Ways To Stretch Your Budget Further

What do you do when your expenses meet or exceed your income? You pay your bills on time, manage to put away a small amount for savings, and do what you can to manage your debts, but it’s just not enough. You’ve gotten used to scrounging for things you need and haven’t been able to purchase anything you want in a while. Although you realize things could be worse, feeling broke all the time is getting the best of you. 

While affording the bare necessities is rough, it’s not impossible. In fact, with a bit of financial savvy, you can find the means to pay for what you need with a little leftover to cover things you want. Continue reading for suggestions. 

Seek Assistance

You don’t have to be unemployed, disabled, or a senior citizen to receive financial assistance from your local and federal government. Believe it or not, several programs are designed to help low-income families acquire the things they need. Whether you’re having trouble paying utilities, rent, groceries, or healthcare, there’s a program ideal for you. If approved, you could receive assistance to cover the bare necessities. Even if it’s only $200 towards the grocery bill, this is money you don’t have to take from your budget, which allows you to spend it elsewhere. 

Reduce Consumption

Utilities are one of those things you can’t live without, but they’re also expensive. The best way to free up cash in this area is to reduce your consumption. Practices as simple as turning off lights, unplugging devices, changing to LED lightbulbs, and making use of direct sunlight can go a long way in reducing your energy bills. Investing in low-flow faucets and toilets is ideal for those that need to get that water bill under control. 

Use Coupons For Everything

When making purchases, search for coupons or promotional codes before you pay. Whether you’re trying to get an oil change, pay for groceries, or purchase kid’s clothes, you’ll find that there are plenty of retailers willing to give you a financial break. Depending on the coupon, you could save anywhere from a few pennies to several hundred dollars on things you want and need. This savings frees up money in your budget to be used for other expenses. 

Get Things Free

What if you could get free stuff online? This may sound like a scam, but it’s quite the opposite. If you’re willing to spend a little time on research, you’ll find that there are plenty of brands willing to offer customers free items. There are free giveaway sites, free trials, cashback rebates, samples, and a ton of opportunities to get your hands on products without having to pay a cent. 

Bartering is another way to get things for free. While this may sound like an outdated concept, it can really come in handy. Let’s say you’re an accountant for a living and your neighbor is a landscaper; you could get your lawn done for free in exchange for balancing their books or helping them with their taxes. 

DIY

Why hire a professional for something you can do yourself? A contractor or expert is going to charge you additional money for labor. If you can save yourself a few bucks, why not try it yourself? Obviously, you shouldn’t attempt any project that’s risky, requires a great deal of skill or equipment. However, changing the fluids or brake pads on your car, replacing HVAC filters, or installing your own flooring are all fairly easy projects to do yourself. You can find instructional videos and guides to help you with the process from beginning to end. 

No matter where you live, the cost of living is high. Unfortunately, most American households don’t make enough to live comfortably. On the bright side, there are things you can do to stretch the money you have further. The suggestions listed above allow you to find ways to save on the things you need so that you can use your income to cover the rest. 

 

Tips To Help Reduce Your Monthly Household Expenditures

Life can be expensive and every day, there can likely be something that you’re paying for. Whether it’s grabbing a snack from your local corner store or paying out petrol for your car. When it comes to helping reduce your monthly household expenditures, there are plenty of things that you can do.

The reality is that many people won’t do it due to the effort it takes but a few changes here and there could end up making a huge difference to the income of your household and how much is left over by the end of the month. Here are some tips to help reduce your monthly household expenditures.

Refinance Your Property

One way to help free up some money is by refinancing your property. When you first bought your property, you might have gotten a deal that worked for you at the time. However, things change and you may have a need to pay less and therefore have a bit more money to work with when it comes to your monthly income and expenditures. There are always going to be better deals out there and for your mortgage, it’s probably one of the most expensive outgoings that you have each month.

With that being said, it’s worth looking at what’s available out there and what might be able to work for you when your mortgage agreement comes to renewal. For some, you might have had a two to three-year fixed mortgage, or perhaps you have a one-year flexible mortgage. Think about cash out refinancing and what works for you in your situation right now. Life can often change, so always be open to your finances when it comes to a mortgage.

Cut Out Luxuries

The next thing you want to focus on is cutting out the luxuries. There are going to be some things that are coming out of the monthly income that you might not necessarily need but there more of a want. With that being said, take a look at those luxuries that you have and try to cut as many of them out as possible. Luxuries are really anything outside of household bills and your mortgage payment and food. Anything else is a luxury and so if a payment falls into that category, then it might be best to try and remove these luxuries.

It can be something that you do short-term or that you might want to make a permanent change. However long you cut out the luxuries, it’s going to really help you in cutting down your monthly expenditures and will also help you to save money that you might need further down the line.

