Budgeting is difficult when your paycheck is stretched too thin. While saving may be difficult, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your income. Consider the follow tips to help with everyday expenses. Padding your bank account may be easier than you think.
- Cook large meals. Dining at home is one of the best ways to control your monthly food allowance. Take this practice a step further by cooking large meals and combining dishes. Consider the following example:Newlyweds Claire and Charlie live on a tight budget. This week, Claire bought a pound of boneless chicken on sale for $3.89. She and Charlie grill the entire pound of chicken and save the leftovers. Claire uses the remaining chicken to top a pizza she cooks the following night.Take a lesson from Claire and Charlie in the food shopping department. Plan weekly meals that allow leftovers to be used in other dishes. This practice will help you cut down on waste and maximize every dollar you spend.
- Shop the sales. Paying full price is a thing of the past for money-savvy individuals. The good news? Almost every retailer holds quarterly sales throughout the year. Whether you are shopping for new clothes or big-ticket appliances, curb your enthusiasm and wait for prices to fall. You have better uses for the extra cash.
- Be your own handyman. Paying a professional handyman comes with a cost—usually a large one. Licensed contractors and mechanics charge hefty markups for their services. While some expenses are unavoidable, a little education could save you thousands in the long run. Protect your money by learning how to tackle simple home and automotive repairs. Caulk your own windows and doors to conserve electricity. At the 3,000-mile mark, do some research and learn how to change the oil in your car. The bottom line: small repairs add up over time. Gain your independence by soaking up some new information.
- Eliminate the extras. Habits often lead us to waste money without realizing it. For example, do you still own a landline in addition to your cell phone? Do you subscribe to magazines that now offer the same stories online? Saving money fast is about examining your expenses and looking for easy ways to cut back. Lower your expenses by searching for cheaper (or free) alternatives.
- Don’t forget the coupons. Thanks to the internet, cashing in on discounts has never been easier. The web is filled with coupon sites that house thousands of active money-saving offers. While some are only valid online, many of these coupons are printable and may be used in-store as well. Before venturing out on your next shopping trip, go online and search for the latest coupons to reign in your spending. Deep discounts are available to those who look.
This guest post was provided by Sarah Elliot, a writer for LexingtonLaw.com in the credit repair industry.