10 Tips for Stretching Your Budget

Living on a budget can be challenging for anyone.  We are always looking for ways to make our dollar go farther.  If you are living paycheck to paycheck finding some extra room in your budget will be a big help. Or perhaps you’re in debt and want to find some extra dollars to pay it down.

Here we provide you some some ideas on how you can stretch your dollars to save and also gain access to some necessities and a few extras that we all need in life.

Invest in Decorations

Renovating your house may be out of the question financially, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change up your interior décor. Something as simple as some fresh flowers or an inexpensive string of fairy lights can instantly lift your mood.

When your mood is a positive one, you’d probably find yourself in a happier, better state of mind. This would result in your working more productively or even get the confidence to try something new.

If you have a home office, for instance, try partitioning it off with some tall-leaved plants. This would not just gain you a luxurious workplace, but also help to clear the air you breathe without the need for an expensive air purifier.

The flowers and plants you use for your home won’t cost much, but they might take a bit of effort. You may want to offset this by getting some fake options. Don’t buy them all at once; get a few fresh flowers from the supermarket every time you go there or buy a synthetic plant by saving up your change every week.

Improving your surroundings can make a big difference in your outlook, help you have fortitude to save money and is definitely a lot cheaper than renovating.

Don’t Say No to Change

Speaking of change, this is actually a great tip for saving money you didn’t even know you had. Wash and dry the next plastic bottle you use and make a slit in the cap. Tape the cap to the bottle so you won’t be tempted to empty out the change before it’s time.

Now start dropping in the coins you get for change on a regular basis. Look for them in your purse, while emptying out your pockets, or whenever you find them rattling around the house. When you have a regular-sized bottle all filled with coins, they could add up to a few hundred dollars. These could then easily be used to buy yourself something nice or go towards your savings for a luxurious vacation.

If you’re saying ‘keep the change’ just for the sake of convenience, you could be missing out on a lot. Be sure to get your change religiously and save it up instead of treating it like trash. These little coins may not seem like much, but you should be pinching pennies if you’re on a tight budget in any case.

Find Out Birthday Offers

There are several places that gift you something free on your birthday. For instance, some Sephora outlets give out a beauty gift to anyone having their birthday. This offer is one of the most well-known, especially for those who love to get makeup.

A more secret deal might be the one you get at Sawbucks. If you become a Starbucks rewards member, for example, you’d get a free item when it’s your birthday. This could be a drink or something to eat. When you’re sustaining yourself on homemade black coffee for the rest of the year, a free frappuccino or muffin is a real luxury. Since it won’t affect your budget, you can enjoy this freebie without the guilt.

You may also be able to get a free eyebrow session or something else at your local salon by showing your ID on your birthday. Just make sure to have some form of identification on you at all times. The restaurant where you have your birthday lunch/dinner might provide you with a free cake or drinks if you’re lucky. There’s no shame in asking about such deals. If you’re not comfortable with inquiring about birthday offers on the actual venue, you can message them online to ask.

Clear Out the Clutter

Almost all homes have one thing in common, extra stuff lying around.  Stuffing furniture and knickknacks into your home will only make your home look messy and is unnecessary.

Check out the minimalism trend online and see what you can do to clear out the unwanted and yes unneeded items from your house. Clean the kitchen as you cook and put items away when you’re done with them. Once you treat your home with respect, it’ll start looking fresh and neat in no time. You should also donate or give away items when you get new ones and tax the tax deduction.

Get Discounted Face Masks and Makeup

Don’t pass up on beauty products like masks when you get the chance. This may seem like an unnecessary luxury for some, but they would be cheaper than even the occasional trip to the spa or salon. You shouldn’t buy any discount masks without doing your research, though. There are several Korean beauty products making waves in the market right now, but some might be cheap copies.

Keep an eye on wholesale stores for clearance sales and get the luxury items when you can. You may then pamper yourself at home by steaming your face, putting on a mask, and then finishing off with some beauty serums. All of this combined would be sure to give you similar results to the luxury spas that may otherwise clean out your bank account.

Save With the Library

There’s more than one reason to visit libraries these days, especially if you’re living on a budget. Many libraries allow you to check out movies as well as books. Many people prefer the touch and feel of physical books rather than electronic ones. The library here can provide you with all this and more.

You can also visit the library in order to save on electricity and even Wi-Fi charges. If you’re really on the ropes budget-wise, try doing without Wi-Fi at home for a few months and rely on the library to get your work done.

Cook at Home

Eating out is probably out of the question for people who’re watching their spending. By putting in a little labor, though, you can get the same experience at home. The recipes in restaurants don’t have to be over-the-top or complicated; some may even take only a few ingredients.

Look up your favorite restaurant meal or dessert and see if it’s possible to make it at home. Facebook groups or sites would be your best friends in this case, since there are many excellent home chefs out there. Get some ramekins and unique dishes to create a whole new experience so you can truly enjoy this luxury.

Invite People Over

Hanging out with friends is a luxury that many think they cannot afford. You have to go out, contribute to trips, pay for your meal or split the bill at a restaurant, etc. However, what if you simply didn’t go out and just opened up your home to your friends instead?

Entertaining at home might terrify many people, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. It’s doesn’t have to be expensive as you may think it is, especially if you keep things casual or even have a potluck. Buy candles, tablecloths, and placemats in bulk so you’ll be ready for any kind of gathering.

Ask for Samples

There’s also no shame in asking for samples from companies who are actually giving them away. Sephora is again one of the top stores in this category, since they provide samples of just about any item you require.

If the samples are big enough, you can use them needed occasions. Get a large supply and keep them in your purse for emergencies or stock up on your supply at home. Even if all you get is a tiny sample, having a sample would show you just what the product is going to look like on your skin. This way, you won’t end up buying anything that doesn’t look good.

A sample doesn’t have to be a product, either. You can go to places where they provide makeovers for free or help you out with your blush, eyeshade, or contouring. Some makeovers might also come with the purchase of a gift card at certain beauty shops. Some women have even been known to get their wedding or party makeup done in this manner.

Look into Rental Clothing

Instead of spending on a high-end dress and splurging on an expensive item that you’d only wear once consider renting. A lot of money and needless spending could be avoided by simply renting out a dress or tux instead of purchasing one.

Many people may not like the idea of renting clothes, but there’s is no doubt its cheaper. You’ll get to have the experience of wearing a fancy dress plus the knowledge that you don’t have to pay full price for it.

If you’re worried about catching germs from rented clothing, make sure the service dry-cleans it before sending it over. You may also get it dry-cleaned yourself. The total cost of the rent and cleaning would still be lower than the cost of a branded item.

Conclusion

The best way to budget for luxuries might be different for different individuals. Make sure you know just what you need and which luxury would actually make you happy. Saving up for a luxury cruise with people you don’t especially like, for instance, may not be worth the sacrifice you’re making over the years.

Having luxuries in your life doesn’t mean you’re selfish, vain, or materialistic. It simply means that you’re looking out for yourself once n a while. If you’re tweaking your budget to get those things and experiences, there’s no harm in that either. You may even be able to do other people a favor by passing these tips on.

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