How to Make Your Paycheck Stretch Further


House rent: Check.

Health care: Check.

Food, groceries, household essentials: Check.

Cable: Check.

And just like that, 98% of your salary is spent within days after you receive the paycheck. But what if you could make it last longer? What if you could save a little bit more by being just a little bit smarter? What if you could make your paycheck stretch further?

It’s been a tough year economically for millions, and spending (and saving) wisely is more important than ever for many folks. While we wait for the clouds to pass, we still need food to eat, have clothes to wash, and kids to take care of.

To help you get 2021 off to a good start financially, here are 6 steps you can take.

  1. Define a budget. Identify where you spend (and what you spend on) by collecting all the receipts for one month. Then, set a budget and stick to it. It may require some discipline, but you’ll feel better about your finances if you exercise some control. You just need to find what works best for you. I, for instance, have set-up a recurring deposit account which deducts a certain amount of my paycheck and puts it into my savings. Out of sight, out of mind. 😊
  2. STOP impulse purchases. This is a must if you wish for your paycheck to last longer. Those small spur-of-the-moment purchases can add up to a lot of money going toward things we do not need. Make lists and divide them into needs and wants. For example, if rice, flour, vegetables are on your menu most days, they are a staple in your kitchen, and you know you’ll buy them regularly—so your best bet is to time your purchases according to store sales. You might really want that new leather jacket, but if you NEED to pay for school supplies or lunches, the jacket might have to wait.
  3. Cook at home. An average restaurant may cost you $15 for a meal of two while a home cooked meal might cost $4. Reserve dining out or takeout meals to just once a week to break the monotony or to celebrate a special occasion. Try to look for coupons or happy hours when you plan to eat out, so that you can save on your bill.
  4. Drink at home. The same rule as dining out applies to drinking, as well. A six pack of beer costs anywhere between $5 and $6, while we spend the same amount for just one beer at a bar. Of course, the social aspect of having cocktails with friends might be priceless . . . but if you’re watching your finances, maybe limit yourself to one or two cocktails and alternate with water, or find a great deal on a happy hour.
  5. Pay credit card bills in full. The golden rule of managing your finances. Every time you simply make a payment rather than pay the full amount, you end up paying interest that compounds over time, and in the end, you end up paying the credit card company much more than you actually paid for your purchases. When you make a purchase with a credit card, be sure you have actual money in the bank to cover it.

Start couponing like a boss. At Coupons.com, you can browse through offers from different product categories and brands and save hundreds on both groceries and specialty retail purchases. You can find thousands of offers on Coupons.com, plus you can save with cash back offers with the new Coupons.com app.


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