How to stretch each dollar to the max
Many people these days live paycheck to paycheck. And when you’re a SAHM who also does all the budgeting, the burden to pay all the bills and keep everyone fed becomes a heavy one to bare. I get it completely and I have spent years honing the special art of budgeting every dollar and stretching it to the max.
There are some really simple ideas you can put into practice that with self control and patience will save you money right now.
If you aren’t a Christian than you can take this how you want or just skip over it completely. If you are a follower of Jesus then listen up. It took my husband and I a long time to actually start tithing. We knew that we wanted to follow God, and be obedient to Him, but we also were pretty attached to that ten percent that we were used to having. Back before we started tithing we were always struggling. I remember days when I would looked at envy when I saw women with carts full of food at the supermarket. Now we’ve been tithing faithfully for about five years and in that time I have never once had to scrounge up a few dollars to buy milk. We make less now than we did then and we live better and always have what we need and more. So if you’re on the fence about tithing, I think you should dive in and trust that God can do more with your 90 percent then you ever could with 100 percent.
2. Save $1000 when you get your tax refund and put it on an emergency prepaid visa.
In a normal year my family has a few unexpected expenses that can really do havoc on my monthly budget, but if we have money on an emergency prepaid visa then that flat tire, or broken toilet won’t make me break a sweat. I know it might be hard to save that money, but it’s so worth every penny to have that peace of mind, and at the end of the year if you don’t use it you can spend it on Christmas. Bonus!
3. Stick to your store budget.
That means every time you go to the store have a list and stick to it. And don’t let your hubby grocery shop unless absolutely necessary. He might come home with a few new movies and a ton of cookie dough that you would never buy.
I cannot with words express how important this step is. If you have 10 checks that bounce in the course of a year that’s at least $300 extra you’re spending on penalties. I only write checks for rent. Other than that everything else can be paid over the phone or online.
5. Ax Cable
In our modern world you can get most of the same great entertainment online or on Roku or other streaming devices. We’ve been cable free for 5 years and we haven’t regretted it. Make the switch, you won’t miss it.
6. Invest in Amazon Prime
I spend $100 a year on Amazon Prime and it is worth every penny. I buy a lot of little things online, like books and everyday items that I don’t have time to run to Wal-Mart for. Amazon Prime has free two day shipping on most anything I would need, and good prices that are comparable to Wal-Mart and sometimes cheaper. We also get streaming movies through our Amazon app on Roku. It’s as good as or better than Netflix. We also use their Prime Photo on our phones and it automatically saves all the pictures and videos I take to that I can easily delete pictures off my phone to get more space that I need. All in all this is a great service and totally worth it for our family.
All in all, in order to budget like a pro, you need to get creative and really look at your lifestyle. It’s no the big expenses that do you in, it’s all the little things that add up to be big problems.