6 Easy Steps To Stretch Your Dollar
Our goal is to help you get the most of every dollar you earn. Stretching your dollar doesn’t have to be a pain staking task. Just a few simple steps can help you if you are needing to save during a tight month, are wanting to save for a vacation, or if your are just wanting to sock some money away. These 6 easy steps to stretch your dollar are sure to help you with your goals.
1. Make a budget.
Making a budget will not only show you a visual of all of your expenses, but it will also help you keep track of every dollar that you spend. Making a budget and sticking to it will help you avoid making impulse buys and purchasing other things you don’t need. If you need help getting started with a budget, check out our Budgeting 101 – 5 Steps to Making and Staying On Budget post.
2. Don’t eat out.
This means not only refraining from eating lunch and dinner out, but also coffee, soda, and snacks. I was in the habit of stopping by Sonic just about every day for a $.99 iced tea. Yes, it’s only $.99, but I was doing it at least 5 days a week. I was spending almost $20 per month on iced tea. The better solution; I made sure to fill my 32 oz. Tervis Tumbler with lid (they are great travel cups) with iced tea before I left the house. If I spent the same $20 on tea bags and did it at home, I could have 480 cups of iced tea instead of the 20 per month I was getting at the drive thru! See, stretching my dollar!
3. Make a menu.
Meal planning will take a little up front effort, but the reward in the end is huge. There is nothing like coming home from a hard days work and then trying to figure out what you are going to eat. This usually ends with unhealthy, expensive take out! There are 6 of us in our family, so we each choose a meal that we each want and then we have a sandwich/leftover night. I write down the menu and then make a list of every ingredient I need to make each meal. If you do this, you are going to stretch your dollar because you are only buying exactly what you need. You are not over buying, eliminating potential waste which saves you money. Also, if you purchase everything you need, it eliminates multiple trips to the store. This saves gas, time, and money.
4. Don’t use credit cards.
If you don’t have the means to pay for something out right, don’t buy it. That sweater, purse, power tool, television, or video game is not worth it. Let’s say the latest Louboutin is out. In case you are wondering guys, Louboutin is a shoe designer. These fabulous shoes are $600 and you must have them so you put the on your department store credit card. Store credit cards have very high interest rates, usually around 24%. If you charged these shoes, made minimum payments, it would cost you $300 in interest over almost 4 years. If the shoes are that important to you, budget by making payments to yourself each month in the form of a budget. See number 1. This example is extreme, but credit cards are dangerous and many of us don’t have the discipline to pay the balance each month. Better to just leave them alone!
5. Find free events.
Find free events to do with the kids. I know is here in San Antonio the museums have free admission certain times of the month. Also, don’t forget about the ever popular Family Game Night. Our game nights have provided so many memories, laughs, and great times and they didn’t cost us a dime. When asked by grandparents or other family members for birthday or Christmas ideas, we included board games and puzzles. We have now expanded our game night into a monthly event with friends and family members that involves a pot luck. Good times!
6. Use a coupon.
When you do dine out, use a coupon. Check out our restaurant coupons. Especially when ordering pizza. Also, when you are doing your online shopping, use a promo code. Even if you are shopping at a retailer we don’t have listed, shoot us an email or a comment. Chances are we can help you find a discount of some sort. Simply typing in a few keys on the keyboard is a very easy way to stretch your dollar!
So there you have it. 6 easy steps to stretch your dollar.