A Cozy Lifestyle with Clearissa Coward
Stretch Your Budget Further With These Personal Finance Hacks
A Cozy Lifestyle with Clearissa Coward
During this time, many of us are dealing with the financial burden of Covid-19. Not only has the virus had an everlasting effect on how we move around (social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, wearing gloves, eating in, etc), and how we spend our money. It has also had an adverse effect on our finances as well. Because of the pandemic, many of us are furloughed, many small businesses are going under, the airlines are suffering because a lot of folks are not traveling and resorts and hotels are suffering for the same reason. In this article, Stretch Your Budget Further With These Personal Finance Hacks, I share tips that I hope will help us stretch those dollars a little further.
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Many will tell you that money cannot buy happiness, but the truth is, money can buy peace of mind. Money can relieve stress and erase sleepless nights. No money can not buy happiness, but it can provide a sense of security that will make one happy. That’s just the truth. We need money to survive in this world.
I know what you are saying…Clearissa you cannot believe that, but in total transparency, I do believe that. You see if you cannot pay your mortgage, if you cannot feed your family, if you cannot send your children to college, if you cannot pay medical insurance, then you are financially stressed and if you are financially stressed, you are simply stressed. And that is where a lot of people are because of the virus. Small businesses are really struggling as are some big businesses, like airlines, brick and mortar shops, gyms, and restaurants to just name a few, are truly struggling right now and behind those businesses are real people.
With all of that said, let me also say that I am not talking about being a millionaire. I am speaking about having the money to live a normal day-to-day life. When you consider that the median income in the USA for a household is about $61, 389 dollars in 2018, according to the US Census (https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/09/us-median-household-income-not-significantly-different-from-2017.html), you can see where you stand or where you stood before the pandemic and you can compare that to where you are now, after the pandemic.
Regardless of how much or how little money you have, you can make your money go a lot further and work better for you. If followed, the tips below can help you and me stretch our dollars to avoid financial stress.
1. Shop Less – Only shop for groceries one time a week, instead of anytime you run out. If you can stretch it out, only go every two weeks. The fewer times you go into a store, the less money you will spend overall on last-minute purchases.
2. Use a List – No matter what you’re buying, whether groceries, clothing, or supplies, always shop with a list. Don’t buy anything that is not on the list.
3. Research – To take the list a step farther, only buy things within price ranges you have determined are good deals. If you want a new blazer and you have set the bar at $50.00, do not go over it; shop until you find exactly what you want for the exact price you want.
1. Save the Difference – If you budgeted X amount of dollars for something, and you found it cheaper, save the difference. Since it was already budgeted at a certain amount, this is almost like found money.
2. Save Your Change – When you buy something, only pay with bills. Collect all the change at the end of each day. At the end of the year, take whatever change you have saved to the bank and add it to your savings account.
3. Automatic Withdrawals – Most banks and employers now offer automatic withdraws for savings accounts or investments. If you get this set up, you will never see it. Shoot for 10 percent of your earnings or whatever your company will match as the minimum amount.
Getting Good Deals
1. Have Plenty of Cash – The more cash you have to offer someone on something they’re selling, the more power you have. It doesn’t matter if it’s a washer and dryer, a bed, or a car – if you have cash, to give, you’ll get a better deal.
2. Deal Directly – Do not use a travel agent to go places; instead deal directly with the resort, airline, or rental car company for everything you want. You’ll get better deals or at the very least the same deal as the others. This is a researched fact. I am not sure I agree with this one. I do use a travel agent and it is well worth it to avoid hassles and misunderstandings. At least that’s my opinion.
3. Rental Car – Don’t rent from the airport; instead rent from a nearby location which will bring the car to you. You’ll save money this way. Bonus: always fill up the car yourself before returning it; it will save you money.
4. Be Ready – If you’ve saved money all year long, and keep performing needed maintenance on your stuff, you’ll avoid last-minute disasters as you’ll be ready for issues that pop up.
* Do a Check-Up – Periodically, do a financial check-up by calling the phone company, cable company, insurance company, and anyone else you pay monthly to ensure that better deals have not come up recently.
Most people have limited resources, but they can make their money go a lot further with advance planning, research, and understanding of what you can and cannot live without.
We have to be extremely careful with our funds while many are living solely off of unemployment and others are living on less than before the pandemic. However, these are good tips for all of us who are not independently wealthy.
What are some of your money-saving tips? What do you do to make your funds stretch further? Do you worry about money issues?
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