Learn To Budget Better

Everyone budgets their money differently. Some people might not even budget at all and that can lead to a lot of money being lost haphazardly. Without a budget, how do you know how much you can spend on a daily basis. At the end of the day, you obviously want to reach your next payday with at least a bit of money leftover. This leftover money can do well to save you a bit of extra cash that can end up going elsewhere.

Think about how you budget your money currently and if there’s an easier way to do it, then it’s definitely worth doing. If you don’t budget, then perhaps take inspiration from online resources. You might also want to ask a friend or family member on how they budget their money. It’s a shame that many of us aren’t taught how to budget at school as it can be a beneficial life skill to learn that could avoid a lot of people getting into debt.

You’ll find that budgeting your money gets easier and eventually, you’ll definitely learn to budget your money better with the right spreadsheet or formula in place.

Question Your Purchases

Every purchase you make is often done for a purpose. Some can be an impulse that you feel at the time and that even though you don’t need it, you want it. There are other purchases that you think about first before making them. It’s good to start practicing questioning every purchase you make. It might be that you just have the one question that will determine whether or not you should be spending that money.

However, there might be other occasions where you want to really go through two to three questions before you purchase something. It’s a good way of determining whether you are buying on impulse or whether you’re buying because it’s something you actually need and want.

Focus On Paying Off Any Debt

Debt is something that a lot of us can tend to build up over time and it’s important that when it comes to debt, you pay it off as quickly as possible. When you borrow money, it’s not money that’s yours and so it’s always good to keep that mindset when you need to borrow and accrue debt. Make sure that when you borrow, you really think about who you choose to borrow from and how much you intend to borrow. If you’re not careful, you could easily get yourself into a sticky situation.

Avoid Using Credit Cards Unless In An Emergency

Talking of debt, the quickest way for you to accrue debt is by using credit cards. Credit cards can cause you a lot of sleepless nights if you’re not careful and to avoid getting yourself getting in over your head, avoid using them. Credit cards like loans should only be used in an emergency. There’s really no point in using them for anything other than a scenario where you wouldn’t be able to pay for something out of your wages.

When you start having more than the one credit card, it certainly starts setting you up for failure. It’s tricking you into thinking you have more money than in reality, you have and where you can, avoid using credit cards unless you really need to.

Meal Prep For The Week

Meal prep is a good way of saving money because you reduce the amount of expenditures on your food bills every week or month. You may have times where you have nothing in for dinner and so you might try and find something quick and easy which ends up costing more money. It could be that you have a takeout and that can only add to the costs. Try to make sure your meal prep as often as possible and take aside some time to do it properly.

With meal prep, it’s all about doing it at once so that you don’t need to think about it until the end of the week. It is also going to help you eat healthier for the most part because the choices you make when shopping are likely going to be with healthier ingredients in mind. It’s much harder to make unhealthy meals when you’re using fresh ingredients from scratch.

Shop Around For Your Utility Bills

Your utility bills are something that you need to think about when it comes to your monthly household expenditures. Bills are something we all need to pay sadly but it’s something you can adjust somewhat over time. Shop around regularly to switch with new suppliers and you could end up saving yourself some money along the way. It’s more of a hassle to do on your part, yes, but if you’re wanting to save money for your household, then this is certainly one way to do it.

Sell Your Old Stuff

Selling your stuff can be a great way of making a bit of extra income every now and then. It’s definitely worth doing it on a regular basis so that you can rid your home of any unwanted clutter. You’ll likely have stuff that needs selling so don’t let things just lie around to collect dust. If there’s something that’s worth selling, then get it listed online and make some money. It’s extra money that you can save toward something you’ll actually use.

Try To Live More Frugally In General

And finally, if you’re really wanting to save money on your monthly household expenditures, then you want to try and live more frugally in life. Living frugally is definitely going to help save money because your mindset is going to more about saving money than it will be about spending it. Of course, it’s always important to spend money on yourself and others when you feel like it. However, if you can try and save yourself from unnecessary spending or spending too much, you can end up saving money and spending it on things that really matter.

Reducing your monthly household spend is something that you can do but can take some time if you’re not used to cutting costs. Try to find ways of saving money and reducing your spending by following these tips. You’ll certainly find that some of these will work well for you and your household.

Five Ways To Be Better With Money

The uncertainty caused by 2020 has made a lot of people take a hard look at their money skills and their finances, in order to improve their financial security. If you’re starting to make changes to your finances and working on your money management skills, here are some simple tips to help you be better with money and more financially secure. 

