.
Not every idea will work for you and you’re best starting point when you are looking to save money is by working out what you currently spend your money on and seeing if you can find cheaper alternatives that do the same job.
Dollar stretching does not have to be hard work and can also sometimes be fun if you like a challenge, but whatever way you approach the idea, it soon seems to make the length of time that passes between each pay check just that little bit shorter.
Guest post contributed by Sarah Rawson. Sarah tutors various online Masters in Finance online programs. Sarah also has a deep love for freelance writing and her articles mainly appear on higher education blogs.
Category: Saving Money