Make Those Pennies Go a Little Farther

by Shenron on December 11, 2009

Times are tight for all of us these days and unfortunately, there’s no quick fix that will help you bring in thousands more every month. Short of winning the lottery, the only thing you can do is figure out a plan for yourself that will help you weather the storm of this bad economy. Today we’re going to look at a few things you can do to make your monthly pay checks go a little farther so you have some extra cash each month that you can either put away in savings or spend on something else you desperately need.

1. Before we even talk about money saving tips, it’s important to know what to do with the money you do end up saving. While it’s nice to have extra money each month, you have to make sure you understand that the ultimate goal of saving money is to save it for when you really need it. There is almost always someone that’s doing worse off than you, so realizing that you too could end up in an even worse situation than your current one should be a sobering reality. When you have extra money leftover at the end of the month, put it away for an emergency.

Money Make Those Pennies Go a Little Farther

2. Where do you even begin? Well the best place to start, if you haven’t already thought of this, is your commute to work. Most of us have gotten into the habit of stopping for a quick doughnut or cup of coffee on the way to the job site. Cut this “budget fat” out of your day. You probably spend hundreds of dollars a year on unnecessary foods and snacks that you could have easily brought from home or made yourself.

3. Assuming you already had the foresight to cut out the unnecessary things each month, where do we begin SAVING money on things? Each month you more than likely spend more money than you should on basic everyday items. When you go to the grocery store, look for the in-store brand of ANYTHING you can find. More often than not, there is no difference between the store’s brand and the more popular “Kellog’s” or “Post” brand. Coupons should also be of great help to you. There are plenty places online that dish out coupons for just about everything. And hell, you could even buy the majority of your non-perishables online for a fraction of the cost that they are in store.

Saving Money Make Those Pennies Go a Little Farther

4. Electricity is another big money waster. Believe it or not, turning a light on and off as you enter and leave the room could actually cost you more money than leaving it on permanently. A standard 75W bulb can cost just a dollar or two each month to leave on, but replacing bulbs costs much more. The big electricity wasters are your computers, stove, and washer/dryer. If you have a computer at home and times are tight, you may want to consider not even using it. Try and use public computers when possible to check your email and if you have a laptop, charge it while you’re out and about, instead of at home. In regards to the dryer, make sure that your lint filters are clean and that you don’t under-pack the dryer. If you’re running it without a full load in there, you’re practically burning money away.

It would be impossible to outline everything that you can do to save money in a month, but common sense, and some ingenuity can save you big bucks. Be frugal and anywhere you can save a few pennies, like by hanging your clothes in the garden to dry, or by cutting off your cable connection (watch the shows online!), do it. You will be surprised how much money you save every month if you just try.

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