No doubt, we can’t help but look forward to the 15th or 30th. After all, those are the days when we’re (usually) rewarded for our hard work. And, we have to admit, it’s just so easy to spend our salaries and live as one-day millionaires during paydays–only to reap the consequences of our actions a couple of days after. The thing is, you can actually stretch your salary to the next payday. Here are 10 practical things you can consider to make your salary last longer.
1. Create a budget.
Track your usual expenses and create a budget that you won’t have a hard time sticking to. List down your priorities and basic expenses in order to come up with a reasonable amount, and try afford a little leeway.
2. Have an allowance.
In line with having a budget, don’t deprive yourself of the money you worked so hard for. Allot an allowance once in a while for the wants, not necessarily needs, as long as you keep it in line. This includes setting aside money for the occasional splurge, like shopping or dining out.
3. Bring your own lunch and coffee.
Think about the money you’ll be saving if you just pack your own lunch and make your own coffee everyday. A plus: this is a healthier option because you get to control the sodium and sugar on your food and drinks. For coffee lovers out there, consider investing in a good coffee maker or pod coffee machines. Same taste, less cost.
4. Think long term.
Income minus savings equals expenses. By forcing yourself to allot a percentage of your salary to savings or long-term investments such as mutual funds, you will always be secure. Even if money do come short, you know that you’re not really left empty-handed, as part of the salary you don’t have right now is growing. For those who want to always remain liquid, get a bank account for savings and only use it for emergencies.
5. Go for gradual savings.
If you want something, say, a new cell phone, save up for it gradually. Divide the cost of the item by a particular number of weeks or months and automatically set aside a part of your salary for it. With this, you get to spend smartly without causing a huge blow to your paycheck. Who knows, maybe you end up changing your mind and winding up with more savings!
6. Follow your checklist.
When doing your groceries or running errands in the mall, plan your purchases beforehand and write a list, and make sure to stick to it. That way, you can avoid buying things you suddenly want but don’t really need.
7. Buy in bulk.
For essential items that you always buy, especially those that are non-perishable like detergent or toiletries, purchase them in bulk. Buying in bigger portions may be more expensive upfront, but it definitely pays off in the long run.
8. Stick to cash.
Having a credit card is certainly advantageous when it comes to big purchases that can be paid in installments. Unfortunately, the security of having that much credit is damaging for some. It’s difficult to keep track of spending when you don’t see the money physically leave your wallet, so it’s better to rely on cash to easily follow your set allowance. Here’s a quick tip: if you’re going to use your card, make sure that you have enough money for your purchase, and set aside cash for its payment ASAP.
9. Try staying in.
For those who have made it a habit to go out every week, consider staying in once in a while. Pop in a movie, have friends bring food and drinks or throw a pizza party and split the costs. This way, you get to spend time with your friends and save some cash without compromising the fun.
10. Consider carpooling.
You can minimize your travel costs by considering carpooling. If you have a neighbor who drives to work in the same area as you, introduce the idea of hitching in for a ride every morning and just pitching in for gas. Likewise, you can opt to split cab fares with your co-workers who live in the same vicinity. This is a win-win situation, and it’s beneficial for you and for the other party as well.
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Pia is an indoorsman of the internet. She takes pleasure in learning new things, spending time with friends, and getting lost in foreign cities.