Money Management: 5 Ways To Stretch Your Money
You might think that making your money go along way can be a difficult task but it is easier than you think. The key is not making any impulsive decisions and weighing all of your options before making a final purchase.
Also this is the perfect time to be frugal, not cheap, but just wise when spending your money. There are a lot of ways to spend your money but the wisest ways are the ones that let you save the most without sacrificing quality or need.
1. Discount Shop
A common misconception about discount shopping is that it means getting low quality items, but that’s actually very far from the truth. Discount shopping is about getting quality items for a more affordable price. Not to mention, saving you a good amount of money.
Discount shopping includes, using coupons when going to the grocery store, buying clothes at consignment or vintage stores, etc. These changes in your spending habits could end up saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.
Remember that the key here is to get the same items you usually buy but just at a reduced price. Also don’t take the first option that is available to you, think about other places you could get your items for less and shop there if necessary. This doesn’t mean go across town for one item but be aware that a difference of a couple of dollars is still a savings.
2. Use Cash
This is one of the most common and most useful ways to make your money go that extra mile. Using cash has a lot of advantages the number one of which is that you start to become aware of your actual spending habits. Not to mention, you will see and feel the difference in the amount of money you use over time.
Having the ability to see how and where your money is going is a powerful tool for improving your spending habits. You start to hold yourself accountable and as a result, making better spending decisions.
Try starting small when it comes to cash, and place a limit on yourself. For instance, try stretching out $20 in one day. See how far you get or if you have any money left at the end of the day. If you have no money left or you ran out of funds before the day was over, you need to seriously rethink your personal financial habits but if you have money left over, you are managing your funds wisely and should challenge yourself to save more the next day.
3. Watch Your Spending
This is the number one thing you can do to ensure you will be able to stretch your money the furthest. A good rule of thumb is to think about your purchase at least twice before making a final purchase.
You will need to ask yourself, do you need or want this item? And is it something you will use more than once? If the object doesn’t meet these requirements, then you most likely won’t need it and should not buy it. Going out and spending money is about being a savvy consumer and knowing when a good deal is happening and when to walk away.
This is probably one of the trickier ways to try to save your money but definitely doable. The key to negotiating is having a firm goal and not changing from it. Additionally, you have to be clear when it comes to bargaining or else you can raise doubts and end up losing more then you started with in the end.
A good example, is when asking for a raise at work. You want to have a clear objective going into the meeting with your boss, the exact amount you want for your raise and why you deserve it. This will give you leverage when you go in and will keep you focused on your goal.
This is also helpful when it comes to purchasing items. For instance, when you go to the grocery store make a list of the items you need and if you find that you can’t find a few, either find alternatives or see what options you have available. Don’t just take what you get, that’s a sure way to not save money.
Also this goes for couponing or sale shopping. When you go to the store and are using a valid coupon, make sure to tell the cashier at checkout. Don’t be afraid to assert your financial savings plan when it comes to spending your money. Remember that every dollar counts.
5. Set A Firm Spending Limit
It is important to budget when it comes to spending and not going over no matter what. In order, to start gaining better money habits, you have to stay committed and not give yourself a break every time you make a mistake.
When you hit your spending limit, that means that you can’t spend a cent more. Be tough on yourself, don’t give into the urge to spend more money. You will learn and grow from maxing out your budget and be ready for next time. At the same time, you will come to the realization that you don’t handle your funds well and need to be more diligent with your money management skills.
A budget is a great tool to keep you on track to saving and only spending what you have versus what you don’t have. If you do find yourself needing money for emergency purposes after using all of your funds, you can then go over your spending limit. But only do this for emergencies or you will end up blowing through all of your money.
Money Management Is Simple
Many people think that being financially responsible is like rocket science but it’s much simpler. You just have to hold yourself accountable and not give yourself any breaks.
In addition, having guidelines setup and rules to follow will keep you focused on your personal financial goals and motivated to save money.
Start with small changes, like spending a little less every time you go shopping or only buying 2 things at the store instead of 3. Little changes like this will eventually turn your habits around and have you on track to financial security.