Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How to make those little purchases, pay a bill

Hey all! I know I have done a few different budget or money saving posts, but I never seem to get EVERYTHING into one blog because its just too much. However, our household will be living on a very tight budget for the next couple of months,and its brought to mind some tips that I would like to share. These are for the people who truly live paycheck to paycheck, and don't have credit cards or large savings accounts to fall back on.

A lot of times we don't realize how much our small spending adds up. For example, all of the little things we buy and think "oh it's only a few bucks". It may only be a few bucks, but add it up over a month...I bet all those little spending total one of your monthly bills that NEED to be paid. That's how I will start this off....

1 - Analyze your account -- if you use a debit card for everything like I do, go into your account once in a while, and add up all the UN-necessary purchases to see just how much it adds up to. You might be shocked at just how much you spend. This alone can shock people into stopping the little purchases.

2 - If you need to run into a place like Walmart, for just a couple of things, take ONLY cash in with you. I myself have a habit of going to the store for 3 things I need, and coming out with like 20 items. These stores are addictive because they have everything right there. So, before you get there, take out the amount of cash you plan on spending, then leave the debit card home. Then there is no money there for those impulse purchases.  (and just don't go to Walmart as much)

3 - Purchase gas with cash - this one I am still working on. Its so easy to just throw that debit card out to get gas. BUT...if you really pay attention to the pricing, gas can be about $.10 cheaper per gallon, if you use cash to buy it. Again, doesn't seem like a lot, but if you have a large vehicle or a gas guzzler, this could save you some cash.

4 - Pass on the economy sized items - you see that you can get a half gallon of shampoo for only $5 - wow, great deal. STOP...are you really going to use ALL of that before the next paycheck??? If not, save a few dollars, and just get the regular sized bottle. If you need more next check, get more then. Get the larger items at another time, when you really CAN spare that extra couple of dollars. Same goes for food. Buy only the amount you need, until the next check.

5 - Be honest with yourself - Not kidding, have pep talks with yourself. There have been many times I have been craving something like a fancy coffee or ice cream, and I have internal battles with myself over if I can really afford to treat myself.  Sounds crazy, I know. But my thing is..if I am think WAAAAYYYY to much about why I should not get something, and if I can really afford it, lets face it, I probably shouldn't get it at all.There are only so many times you can tell yourself that you "deserve it", before you no longer deserve it because you get it all the time.  Make it a rule to actually "treat" yourself only at certain times.

6 - Tell the kids NO, that should go for you too - Too many times do I think I want to get a coffee or a soda, but I have kids with me. I can afford to get something for me, but can't afford to get something for the 3 kids. What to do??? Say NO to all of you. Why drag the kids with you to get a facny drink, but tell them they can't have something. That's just not fair and its like teasing the kids. So if you honestly can''t afford to get a treat for everyone, don't get one for yourself in front of them.

The trick is to think of ways you can save money now, for things you will need it for later.