While we’ve all heard about making our own coffee each morning in lieu of buying those expensive lattes to save a few bucks. There are many other ways to keep money in our pockets from paycheck to paycheck. The idea is to cut corners without skimping on the joys and pleasures of life. Sometimes just a few changes can reap big rewards.
See which of these might work well for you, and maybe come up with a few of your own. But one thing’s for certain. It’s time to stretch your paycheck.
Instead of buying lunch everyday, treat yourself to lunch out only on payday, and brown bag it the other days. If you like peanut butter and jelly, you can have some very economical lunches during the week. Add a piece of fresh fruit and you’re all set.
No need for delivery of the newspaper. You can get all the latest news right on your homepage online, while making the planet greener and saving a few dollars a week.
If you’re an avid book reader, don’t forget the library and flea markets for some good reads. Buying a new book each paycheck can drain your wallet. But if you must have that new book, you can sell it on eBay or on Amazon.com after you’ve read it. Then use the money to buy another and do the same.
Allow some extra time each morning so that you do not have to hail a cab to get to your job on time. Take public transportation whenever possible. Better yet, walk, if that’s an option. Use your car only when necessary during the week. Don’t speed off from a dead stop, and put the car in neutral when at a red light to save a little gas here and there. Remember too, a well tuned-up car uses gas efficiently.
Buy store brand products. They’re cheaper and just as good as other name brands. This includes food items at your local supermarket. Use coupons and read the circulars for weekly sales on products you need, especially paper towels and toilet tissue, which can take a big chunk out of a weekly paycheck.
Have a few meatless meals for dinner during the week, such as pasta with vegetables, lentil soup or a frittata with potatoes and a salad. You’ll reap big savings minus the costly meat.
If going out with friends for lunch or dinner, opt for the more economical choices, such as breakfast items which are often available around the clock in most restaurants. There’s nothing unusual with having an omelet for lunch or dinner.
Fresh flowers each week are always a nice treat, but sometimes the cost can add up. Purchase some seasonal silk flowers and keep them on your desk instead. They look just as colorful and cheery. Buy fresh flowers once a month instead of every week, or on special occasions.
We all like a glass of wine now and then during the week. Scale down to an economical choice. Wine stores usually display their good buys at the front of the store. One economical brand that tastes good and meets the budget is Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel. Try some of the brands for sale at your local store. You might hit on a bargain wine you like even more than the higher priced ones.
Are you buying plastic bottled water to take to work or to your workouts? You might be better off investing in a water filter for your faucet, or a water filtered pitcher. Fill a stainless steel water canister to take with you. Do the math and see if the cost of replacing a water filter every three months, as most directions advise, is more economical than the amount of bottled water you buy during that period of time.
Who doesn’t feel they deserve a special purchase after a hard week of work? Instead of an expensive one, treat yourself to something small but nice, like a new lipstick or bottle of nail polish. Perhaps some scented soap or lotion.
Set up a ‘spare change’ jar or bowl and toss your change in it each day. By the end of the week you’ll have a few extra dollars. With the cost of things today, it seems that our paycheck doesn’t always meet the expenses. Not running short from paycheck to paycheck by making these small changes can make all the difference.