It can be downright scary when it rolls around to the last week and you have no money left.
You end up standing there thinking “how are we going to make ends meet for the next few days until payday rolls around.” It’s stressful for you and your family. That’s where learning how to stretch a dollar comes in.
We would all like to make more money fast, but sometimes all you have is the last few dollars in your bank account at the end of the month and you need to know what you can do to make ends meet. I’m no financial expert, but here’s what I tend to do:
How to Stretch a Dollar
1. Track Your Spending
This is more of a pre-emptive move, but tracking your spending can help ensure you spend wisely.
When you track your spending on a daily basis, you’re forced to take a good, hard look at where your money went and reflect on where it should have gone. It’s not a cure-all by any means, but it does put you in touch with your own habits. And that’s a great place to be.
2. Only Bring What Money You Need
No one wants to be caught in a situation where they can’t pay for something. So, we end up bringing all of the cash and cards we have every time we go out. That encourages bad spending habits because you want something and you currently have the cash to buy it on you, so why not?
I make it a habit to only bring what I need when I head out to make a purchase. If I’m buying something via my debit card (which is what I most often use), I make sure that I really only have the cash attached to it that I need for the purchase. It dissuades me from buying anything else while I’m there.
3. Bring a List
If you really want to learn how to stretch a dollar, work with a shopping list.
While this helps immensely when it comes to grocery shopping, it can also help in other spending areas as well. Truthfully, I use this method when it comes to making business purchases as well. I have a list of things I want or need, and I allocate money to that list accordingly. Things only go on that list if they’re already well-thought-out, I never make purchase decisions a the cash register.
4. Plan and Budget
We talk about budgeting all the time, but I really think we don’t pay enough attention to that. Budgets are exceptionally valuable tools that allow you to allocate and spend your money wisely.
If you truly want to figure out how to stretch a dollar, pre-plan how those dollars are going to be spent before you even have them in your hands.
Do you have more tips on how to stretch a dollar? Share them in the comments below!
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