It is hard for some to make ends meet.
It is almost impossible for some to save money on their income.
Many people have had to learn, the hard way, how to stretch a dollar. It is not easy to make the dollar go farther than the bills but many have beat the odds and done it and still do it on a regular basis. Those who are not worried about money and do not have to stretch it, to make ends meat, can learn a lot from those who do. One never knows when a disaster or illness may strike and render the breadwinner useless for a while. Many people are not prepared for anything like that and will not know what to do when or if it does happen to them.
It is a good idea for everyone to have enough money stashed back to take care of themselves for at least 6 months if something should happen and the income stops coming into the household. This is a good idea but not everyone saves money and many cannot save it because they are living from paycheck to paycheck already. Most of these people are already stretching the dollar as far as they can.
There are many people who can stretch the dollar even farther by cutting back on many things. Eating out seems to be one of the things some people seem to think they cannot live without but they are not thinking about how much this adds up over time. Stopping for coffee and breakfast everyday can add up very quickly. Get a coffee pot and a to-go mug and fix your own coffee. Get a coffee pot with a clock and timer on it and prepare it the night before so when you wake up, you have fresh coffee. Fill your mug and you are ready to head out the door. You can also prepare sausage and biscuits, breakfast burritos, etc. ahead of time and freeze them. Get up in the morning and pop one into the microwave while you are brushing your teeth. Grab your coffee and breakfast and head out the door. No more time is lost and you have saved several dollars. Add this up for the whole week and you may be surprised at the savings you will have.
There are many new recipes which can be fixed in a crock pot or slow cooker and you can prepare this before you go to bed, turn it on when you head out the door the next morning, and when you get home, you have dinner almost finished. Chop up a salad to go with it and you are eating high on the hog with a lot less money. There are also a lot of meals which can be prepared in an hour or less from groceries purchased from the grocery store. You can fix a meal at home for an average of $10 – $15 for four people or even more. This is about half, or less, of what you would spend by eating out. Use coupons when you can and buy groceries when they are on sale. Get a freezer so you can store more foods so you do not have to run to the store everyday. Make a list and a menu for the week so you know what you need and do not get more than what is on your list. Prepared frozen foods are more expensive than making it your self.
There are many ways to stretch the dollar. It just takes a little hand slapping once in a while to make yourself realize that you don’t really need some things as much as you thought you did. You need to ask yourself before you buy something, do I really need this, or do I just want it. There is a big difference.
Published in: Personal Finance