How to Stretch Your Budget When Money Is Tight

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If you find yourself needing to stretch your budget lately, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic or any number of reasons, here are some helpful tips to help you make your money go further:

Prioritise your spending. Make sure your essential expenses like food, rent, and utilities are your top priority. Consider reducing or eliminating unnecessary expenses and costs like eating out and luxurious coffee drinks.
Minimize miscellaneous costs. When shopping, look for store discounts and coupons, be sure to compare prices, and choose store brands. When planning a vacation, look for deals that include airfare and rental cars. Staying close to home can also help reduce costs.

Earn extra income. Look for part-time jobs, freelance projects, or any other way of making a few extra bucks. If you have a hobby that you’re good at, you can even try your hand at becoming a freelancer.
Save smarter. Maximise your income by setting up automatic transfers to your savings account each month or opening a savings account that pays a higher interest rate.

Avoid debt. Resist the urge to fritter away the proceeds of a bank loan or the temptation to run up credit card debt, as this can be difficult to pay back and result in compounding interest charges. Instead, create an emergency fund to see you well, when you need it most.

Implement a budget. Make a budget and stick to it. Set realistic goals for yourself and your spending. Utilising financial tracking websites or apps can help you keep track of your money.

Plan ahead. Prepare healthy and budget-friendly meals in advance to save money on convenience foods. Take the time to plan your next few meals so you know what ingredients to buy, rather than just impulsively buying items when you’re at the store. This will also help minimize food waste!

By following these tips, you can make your money stretch further and help relieve some financial stress. As with any significant change in our financial position, the key is to remain proactive, organized and realistic!