How To Make Your Salary Stretch Further
Smart Ways To Stretch Your Salary
With uncertain times ahead and the rising cost of local goods,you may be at a stage where you’re worried that your standard of living is going to be affected in the coming months. Now is the time to look at your budget and consider ways to make your salary stretch a little bit further each month.
Starting a garden is a great way to get some exercise and engage in a rewarding hobby that can help to supplement your grocery bill every month,once it’s up and running.Even if you don’t have a very large area in which to plant, you may still be able focus on growing some high yield crops options like tomatoes, courgettes, spinach, and even radishes, which do well when grown in containers.
- Buy in bulk
When you head out to the shops and find your regular items like pet pellets are on special, buy two or three extras if you can. You’ll be needing to purchase them down the line anyway, and you won’t have had to pay full price for any of them which adds up as a savings down the line. Apply this principle to everything from paper towels to tinned fruit and dishwashing pods and you’ll quickly build up a decent size pantry that you can draw on during times you’re sick and can’t run to the shops.
- Meal planning
If you don’t meal plan yet, you may want to start looking at the benefits that come along with planning what you’ll eat for the week. Not only will you have an exact idea what you need to buy from the shops, but you can better plan your budget and have the option to swap meals around as required if you need to cut costs – such as switching steak night for soup evenings, or only buyingthe meat cut which is on special at the shops.
- Bulk meals
When you’re planning to cook up food for your family, look for a meal that will freeze well, and double the amount that you make – be it a stew, soup, pasta or casserole. Since you need to cook anyway, you won’t use that much extra power, and the extra meal you make will come in handy for a night you can’t cook. It will also save power since you’re just reheating instead of doing everything from scratch again.
- Shelf Cook / Shop your pantry
If you need to save money quicklyand can’t figure out where in your budget you can cut corners, do a complete spending freeze for a week and onlycook food items you have already in your freezer and pantry. This frees up the grocery money you would have spent and allows you to start getting creative with how you cook. If you win big playing online slots, treat yourself to a great meal out, then go back to your frugal habits!
- Rethink your luxury expenses
Look at where your extra money is going each month -and you’ll quickly discover what you consider to be your luxury budget. Are you spending money on takeout’s several times a week? Is it all going towards weekend entertainment? Or is itthe weekly date night that’s draining your savings?
Instead of allowing things tocontinue unchecked, look at ways to keep what you love but make it much less expensive. Buy takeout twice a month instead of weekly. Stay home on the weekend or visit friends. Spend date nights at home and cook from scratch together. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save if you keep this up for a few months.
Take some time to reflect on what worked for you, and what didn’t, from the list above before starting the process again next month. Refine it as often as you need to until you’ve worked out a system you’re satisfied with. There are always creative ways to help your salary stretch until the next paycheck and ways to monetise skills you already possess.