How To Make Money Last
It feels like we’ve been in a recession forever now, and we’re still not in the clear just yet. So you’re still looking for ways to make your money last even longer—without having to live like it’s the Stone Ages. Here are some tips to help relieve some of your financial worries.
- Make a budget. You knew this one was coming. This is the best way to really manage your expenses. Start with how much money you have coming in every month, then list your expenses. Include all of your bills, of course, but don’t forget to account for your morning latte, monthly magazine, and Friday dinner with friends every week.
- Avoid spending money on things you don’t really need. When you make your budget, you’ll see where you can, or should, cut back. Stick to it.
- Avoid being charged pointless fees. Try not to use ATMs if possible. Make sure your bank or credit card company isn’t charging you unnecessary fees. If they are, insist that they be removed.
- Set up a savings account with direct deposit. This will help you easily set aside some extra money. It’s important to pay yourself first, even if it’s only a few dollars. And if it never passes through your fingers, you’ll never miss it—you’ll just instinctively budget around it. Whether you use the savings as an emergency fund or an entertainment fund is up to you and your personal priorities.
- Use coupons and look for deals. Shop generic when possible. Do some “research” before leaving the house to go grocery or clothes shopping to figure out who has the cheapest price and/or is offering the best deal.
- Pack your own lunch and bring your own snacks to work. It’s not only that $8 a day you’ve been spending on eating out that adds up, it’s also those 2 trips to the vending machine every day that cost you $0.75 at a crack.
- Patronize your local library. You can check out books, movies (yes, current ones), and even your favorite magazine that you gave up to save money, all for free.
- Find new uses for old or broken items. Use that old t-shirt for a rag, turn an old bucket into a planter, etc. Or, invest in repairing items instead of buying new ones.
- Rotate your tires and get your oil changes on a regular basis. Preventative maintenance is important—it prevents future, major maintenance! Your tires and your engine will last longer.
I believe that budget is the most important and most effective way to start making your money last longer. Do remember that all the little ways of saving will add up, though. And promise yourself to maintain your good money habits even when the recession has officially ended.