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Six ways to make your budget stretch farther than you thought possible

29th August 2022 Print

Did you know that the average American family wastes nearly $2,500 yearly on unnecessary expenses? That's a lot of money to throw away! When trying to balance living within your means and living life to the fullest, it can be challenging to stick with a budget. This is especially important if you need help with a loan after bankruptcy. You can do many things to stretch your budget farther than you thought possible.

1. Know where your money is going

The first step to saving money is understanding where your money is going. Track your spending for a month or two to better understand where your money is being spent. This will help you identify any areas where you may be able to cut back.

You can track your expenses using a simple notebook, a spreadsheet,  or a budgeting app. Once you know where your money is going, you can make adjustments to ensure that your spending aligns with your goals and values.

2. Shop around for the best deals

You can save a lot of money by researching your purchase ahead of time. When you know what you want, take the time to compare prices and look for coupons or promo codes. You may be surprised at how much money you can save by simply taking a few extra minutes to shop around.

Another way to get the best deals is to know when certain items go on sale. For example, you can buy winter clothing in the summer when it's on clearance and vice versa. You can save significant money over time by planning your purchases around sales.

3. Cut unnecessary expenses

Once you understand your spending better, it will be easier to identify areas where you can cut back. For example, if you're spending $50 a week on coffee, that's $200 a month or $2,400 a year. If the thought of cutting out your daily cup of java feels impossible, try scaling back to two or three days a week and make coffee at home the rest of the week. You may be surprised at how much money you can save by making minor changes to your spending habits.

If you're really serious about saving money, take a close look at your recurring expenses. Are there any subscriptions or memberships that you no longer use or need? If so, cancel them and put that money towards your savings.

4. Find free activities to do

One of the best ways to save money is to find free things to do. Many fun and rewarding activities won't cost you a dime. For example, you can hike in a nearby park, explore a new neighborhood, or have a picnic in your backyard. You can also check out free events in your city or town, such as concerts, festivals, and museum exhibits.

Not sure what free events are available in your area? Check out your local newspaper or search online. You can also find free things to do by downloading a mobile app like Let's Go or Cityseeker.

5. Rent movies and TV shows from the library

Love watching movies and TV shows but tired of paying for streaming services? If so, consider renting movies and TV shows from your local library. Most libraries offer a wide selection of titles, and you can usually keep them for a week or two. Best of all, it's completely free.

Not sure what movies and TV shows are available at your library? Check out their website or give them a call. You can also search for titles using the Hoopla app.

6. Meet with a financial advisor

If your motivation behind your budget is to save money for a specific goal, such as buying a house or retiring early, meeting with a financial advisor may be helpful. A financial advisor can help you develop a savings plan and offer advice on how to make your money work harder for you. They can also help with a loan after bankruptcy or other financial challenges you may face.

Meeting with a financial advisor is a great way to start your saving journey. However, it's important to remember that it's not the only way to save money. Many simple and effective ways to save and budget apps can help you reach your goals.

Final thoughts

Saving money doesn't have to be complicated. Following these tips can easily save hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year. Start small and work your way up. Soon, you'll be on your way to reaching your financial goals. What are your tips for stretching your budget?

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