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5 Ways to Stretch a Dollar

Are you looking for ways to make your dollar go further? Staying on a budget can be difficult if you’re not sure where to start. Try following these 5 easy ways to help you manage or lower your expenses.

1) Buy generic brands

Grocery stores usually offer a store brand or a generic brand that costs less than name brands. Pharmacies also offer generic versions of most medications that tend to be far less expensive. It’s also important to avoid shopping on an empty stomach. If you do, anything and everything will look delicious. You’ll throw out that budget you had in mind along with your will power to resist that chocolate cake in the bakery. So, eat before you go to the grocery store and stick to your list!

2) Carpool

With rising gas prices, who wants to pay so much to drive to and from work every day? Find someone you work with who lives close enough to you that you can carpool. Carpooling will save you money on gas, allow you to use the HOV lane, and give you time to catch up on water cooler gossip before you get to the office. If you have no options for carpool buddies, you can use public transportation or even consider moving closer to work to shorten your commute.

3) Pay off credit cards

Pay off your credit card with the highest interest rate first. It is imperative that you make your payments on time. Late payments can lead to a nightmare of late fees, increased interest rates, and seeing that dreaded decrease in credit score. It is a good idea to make a separate calendar just for bills and their due dates to avoid missing payments. You will never have to incur late fees because you simply forgot to pay the bill.

4) Pay yourself first

A wise man (my dad) once told me that the most important bill to pay is – you. All you have to do is budget a certain amount of money from every paycheck and essentially “pay” yourself. This money should go into your savings account. You’re continually adding a fixed amount to your savings and growing your emergency fund a little at a time.

5) Take advantage of free offers

There are free and discounted offers all over the Internet, you just have to find them. For instance, if you type in “pizza hut promo code,” you’re likely to find a coupon for a few bucks off your pizza. You can also sign up for newsletters from your favorite online stores. You’ll get emailed frequently with discounted offers. There are also tons of online coupon sites. If you’ve ever seen the television show “Extreme Couponing” you know just how much coupons can save you. There you have it! Try these 5 simple ways to stretch your dollar. Remember, creating and managing a budget plays a crucial role in your financial health. Don’t let the process overwhelm you. Simply pick a place to start and go from there.

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May 9, 2012 um 8:23 am
Miscellaneous Finance
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