Make Your Paycheck Last Longer With These Money-Saving Hacks
With inflation only increasing, on top of already high fixed-monthly expenses, our paychecks just don’t seem to be going as far. In fact, as of 2021, only 39% of Americans could afford an unexpected $1,000 expense. While a magic spell capable of expelling all our debt would be ideal, the fact of the matter is that making your dollar stretch further is a personal long-term task. Rather, it is a lifestyle change. With hard work and dedication, your mind and wallet will exponentially grow if you remember only a few items from this money-saving list. Keep reading to begin your life with a fatter wallet.
Set Your Goals (and Budget)
It’s impossible to measure the success of your task and growth without some hard-defined financial goals. It may be difficult but sit down and take a good hard look at your current financial responsibilities. It’s imperative that you do. Where can you cut back? Where are you splurging? If you can’t keep track of your daily expenses and incomes easily, consider phone apps that will keep a digital financial ledger for you.
Check out one (or several) of these budgeting apps to determine which will provide the most value:
– You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Take Charge of Your Credit Card Debt
Although the phrase “never spend more than you can afford” certainly has its merits, sometimes life gets in the way. Sadly, banks and credit card companies are more than happy to throw you a lifeline in the form of credit with high APRs (Annual Percentage Rate). However, when you are unable to pay back the balance due within a certain timeframe, these companies will be expecting some form of compensation in the form of interest. With the average individual APR standing at 16%, you’re throwing money to the banks if you don’t pay off your debt in time.
To minimize your payments, interest and all, look into the following credit-card debt tactics:
– The Debt Snowball Method
– The Debt Avalance Method
– A Debt Consolidation Loan
Don’t Waste Your Raise
Raises are a dime-a-dozen. When you do reach that higher number, don’t instantly fall into the trap of “lifestyle inflation.” Avoid the pitfalls of the luxuries and novelties of your next “perceived” lifestyle. Don’t let these splurge purchases steal all your financial increases in a one-fell swoop. Play it smart and be aware.
A space where yearly inflation is most readily felt is at the grocery store. Milk, eggs, bread… the staples, are becoming more and more expensive. Even if the price increase is subtle, the yearly cost for your weekly supermarket trips will be substantially more. Even then, if you and your family depend on restaurant take-out and delivery, the price surges will be even more eye-opening. Therefore, keep your mind and body focused on the food you need. Don’t fall victim to the traps of grocery store marketing and product placement. Three quicks tips when grocery shopping… First, make a list of the items you intend to purchase to keep you and the family on track. Two, eat before you shop to ensure you’re less tempted by splurge purchases. And three, like the title, plan your meals. Prepping a batch of meals will save on time, money, and unneeded calories.
Cut the Automated Memberships
Face it, media and shopping conglomerates have become best friends with automated monthly and yearly memberships.
Let’s come up with a quick list of just a few of the automated services we’ve all come to rely on:
– Apple TV+
– Youtube Premium
– Amazon Prime
– Walmart Plus
– Any Gym Membership
You’re probably sitting on several memberships right now that are not being used or enjoyed. Take a second to look at your bank and credit card statements to find your recurring expenses. If one, or several, of these services have not been used in the past month, more than likely it’s time to let it go.
These are just a few examples of concrete and clever ways to decrease your monthly expenses to extend your monthly paycheck. Keep researching to discover even more comprehensive and ingenious money-saving hacks.