Making Your Money Go Further

One of the things we all seem to have in common these days is not having enough money.  Too often, we get by from paycheck to paycheck and even then we end up short.  For disabled veterans who must make do on a fixed income unless the VA increases their disability rating, it can feel like there is no way out.

If you don’t do something, the problem just continues.  The worst part is that it also tends to keep growing.  The bills you can’t pay this month become the first ones you pay next month, but that leaves more bills that can’t be paid.  If you can’t find more money, then it makes sense to look for every way you can to make the best possible use of what you have.

Try some of these tips and see if they help:

 

  • Make a list of what you need and stick to it.  That doesn’t mean you can’t spend money on things you like, but start by paying the necessary bills.  The other good thing about using a list is that it helps you remember those items you really need to pick up.
  • Comparison shop.  Often products are cheaper if you’re not buying a name brand.  Don’t scrimp on quality though on important items.  Think about if the item is going to have to last you long term or if it’s just something that you can get by with using the cheaper version.
  • Use caution if you’re thinking of consolidating your bills.  You want to be sure you know what the initial cost of using the company is going to be and what interest you’ll be paying.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers tips on locating consolidation companies and for doing business with them.
  • Set your furnace on the setting you’re most comfortable at and leave it alone!  Changing the temperature can be a big power drain.
  • Keep your checkbook balanced.  The fees for overdrafts can really set you back.
  • Keep a list of what you’re spending your money on for one month.  Then review it to see what items you can cut back on.
  • Save a few dollars each paycheck for emergencies…and use it only for that.
  • Go to the library instead of to a movie.  There is something for everyone there.  Books, DVDs, artwork, book clubs where you can socialize and learn.  You may even find film screening events or lectures.

Budgeting requires effort in order to work.  But in the end, it pays off in less anxiety over those unpaid bills.  Give it an honest try…I think you’ll be surprised!

 

Resources:

Budgeting: Save Money on Entertainment – Quicken Support, and Budgeting: Stretch a Small Income.  http://quicken.intuit.com/support/help/money-guide/

Money Saving Tips & Ideas.  http://www.moneymanagementtips.com/savings.htm

 

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