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  1. Plan for the future. It’s never too early to start preparing for the money that you will need in your old age. It’s a smart idea to start saving for your retirement as soon as you can. The earlier you are able to start, the more you will have to live on in your retirement. If the company you work for has a pension scheme, join it now. Remember that the money you save for retirement will need to cover living expenses and medical care. Consider whether you might need HHA or other care. 
  2. Budget. Learning to work with a budget is an essential skill if you want to be better with money. How you track your budget is up to you, but you need to track every piece of income and outgoings. Note these using an app, paper, or whatever you find easier. With everything tracked, you can easily see where you could potentially make savings. For example, you may be shocked by what you spend on buying lunch every month and can find a cheaper option to spend less money
  3. Pay down your debt. If you have any debts, make it your priority to get those cleared as soon as possible. The longer you stay in debt, the more you will end up owing, due to the increasing interest. Debt can easily get out of control and cause you a lot of financial problems. List all your debts and arrange them into order, with the highest interest rate at the top. Aim to pay this one down first. When that’s paid off, move on to the next highest interest rate. Keep up with at least the minimum payments on all your debts to avoid late fees and harm to your credit score. 
  4. Look for a cheaper alternative. After you’ve tracked all your outgoings, you can see of you can switch some of the expenses you can’t avoid to less expensive options. Would switching supplies save you money on your utility bills? Could you cut your food bill by shopping at different stores, buying different brands, or meal planning more efficiently? You could save a lot by making small changes like this. 
  5. Start saving. If you can, it’s smart to have three to six months of living expenses in a savings account. If you have these savings, if you find yourself out of work for any reason, you have savings to support you for a few months. A lot of people think they can’t afford to save much, but after you’ve made these changes to your budget, you should be able to find enough spare money to put away each month. 

How To Pay For Your Next Home Renovation

The US is a nation of home renovators.Around 70% of Americanssay that they enjoy completing DIY home improvement projects, and it isn’t hard to see why. A good home renovation can give you some much needed space, or it can modernize your home and make it more practical. If you’re lucky, your improvements could evenadd thousands of dollarsto the value of your home.

But how can you pay for your next home renovation? After all, the cost of a renovation can be pretty expensive; in 2015 the overall cost of US home improvements amounted toover 300 billion dollars. This is a staggering amount of money – but thankfully there are lots of ways to finance your next project.

Whether you’rethinking about making roof repairsor splashing out on a modern new kitchen, here are three ways to pay for your next home renovation.

A Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage, which is also referred to asa home equity conversion mortgage, is perhaps the best financing option for homeowners who are 62 or over. The mortgage uses accumulated home equity to provide funds to the homeowner, giving them the chance to make a range of home improvements, including moreexpensive improvements such as a kitchen remodel. One of the best things about this mortgage is that there are no monthly payments to make; instead the borrower is responsible for paying insurance and taxes on the property, which means it is more affordable than other mortgage options.

Credit Cards

Another popular way to pay for home renovations is using a credit card. There are lots of credit cards that come with low interest rates, so you could use one of these cards to pay for a small renovation – just make sure to avoid cards with high interest rates, as this could take much longer to pay off.

Cash

Cash is the best way to cover the costs of home improvements as you won’t have to make any future payments. This means that it is less of a financial burden than the other options, but sadly most Americans don’t already have the cash for home improvements. However, (if you are patient) you could always put the home improvements on hold and spend a few months saving up!

There are lots of ways for you to finance your new home renovation. Just makes sure to weigh up your options so that you work out which is the most financially viable option for you.

Instant Savings on Huggies® at Sam’s Club + Baby Changing Supplies Organizer

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreHuggiesMoreSavings #CollectiveBias

As many of you know, my Simply Sweet Home will be even sweeter about a month from now, as we welcome our newest member, Baby Thaxton!  I am currently 35 weeks pregnant. As you can imagine, I am in the middle of final baby preparations: cleaning house, packing hospital bags, purchasing last minute supplies, and getting everything organized.  Phew!  One thing I don’t have to worry about right away is diapers and wipes.  Thanks to Sam’s Club, we have stocked up on plenty of those for a while!

Sam’s Club is THE place to stock up on must-have supplies for your family or small business.  In the past, I’ve saved a lot of money on health and beauty supplies, pet items, office supplies, and cleaning products.  Now that I’m pregnant, I get to take a peek at the must-have items for baby!  Sam’s Club has everything from baby toys and clothes, to essentials like diapers, wipes, and formula!  Today I’m going to talk about why Sam’s Club is a great place to shop for baby essentials. I also have information on an instant savings deal with Huggies® at Sam’s Club and a tutorial to help you organize your baby changing supplies! [Read more…]

Saving Money with a DIY Oil Change + 5 Things You Should Buy Online

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias

Do you shop online?  Surveys and studies show that more and more people are turning to the world wide web to purchase gifts and a whole host of personal items.  My husband and I are definitely two of these people.  Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy walking down the aisles of Walmart and check out the latest things they have to offer, from seasonal decor and clothing to beauty supplies.  But I also love the convenience of online shopping, and I love the time and money that it saves me!  Today we are going to talk about how buying your Pennzoil oil online for a DIY oil can help you save money, plus I will share 5 things you should be buying online if you want to save money. [Read more…]

