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Stretch Your Money – How to Make Every Dollar Count

Life is full of ups and downs, and unfortunately, there’s no road map that identifies when these difficult financial times will occur. It’s for this very reason that you need to learn to live within your means and stretch your money to make every dollar count.


Thankfully, there are a number of ways to save money each day.


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Learn How To Stretch Your Money By Paying Attention To How You Spend It

Buying A Large-Ticket Item 


When it’s time to purchase something that requires a loan, it’s important to do your research to make sure that you are getting the lowest price available.


That includes getting it at the lowest interest rate too, which may require a larger down payment or larger monthly payments in order to pay off the loan in a shorter period of time. 


For example, you need a new car. Instead of going to one dealership, make stops at several to see the selection they have and what discounts are available.


Holidays and during the fall, after the new inventory arrives, are generally better times for finding the best deals.


If you’re uncomfortable interacting with sales associates or you just want to avoid the need for doing all the leg work, you can take it one step further and use apps such as CoPilot car finder to help you narrow it down to the make and model you want at the lowest possible price. 


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Christa in the coffee shop circa 2013!


Reduce Wasteful Spending 


Most people are creatures of habit. They develop routines without necessarily thinking about them. Maybe they stop each morning on the way to work and purchase their coffee. Then, when lunchtime arrives, they head out to the local deli and spend more money.


A couple of dollars here, and a couple of dollars there might not seem like very much at the time, but if you add up the cost of just these two daily stops, you’re spending hundreds of dollars a month. That’s thousands of dollars a year! The good news is that this is an easy fix.


Of course, you know giving up these daily indulgences is the easiest way to fix this spending habit, but it’s a habit. And you like it. So, reduce your cost by treating yourself to a coffee and lunch out once a week instead of every day.


This lets you have your “cake” and keep your hard-earned money in your wallet. 


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Use Bundled Services & Credit Cards With Perks 


By now, you know the advantage of bundling services like cable, internet, and your landline, as well as bundling your various insurance policies. However, unbelievably, many people are still not taking advantage of these options.


Check to see if there’s a bundle available that you aren’t using.


Additionally, it’s important to only apply for and use credit cards that offer benefits such as cashback for purchases, travel discounts like airline miles, and interest-free balance transfers. Make a pact with yourself and add this to your urgent to-do list. 


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Find Energy-Efficient Options


If your home heating/cooling and water bills are high, it’s time to make some changes. Replacing traditional light bulbs with high-efficiency LEDs is a step in the right direction.


Even though they may end up being a little more expensive to purchase, they will save you money over time by lasting longer and using less energy.


Replacing older appliances with energy-efficiency models, removing old showerheads and kitchen faucets so you can replace them with newer versions that have water-saving features, and replacing dial thermostats with digital programmable models will add up to huge savings over the course of a single year. 


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Reduce Food Shopping Costs 


Food shopping can consume a few hundred dollars or more weekly. Luckily, there are several ways to reduce the cost of each visit to your local supermarket.


First, make a list and then check the weekly flyers of the grocery stores within your area to see who has the items you need for the best prices. Additionally, go online to one of the many free coupon sites and print out or download the ones that apply to your list.


To get the most savings, you may end up going to more than one store, however, the savings are worth your invested time. 


vacuum and mop at the same time
Vacuum and mop at the same time!


Get Smart With Household Chores 


Having a clean home is important to you, however, doing a partial load of dishes or laundry is a huge waste of your money. If you want your home to remain clutter-free, just load as you use.


Once the dishwasher or washing machine becomes full, then you run it. This is one of the easiest ways to stretch your money on monthly utility bills.


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Start A Savings Account 


In order to achieve a sound financial future, you need to have money set aside for repairs or unexpected expenses. Establishing a savings account for this purpose will eliminate repair from becoming an emergency that requires borrowing money. 


Most people have areas where they waste money without even noticing. The good news is that you can learn how to stretch your money, how to lower your household budget, and how to reduce frivolous expenses to help you start making the most of every dollar you earn.   


Gauge an associate editor for The Fairytale Traveler. He's a world traveler, a gamer, YouTuber, Twitch streamer, STEM fanatic, basketball enthusiast, and over a funny guy.

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