For many people, funds tend to disappear mysteriously throughout the month and the closer you get to the next paycheck, the less money you seem to have for all the little things you need.
Very few of us have a monthly budget and even if we do, we rarely stick to it. There are, however, a few ways in which you can make your money go further without going through a lot of extra effort.
All the small things
Often it’s the smaller things which whittle your money away; being relatively inexpensive you often don’t realise how much you’re spending until you look in your wallet and wonder where it’s gone! Beauty items like lipsticks, razor blades and deodorants can eat into your budget unnecessarily. Make your beauty cabinet go further by trying these tips:
- Use rubbing alcohol instead of anti-perspirant deodorant – sounds weird but it really does work!
- Dry off razor blades after each use – it will more than double their life.
- Mix old eyeshadows with clear nail varnish to create cool new shades – cheaper than buying lots of bottles!
- Vaseline is one of the most versatile products on the market. It can be mixed with old lipsticks to make glosses, used as a barrier cream when dying your hair, rubbed on your lips and gently scrubbed off with an old toothbrush for smooth soft lips, and even used as an eye cream if model Tyra Banks is any judge!
Ditch that credit card
Although it’s relatively straightforward to set a budget for household expenses, sticking to it is not always that easy. That’s why you should create ways to force yourself to stick to the budget. The first thing you should do is to take that credit card out of your purse, or vow never to use it except in an emergency. The problem with credit cards is that they allow you to go way over your budget.
Rather, transfer your weekly (or monthly) grocery money to a prepaid card, so you are limited to only spending money you actually have. Using a prepaid card will help you not to overspend and save you a lot of money on credit interest and banking fees.
Compile a monthly menu plan
This might take a little bit of time initially, but actually planning a monthly menu could save you a surprising amount of money. For many working people, when they come home from a hard day, the whole idea of deciding what to cook and going shopping for the ingredients first is already enough to make takeouts a very tempting option.
Some of us run to the store every time we need “something small”, which costs a lot on fuel and effort and we end up buying things we don’t really need.
Compiling a monthly menu will help you to ensure your family eats a healthy, balanced diet while saving you a lot of money at the same time. You will notice that you will eat out less often. You could set up your eating plan in such a way that you use certain ingredients twice, eliminating having to throw away food and spending extra money.
You could do your shopping once a week, instead of going to the store all the time and buy everything you will need for the week. This will also save you on the transaction fees you pay every time you swipe your prepaid card.
Don’t buy everything that’s on special offer
You may think that you save a lot of money by buying everything on special, but this is not necessarily true, as many of those items are products you wouldn’t have bought in the first place. Some of us are so focused on trying to save money that we end up spending more money in the process.
Avoid going to sales if you know that they don’t really have anything that you need at this stage. Only buy products on special that you are using regularly anyway, in which case you could safely buy a bulk amount of the product, as long as it doesn’t expire quickly.
This also counts for thrift stores. All the low prices may make the products very tempting, but don’t go shopping there “just for fun”, as you will end up hoarding things you don’t need. Go there with a goal in mind and stick to it.