When times are tough, stretching money is one of the most valuable skills to have. Start your money makeover with these tips and tricks.
Have you thought about how you can make your money go further? Stretching money is a tricky subject but it’s one you may increasingly need to think about during this crisis. It is said the COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in a large economic crisis. Many people have already lost their jobs and need their money to go further.
So how can you ensure that your budget is kept within control and you have reserves left over if an emergency happens? Stretching dollars is an art form, here’s what you need to know.
1. Budget Every Week
Budgeting is not something you do during an emergency or when the times are good. It’s a routine you need to get into, a religion for many people. By evaluating every penny you spend and how you can always maximize your income and cut back on waste. Every penny counts.
If it seems daunting to you then start by simply keeping a record of what you spend every week. Use a budgeting app or open an account with a digital or Fintech bank that automatically keeps track of your card spending.
You can see your finances displayed as a pie chart or in a helpful visual way and divided into categories. Once you’ve done this start to experiment and see where you can save money.
Can you use a different brand of shampoo or soap and is it just the same? If you can’t tell the difference then stick with it. Ask other family members to do the same.
2. Cut Back On Your Subscriptions
Be sure to cut back on subscriptions that you don’t use anymore. We all have Amazon accounts or Netflix accounts but rarely get time to use them.
Maybe you also pay for Spotify Premium but rarely listen to it. Audible is another subscription that many people continue with but don’t even bother to listen to because you lose your leftover credits if you haven’t spent them; many people want to defer choosing what audiobook they choose.
There are also many premium services that just don’t make sense to subscribe to and are a waste of money such as premium services for a bank or credit cards.
3. Speak to a Finacial Advisor
A financial advisor can help you decide where best to invest your money as well as how to cut back on your current expenditures. They can be a great investment for you as you could learn things about finances that you would never have thought of.
They can also be great as an accountability partner. A financial advisor can keep you on the straight and narrow and call you out if you overspend or fall into old habits.
If you can’t afford a financial advisor speak to a trusted friend who you know is good with money. They can help you see things in a different light entirely for free.
4. Change Your Energy and Phone Providers
Have you ever thought about how much you spend on energy bills, your water, gas, electricity, and your cell phone plan? You’re probably aware that you are getting ripped off but have thought that it was too much effort to do something about it.
Well, it’s time to take action and invest some time in getting those bills down. If you’ve been with the same companies for years the chances are they’ve been giving you a bad deal and offering perks for new customers to entice them in.
Ring up your suppliers and tell them to give you a better deal. Ask them to match what other companies would give you if you joined them. If they refuse to budge then tell them you’re leaving; it’s as simple as that.
You could save hundreds of dollars by doing this. All you have to do is stay strong and allocate an hour where you will most likely be put on hold during your phone call. Companies make it difficult for you to connect with them so you give up. Don’t hang up the phone. Commit to it and see it through. You’ll be able to stretch your money further.
If it is an emergency and you need to pay a bill you could consider a payday loan. Here are some payday loans locations in Canada if you need one.
5. Collect Those Loyalty Points and Vouchers
We often think loyalty points are a waste of time. It can be annoying to have to reach into our purse or wallet and look for the right loyalty card.
Often we might forget it and think it’s not worth just for some points that are worth a few pennies. But, as with budgeting, its impact can only be felt over the long term.
Technology has made collecting loyalty points easier than ever before. You are less likely to forget your card now as it can be stored electronically on your phone. Some stores even offer extra points for using an e-card on your mobile wallet as opposed to a traditional plastic card.
Remember vouchers are just as important as loyalty cards as these can get you money off your regular purchases. Be sure to do some research into which ones you can use and which ones aren’t valid for your purchase.
Remember you can use credit cards in a really smart way to get access to hotels.
Stretching Money: Every Penny Counts
It’s easy to worry about stretching money. But remember that every penny counts. The more you save in the short term the more you will save in the long term. Saving money is also about time. An hour here and there of research can save you a lot of money and will be well worth your time.
If you are interested in reading more about stretching money or stretching a dollar be sure to check out the rest of our site.