Life can be quite unpredictable, with lots of ups and downs. One moment you are living in abundance, and the next, well, not so much. Times can be even tougher if you don’t have enough money. With most people living from paycheck to paycheck, making ends meet on the already stretched budget can be quite a challenge for many. Having a shoestring budget doesn’t, however, mean you cannot survive and thrive through the tough times. Here are a few tips and ideas to help stretch your paycheck a little further.
Coupons offer an excellent way to save money on almost everything from toiletries, groceries, cleaning products, ad hygiene items, among others. You, however, need to find these coupons first to be able to redeem them. Luckily, you can find plenty of these online, in weekly newspapers and magazines as well. Most of these will come in the form of coupon codes that you can use when shopping.
2-Do Away With Non- Essentials
Although you might know this already, non-necessities can take a huge chunk of the little money you have. Doing away with most of these, if not all, can help free up some money in the long run. You however want to identify items and services that aren’t necessary before cutting them out. You can choose to do away with cable TV (in favor of online streaming), a home phone (use your smartphone instead), and even switch from the nice big SUV to a less fancy vehicle with better gas mileage to save even more money in the long run. Making some of these sacrifices will go a long way in freeing more money, thus totally worth it.
Reducing waste in the house can go a long way in realizing savings in the long run. One way to reduce waste in the house is to cook just enough food for the family and turning any leftovers into a meal (keep it in the fridge) for another day. You might also want to switch to reusable diapers, bags, sacks, and any other containers in the house. You will be surprised how much you will be saving for simply cutting down on waste.
4-Consider Used Items
Although you might want to get a new car, designer clothes, appliances, and electronics, going for a used item (but in good condition) instead can see you save lots of money in the process. This means shopping at consignment shops, thrift stores and attending yard sales as well. Used electronics, just like cars, cost a lot less, almost half, the original price. You will be surprised how affordable some of these items are, considering the condition they are in.
5-Do Some Comparison Shopping
Never buy an item or service before comparing prices with other sellers or suppliers. Comparison shopping shouldn’t be just for big purchases, but for everything you spend money on as well. That said, you will be surprised how much you would be saving by simply comparing prices from your local grocery stores, supermarkets, and even online markets. A little time and research are all it takes to know where to find an item at a more affordable rate.
6-Focus on Preservation
Make a habit of looking for ways to preserve everything, especially water and electricity. Identify ways to make your home more energy-efficient, and cut down on water wastage to bring your utility bills even lower. While it might not seem like much, adopting ways to save energy and water has a more significant impact on your bill and the environment as well.
7-Monitor Your Spending
While budgeting provides a better way to control your finances, especially spending, you still need to be careful with how you execute the budget. For example, spending too much at the grocery store on one visit might not be the wisest of ideas. There are times when prices will go down or up, depending on supply. You thus not only want to stick to the budget but also be careful with it. Personal loans, no guarantor, bad credit are an option for financial emergencies.
8-Look For an Additional Income Stream
Is your budget tighter than ever? Looking for an extra stream of income can help lighten the load. One way to do this is to take a part-time job or online gigs whenever possible. There are plenty of avenues you can use to generate a little bit of income during your free time. All you need is to identify your niche, get a bit of training, then get working.