Living paycheck to paycheck is difficult and extremely stressful. There are not enough sites that discuss this topic. Not enough that help those of us who wonder what our next meal is going to be and if we are going to be able to make it to and from work with the amount of gas we have so that we can get that next paycheck. Here are some money saving tips that may help you stretch your wallet slightly.
Money Saving Tips to Make Your Money Stretch
Just a Little Bit Further
Grocery Club Cards
If you don’t have a Club Card to whichever Grocery Store you shop at, you need to get one now. These cards save you hundreds of dollars each year on your shopping trips. I personally shop at Safeway®. Safeway® has a Just For U discount app that is specifically designed around the items that you shop for the most. As a customer, you get additional discounts by adding these offers to your club card.
In addition, Safeway® gives you discounts on gas. For instance, for every $100.00 grocery dollars you spend, you earn 10¢ off each gallon when you use your Club Card at the pump. Additionally, their site also allows you to create a shopping list with all the specials that you have added so that you can print it out and take it with you. If you have a Smart Phone, you can access this list on their app. You can read more about money saving tips at Safeway® here.
Envelope Saving has been around forever. It is a simple way of budgeting your money so that you only use your allocated amount for each category. For example, if you have a budget of $300 for Groceries on this paycheck, that money goes into an envelope marked “Groceries”. From then on, that money is used only for groceries. Other envelopes may include gas, entertainment, clothing, etc. Ultimately, if there is no money in the envelope, you simply don’t purchase these items. It is good to review where you are on a daily basis so that you do not overspend in one area or another.
Minimize Monthly Expenses
When I think of minimizing monthly expenses, I’m not talking about canceling your gym membership or your bi-weekly visit to the hair salon. Those of us who really struggle don’t do these things in the first place. Our money has to go to only things that we actually need. I’m talking about your vices. Think about the things that you feel that you just cannot do without. So, for me personally, it is cigarettes and energy drinks.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, we buy our cigarettes by the carton on payday. This is definitely the best way to save on pack cigarettes. If you really want to cut back you could purchase a cigarette roller, some tobacco, and filters, and roll your own smokes. This will be expensive to start but will save you lots of money in the long run. As far as my energy drinks go, I look for specials on them all the time. If one of the stores that you usually shop at doesn’t have what you crave on sale, chances are the store just down the street is having a sale on that item.
Renting all Utilities Paid
I like to rent All Utilities Paid. Not only does this simplify my monthly bills, but it is usually cheaper to rent this way. If your apartment includes everything you also don’t have to worry so much about whether or not you should have three lights on or if you could only use one for now. However, the landlord will control the heating and cooling settings in your residence which can be a drawback, but adding an electric space heater in the winter and a fan in the summer will mostly likely keep you comfortable and not be a problem with the landlord. The apartment we are moving out of also included Direct TV® which was a very nice bonus.
Prepaid Debit Cards
If you do not have a savings account, you can still save money. Utilizing Prepaid Debit Cards is a good way to segregate your saving from your spending. They come in many different designs so that you will not confuse the cards and accidentally use your saving card for expenses. My favorite is the NetSpend® Card. With NetSpend®, there is no credit check and no minimum balance. They have three plans to choose from: Prepaid Card Costs
Also, when you sign up using this link:
you get a $20.00 sign on bonus after you deposit your first $40.00. If you are asked to enter a referral code, use 7301095818.
Finally, I hope that these money saving tips are helpful to you. Leave me a comment below on what else you would like to see in my blogs and what has been helpful to you. I would love to have your feedback!
Until the next paycheck, hang in there. It will get easier.