How to Stretch Your Budget
Without Sacrificing All the Fun
By Isabella Rossellini
Perhaps the biggest reason why most Americans don’t make personal finance budgets because they tend to be free spenders and think budgeting is a restrictive exercise that will deny them all the fun they are having. On the other hand, there are many people who will suggest that buying a coffee daily on the way to work and similar activities are what is preventing you from retiring as a millionaire. While it is certainly true that the daily coffee if drunk at home could have saved you more than $1,000 per year, there are ways of streamlining the spending that can give you better results. That you should spend your entire life trying to cut costs is strange advice; if the daily coffee makes you more productive, its benefits obviously far outweigh the money saved. Some practical ways of making a budget that saves the most while allowing you to splurge occasionally:
Reassess the Cost of Housing
The cost of housing typically tends to among the largest expenses for most people and any decision that you take in this matter will have a significant impact on your budget. Moving to a smaller house, to a less expensive part of the town, or even moving to a different town altogether can be extremely beneficial in cutting down expenses. Other methods include moving closer to your workplace so that you spend less to commute, taking in a roommate, renting out rooms that you don’t use are also good methods. If you are really desperate, you can even consider moving back in with your parents but that would be a really intense move. According to https://www.forbes.com report, living in the city may actually be less expensive than staying in the suburbs of many of the top cities so it can be a good idea to do a comparison.
Cut Down on Your Interest Expense
If you sit down to make a budget, you will no doubt be horrified to discover how much interest you are paying every month on your credit card dues. You should immediately try and get a copy of your credit report and find out if it is accurate. Do everything possible to improve your credit score like not missing out on the monthly payments, reducing your credit utilization ratio, consolidating debts and renegotiating with lenders for better rates of interest. If you have multiple credit card dues that are bleeding you with a high rate of interest, it can help to avail of a zero percent balance transfer offer or even consider debt consolidation programs that allow you to save substantially on the interest expense.
Tweak the Way You Travel
Just like housing, simple tweaks to the way you move about can result in savings that are really awesome. It is quite possible to save a few hundred dollars every month by relying on public transport, biking or even walking to your workplace. However, if that sounds too drastic or simply infeasible due to the distances involved or the location of your office, you can think about a cheaper car, carpooling or even working from home at least a few days of the week. According to the Automobile Association, you spend averagely $8,849 per year to own and operate a new car; however, depreciation itself costs another $3,000 per year. It is hardly a secret that new cars lose about a third of their value by the time they complete their first year.
Earn More with a Side Hustle
If you are simply not being able to last the month with the income from your current occupation, you can think about taking up an extra occupation on the side. The number of ways that you can make some extra money is virtually endless; you can drive a ride-hailing cab, wait tables at a café, work in the local bookshop or even act as a guide to tourists. There’s absolutely no reason why you have to shoulder all the responsibility because if you have teenagers in the family, you can help them to find part-time employment so that they can earn their pocket money. The Internet too has opened up many possibilities for generating income right from home. You can write blogs, or even set up an e-commerce venture where you don’t have step out and sweat it out physically.
Change Your Job
To many people, this may sound drastic but if your current income is getting stressed due to a daily coffee and bagel, it may be time to consider changing your job for better prospects. It definitely is a very big change but it is one way that has the potential of adding substantially to your income. If you see that you are getting stuck in a dead end in your current job, it may be worthwhile to add to your qualifications by undertaking some courses so that you qualify for a promotion. Sometimes it is possible to get a raise simply by asking your boss who would not like to lose a good worker. Please visit at SD-WAN as well.
Get Rid of the Cable Subscription
Even though you may consider TV as an essential, cable subscriptions can be awfully expensive and over the year can mean a fairly hefty outgo. It can be a good idea to just get rid of the subscription and instead get hooked on to one or two streaming media services that give you all the content you desire and more at substantially lower prices.
Most of the time, we land into financial problems simply because we do not have any idea regarding how much we are spending on various things and deem everything to be a necessity. By making a simple budget, it is possible to easily make small changes to your lifestyle that will allow you to live very comfortably and even splurge once in a while without running up a huge debt that can be very difficult to get out of. For example, instead of traveling halfway across the world for an exotic vacation going somewhere near can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Often, it can help to realign your strategies or even think deeply about your financial goals so that you can get back on track. Consulting a professional personal finance counselor can help.
Isabella Rossellini is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as content developer with many years of experience. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including business and start-ups. You can also visit at Twitter.
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