Without a doubt, living from paycheck to paycheck is absolutely no fun whatsoever. It can often seem like making that last dollar stretch to your next payday is all but impossible, let alone finding any new source of income. However, while it may be difficult to implement, stretching your salary isn't all that difficult of a skill to learn. All you really need to do is keep in mind these simple guidelines, and you should be well on your way to stretching your salary. Keep in mind that these are only guidelines, and as such simply a place for you to start.
- Cut all possible expenses. Take a good hard look at your monthly expenses, and see what you can lower, and what you can actually cut as well. For example, when you go grocery shopping, you don't always need to get the brand names. Instead, you can get the lower costing brand, even the store brands, and thereby saving easily up to two or three dollars on a specific item, let alone how much you can save when all your groceries are added up. In addition, don't make the mistake of thinking that price is the only thing that matters. When and where possible, buy quality items so that they will last longer.
- Pay online when possible. Most monthly bills will also give you the option of paying online, and this is definitely something that you should take advantage of. The reason why is that many of these companies will also offer you a discount for paying your bills online. Again, it may not seem like much at first glance, but over time every little bit will help dramatically.
- Take advantage of the library. Do you like to read, watch movies, or even just listen to music? Instead of going out and buying the latest book, cd, or movie why not borrow it from your library? Most libraries will allow you to borrow books and music absolutely free, while you may have to pay one or two dollars to borrow a movie. This can save you quite a bit of money on your entertainment, and allow you to save up for a really special night.
- Comparison shop when at all possible. While big ticket items are usually rather rare, they are something that can take a big chunk out of your paycheck for several months at a time. To make this chunk as little as possible make sure that you take the time to actually do a bit of comparison shopping on those big ticket items. Do your research, look around at the various stores, and if necessary also do some comparison shopping of the banks to find the best possible loan rates as well.
- Eat at home. One of the best ways to help stretch your salary is to not eat out very often. On the average, a simple dinner at a low cost restaurant will run a minimum of $20.00. If you eat out more than once a week that can very quickly add up to a rent check. Eating at home usually will only cost you a fraction of the price that a dinner out will, particularly if you are smart about your grocery shopping.