Make Summer Better with Walmart Family Mobile

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerIsForSavings #CollectiveBias #WFM3

Walmart Family Mobile Phone

This week our teenage son is going back to school for the start of his senior year.  The summertime brought a break from the usual drive to school and other academic activities, but since this was Noah’s very first summer as a licensed driver, the coming and going was far from nonexistent.  As the parent of a teenager, it is very challenging to keep your kids at home during the summer.  They always want to go out with friends and drive anywhere and everywhere.  Luckily we get our cell phone service through Walmart Family Mobile.  It allows our whole family, including our teenage son, to have an affordable cell phone, and it helps us to save money so that we can afford gas money for our son and money for other summer activities.  Today I will be discussing the plan we have with Walmart Family Mobile, and I have a few ideas for how you can give your teenager a better summer without breaking the bank. [Read more…]

Beef Stew and Easy Shopping with Walmart Grocery Pickup

Walmart Shopping Cart

As a homemaker, my work is never done, and anytime I can come up with ways to simplify every day tasks and save myself some time and money, I am thrilled!  One task that I’m not really a fan of is doing the grocery shopping.  I hate braving the crowds at the store, perusing the many shelves to find exactly what I’m looking for, and I definitely hate standing in line at the checkout register.  If you feel the same way I do about grocery shopping, then you should check out Walmart’s new grocery service.

Through Walmart’s pickup service, you can do all of your shopping from the comforts of your own home.  You just go online, find a Walmart location near you that offers the pickup service, and then start picking out everything you need right from their website.  Once they receive your order, a Walmart employee will find everything you need and fill your order.  All you have to do is go  and pick it up!  What could be easier? [Read more…]

Beauty Hacks That Will Save You Money

When it comes to beauty, everyone woman wants to look and feel pretty. A woman can spend a lot of money in buying cosmetics and in other procedures such plastic surgeries just to make sure that they are beautiful and glamorous. Looking gorgeous and sexy is every woman’s dream that they wish to have every minute of their lives. Well, beauty does not come for free; you have to spend a lot of money so as to be able to buy the best makeup. For some, it may be difficult to afford the designer cosmetics, and therefore the good news is there are some hacks you can adopt and leave you looking beautiful and save you some cash as well. Let’s look at the beauty hacks that you can use and still save you money.

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Photo Credit

Add volume to your lashes. Do you want to have your lashes increased in volume and look fuller? Well, you can achieve this by using translucent powder on your lashes after applying your mascara. You do not need to buy the most expensive mascara to make this all you have to do is use the powder, and your lashes will appear fuller with more volume as well.

Fixing your broken powder. Sometimes you may drop your powder, and it ends up breaking. Well, do not worry as you do not need to buy another one. You can always fix it by just adding four spoons of rubbing alcohol to the broken powder. After adding the rubbing alcohol, give it a stir and leave it overnight. By morning the powder will have settled as it was when you bought it

Makeup removal. Did you know that you do not need to buy makeup remover for removing your makeup? There are natural products such as the coconut oil you can use to remove your makeup. This is a cheap remedy and will help you remove the makeup. Start off by rubbing the oil on your face. This contributes to loosening the powder. Then use a cleanser to remove the remaining oils.

Buy makeup when on offer. Sometimes you may find companies offer huge discounts on their cosmetics for a period of time. Also, many online sites offer promo codes such as The White Company. Therefore, look for these kinds of sites to earn great discounts.

Drying your nail polish. If you are in a hurry and your nail polish is still fresh, dip the fingers in ice water for a few minutes, and this will help your nails to dry pretty quickly.

Exfoliating your lips. Are your lips cracked? Well, there is an easy way to fix this whereby you gently brush your lips with a soft toothbrush. This will help to remove the dehydrated skin and hence leave you with soft lips.

Treating puffy eyes. If you realize that your eyes look puffy, well you do not need to go to the hospital. You can treat this at home by freezing a spoon overnight and then place it either underneath or over your eyelid in the morning. This works magically in reducing inflammation. If you’re not in a DIY mood, there are also plenty of skincare products, such as StriVectin, that offer eye serums, creams, and gels.

Making dry shampoo. You don’t need to buy a dry shampoo as you can always make yours at home by just adding two ingredients. The ingredients required are corn flour and the essential oils. Mix the two ingredients to get your dry shampoo.

Saving Money with Dryel

Disclosure: I am a Dryel Brand ambassador and have received free products and compensation for this post. The opinions are my own.

dryel-starter-kit

With the holiday season upon us,  we could all use a few money saving and time saving tips!  Using Dryel at home for your dry cleaning needs is one way to save money and get your clothes cleaned with convenience!  (And you’ll have more money to spend on Christmas gifts for the family and yourself!) [Read more…]