How to stretch your dollar when there’s high inflation – The Epoch Times | CarTailz

High inflation rates have hit just about everything this summer – and it doesn’t look like they’re going down any time soon. Most people’s income has not kept up with this, and it has become necessary for many people to try to keep growing their dollar.

CNBC reports that 63 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, up from 57 percent a year ago. That means many Americans are struggling to make ends meet right now.

Here are some ways you can stretch your dollar and make your life easier from paycheck to paycheck.

Know where your money is going now

In order for your money to do better, you need to know where your money is going now. Write down all your expenses for a month and see where the money goes.

Don’t forget to write down the little things too. This can include specialty coffees, lunch at work, buying fast food, snacks, and more. Think of the money you’ve spent on parking, washing your car, and more.

Create a budget

Categorize your monthly expenses and set limits according to your monthly income. Set your priorities: food and electricity are more important than music, streaming and computer games. Keep a record of your spending and consult your budget frequently to remind yourself of your limits. If you hit the limit in a certain category, don’t spend those things again until your next payday. A budget is an essential tool to help you develop better money management skills.

Eliminate the unnecessary

Chances are, some of your purchases are for things you can live without. Find those expenses, eliminate them from your budget, and use that money for more important things. You may also want to sell valuables that you no longer use.

Get a cheaper car and insurance

If you drive an expensive car, you can save money on car payments and car insurance by buying a cheaper one. You probably don’t need an expensive car, and it will take less of your stress knowing you can make the payments without worrying. Before you buy another one, talk to your insurance agent to see how much less your payments will be.

Avoid using credit cards

Although credit cards are easy to use, they can cause financial problems if you use them too often. Remember that once the introductory period is over, you will have to pay interest on that debt – and this could leave you in debt for a long time.

Use cash only

You can stop yourself from using credit cards if you only use cash. Don’t carry more cash than you need to spend when you go shopping. It might be difficult at first, but it will help you avoid overspending — especially if you have a list.

Using an envelope system works for many people. When you get paid, split your cash into envelopes — use one envelope for each budget category. If the money in an envelope runs out, don’t buy anything else in that category until your next paycheck.

Get no payday loan

Payday loans may seem like a quick fix, but they can keep you in debt while you struggle to pay them back. Interest rates are high and you could end up paying double the loan value. They can also become a habit.

Save on grocery expenses

Kyle Taylor, the founder of ThePennyHoarder, says you can stack discounts to save more money when you’re grocery shopping. She mentions visiting sites like Raise, where you can get discounted gift cards for about 25 percent less. Combine these discounts with store coupons, Ibotta to save even more money.

Cook meals at home

Cooking at home will save you a significant amount of money if you are used to eating fast food. You can add rice, pasta or beans to many dishes to lengthen your meal. Make a menu for the week (or two). Make a list before you go shopping and stick to it when you go to the store – this should save you money.

Pay off your credit cards

Holding a balance on your credit cards means paying interest on items you’ve already purchased. It also means that any discounts you had on offer when you bought the item have been lost due to interest. Reduce your credit card debt fast and you’ll have more money every month – if you avoid using them and charging more.

Invest every month

If you can manage your budget and use these savings tips, invest the savings. Using compound interest on seemingly small amounts each month can turn into a much larger sum over several years. It might give you money to use in retirement, but you should start saving some each month as soon as possible.

Tony Robbins, on Money.USNews, says spending cuts don’t have to mean less fun. Instead of going to a restaurant to have dinner with friends, invite them over to your house, split the cost, and order pizzas. Then save or invest the difference. Saving and investing $40 a week can earn you more than $550,000 over 40 years.

Get a side job

If you find you’re still short on cash or just want to eliminate some bills faster, consider taking on a part-time job temporarily. There are many options, so you should be able to find one or two that suit your situation. Plus, you can do many from the comfort of your own home with little or no additional experience or equipment. You can babysit, walk a dog, deliver food, drive for Uber or Lyft, sell products on Etsy, become a freelance writer or editor (Upwork), help people with tasks (TaskRabbit or Handy), and more.

Even if inflation is high now, you should be aware that it may not go away anytime soon. Avoid getting into debt by using the tips above and learn how to stretch your dollar now to develop financial stability to protect your finances.

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or other personal financial advice. The Epoch Times assumes no liability for the accuracy and timeliness of the information provided.

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Mike Valles has been a freelance writer for many years, focusing on personal finance articles. He writes articles and blog posts for businesses and lenders of all sizes and strives to provide quality information that is timely and easy to understand.

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