5 Ideas to Help Make Your Paycheck Last Longer

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ways to save moneIf you are like many families, you count the days until you get paid again. It really isn’t that hard to make your paycheck stretch the whole two weeks, you just need to make a few small adjustments. Here are 5 ways to save money and hang on to your hard-earned cash a little longer every month and not feel the pinch!

1) Bump up your take-home pay. Have you started a family in the last few years? If it has been a few years since you began working for your current employer, it may be time for an update on your W-4 form. You may have claimed zero so you wouldn’t owe taxes at the end of the year, but with all the new tax cuts for families, this may no longer be the best choice. If you start claiming more exemptions (like your kids), you will have less money withheld from your paycheck and more in your pocket, plus you may still have money back come April 15.

2) Put yourself on a daily budget. When it’s payday keep spending your money like you don’t have any. Pay the bills that are due and buy your groceries (of course), but with the left over money you need to budget it carefully. Divide the lump sum by the amount of days left until payday. That is how much you can spend a day. If you have $200 dollars left and you have 12 days until payday, you can spend around $16 dollars a day. If you spend only $10 of that money a day, you have $72 left come your next payday. Even better?  Start a Cash Envelope system.. and when the money’s gone, it’s gone.

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3) Kick the coffee habit. You knew this one was coming and NO.. you don’t have to totally give up your coffee. Yes, it is fun to go through the Starbucks drive thru, but it costs a lot of money. If you really want to save money, wake up and smell the home-brewed coffee! Add real cream or ½ and ½  plus a specialty syrup to your own coffee and save a ton. At $4 a cup twice a week, you would be saving yourself around $400 a year. Crazy.  And if you REALLY can’t give up Starbucks, switch to brewed (and bring your own cup to save a dime!).

Also see: 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Save Money.

4) Do some repairs yourself. It used to be that if anything went wrong with your car or appliances you had no other choice but to call a repairman. But there might be and alternative to fix some simple things and save money: It’s called Google. If the blinker light goes out on your car, look up how to replace the bulb on Google. There is a video or tutorial out there for almost anything and it would be wise to check there before you call the handyman.

5) Stop spending because of a guilty conscience. If you are one of those parents who has to spend lots of time away from home because of work, you may ease your guilty conscience by buying things for your kids to make up for it. My best advice: stop spending money and start spending quality time with your kids. It could only mean a few hours a night, but make those hours count by making popcorn and watching a movie together or spend time reading or playing games. Even tucking in you kids to bed and reading a bedtime story provides great memories for them.. and it doesn’t cost a dime.

ways to save money

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