This Is How Experts Suggest That You Stretch Your Budget
How can you stretch your budget when prices have gone up so much in this year alone? It’s a tough question that millions of Americans are asking during this inflation crisis. Basic necessities like food and utilities have gone up from 10% to 15%. If you have a small salary, that can really hit hard. However, small changes can make a big difference. Here are some ways to stretch out your budget so you can still live within your means.
Try These Methods To Stretch Your Budget
1. Lower Your Food Costs
According to surveys done by the USDA, people spend about 30% of their income on food. If you focus on lowering the cost of your meals, you free up your cash to stretch your budget for other expenses. The good news is that it’s really easy to make delicious and affordable meals. First of all, you need to lower the amount you are eating at restaurants.
You can make a home-cooked version of your favorite takeout for a fraction of the price — and there are many recipes and videos that will show you how. Second, make a meal plan around ingredients that you already have, or are more affordable. For example, you can make a hearty stew with cheap cuts of meat and plenty of vegetables. It can feed a crowd and costs a lot less than a dish that’s just pure meat.
2. Save On Utilities
To save on electricity, switch to LED bulbs. They use less energy and last longer, so they can really help stretch your budget. Start with a few bulbs in the rooms that you use most often, and then gradually replace all the bulbs in your home. Likewise, some appliances with digital displays or are connected to the Internet still consume electricity when they’re plugged inThis means you need to make it a habit to unplug everything — TV, computers, and so on — when you’re not using them. You can also save on home heating/cooling costs by improving insulation. You can buy window insulation kits for less than $20, or use caulking or weatherproofing strips for both doors and windows. Plus, these things aren’t difficult to use.
And if your home has a lot of windows, get blackout curtains or sew an extra liner on the current curtains you are using – as a trick, you can use a cheap material like a PVC shower curtain or fleece. This can also help with heating your home. Just keep the curtains open during the day to heat up your home with natural sunlight, then close the curtains at night so the heat won’t escape.
3. Reduce Entertainment Expenses
Another way to save some money is to cancel any subscriptions that you don’t use often. You can also follow local museums, recreation centers, or parks’ social media pages so you’re notified of free movies, concerts and events. And if you are looking for something to do, look for an affordable hobby that you can enjoy at home, so you’re not tempted to go out just because you’re bored.
You can also stretch your budget by taking up a hobby that meets several needs. For example, learning how to cook or planting a vegetable garden can help you lower food costs, or learning how to sew can help you save on clothing. There are also plenty of hobbies – like making crafts or writing – that you can turn into side businesses to help you bring in some extra money.
4. Save On Rent
While rent is a fixed expense, that doesn’t mean you can’t at least try to look for ways to lower it. For example, you can get a roommate to help split the cost, or ask your landlord if you can help out with errands or do other work in exchange for a discount on rent. You can also check out if you qualify for rent assistance programs in Arizona.
If you are looking to go this route and find rent assistance programs, the official website of your city will have a list of available resources in your area. All you have to do is do a Google search and find out what you have to do to qualify for these programs. Other options include the Affordable Housing Hub and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to help you with rent.
Get A Registration Loan For Emergencies
As hard as you may try to stretch your budget, sometimes you just don’t have enough to pay for basic needs or emergency expenses. A registration loan can tide you through. This is a loan where you use your car registration as collateral for a lump sum of money. You can take out this loan even if you are not yet done making payments on your car, and thus do not qualify for a title loan.
Applying for a registration loan is easy through Fast Auto Loans, Inc. when you need one. All you need is a valid Arizona driver’s license or government-issued ID, a motor vehicle registration in your name, your social security number, and an active checking account in your name. All you have to do is fill out the online form and a representative from the nearest location will help you continue.
Learn How To Stretch Your Budget The Right Way
Since prices have gone up – and continue to increase – this means you have to learn how to make your budget help you live within your means. Use any of these ways to stretch your budget and keep you afloat. And if an emergency really hits your budget, get a registration loan for help. Fill out the online form on our website so we can help you get through the process.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.