Tips To Help You Stretch Your Salary

August 23, 2010

Living on a budget is not always an easy thing to do, especially when expenses will arise when you least expect them. But, even though it may not seem possible there are many ways to make your salary stretch further. Avoiding needless spending, comparison shopping and utilizing level payment plans for utilities are a few ways to achieve this.

To help you curb unnecessary spending, either wait until you have a list of items to buy or keep yourself limited to the items you only need. Wants can be purchased at a later date as your budget allows. Whenever you feel an impulse coming for a major purchase wait at least two weeks, and then re-consider whether you really need that item. You may find that you really don’t need it. Here is some specific advice to help you stretch your salary:

  • Avoid any needless spending. How many times have you gone to the store to pick up one or two items and left with a cart full? Sometimes it is easy to get drawn into sales that you did not know about and spend more than you wanted to. Most of the items are not necessary or needed at the moment.
  • Comparison shopping is the best way to save money on expensive items. If you find yourself in the market for an appliance or a similar item, be sure to do some comparison shopping before committing to the purchase. Many times stores will offer sales around holidays or when state-run programs are being funded. Grocery shopping can be expensive, especially if you have a large family to feed. Consider buying store-brand items instead of name brand. This will alleviate some of your grocery shopping costs. You will find that most items are comparable in taste.
  • Using a level payment plan is a great way to budget for your utilities. Most electric and gas companies allow for budget billing for those on strict budgets. Simply call your provider and ask for details on the plan. The way it works is a single monthly payment amount is implemented based on your average yearly consumption. At the end of the year you’ll either have a credit or a lump sum payment due for the difference.
  • Eat at home. Plan accordingly each week and plan your meals. This will help avoid unnecessary purchases at the grocery store as well as mid-week trips to pick up forgotten items. Avoid restaurants as they can be overpriced and if you do decide to go out, search for coupons first. Many restaurants will offer coupon deals such as 50% on a second meal.
  • Stretching your money may seem impossible but with a little training, it is possible to not only stretch your salary to cover bills, but also have money left over. Use budget-conscious moves such as avoiding unnecessary expenses, comparison shopping and budget billing for a few ideas. In the end, your wallet will thank you.

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