Financial stress can be daunting, but with some planning, the uncertainty around how far your money will stretch from paycheck to paycheck doesn’t have to be something you stress over. This year, establish financial stability with these budget-friendly tips.
Stick to a Budget
The first step to setting the course for an economical 2017 is creating a budget. By planning for the year ahead, you can gain insight into your current spending habits and start down the path of financial security. Beyond just helping you save, a budget can make the money you are spending stretch further. Not sure where to start? Here is some advice on making a retirement budget that works.
Sleep On It
Whether you’re making an important financial decision or considering a purchase, it can often help to wait a day or two before deciding. Holding off allows you to ensure that you aren’t acting on impulse. Impulse buys or investments can add up and create financial woes later on. If after a day or so you still feel like moving forward, you can do so confidently, knowing the decision was logically and financially thought out.
Poor health can be costly. From doctor visits to prescription costs, medical expenses add up. Living an active lifestyle can help to cut back on these costs and lower the risk of more long-term health concerns like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Being active doesn’t require much of an investment other than time and energy, and regular physical activity can help to keep you healthy. Consult your doctor before adopting a new health regimen and find more tips on staying fit on a budget here.
Plan Your Meals
One area to save and stretch your dollar is with your food. Planning ahead or changing habits can ensure you get the most out of your food costs. Depending on the recipe, frozen vegetables can often be substituted for fresh foods. When possible, avoid eating out. On occasions where you must eat out, split larger restaurant portions and take half of your food to go to make an extra meal out of it. Another great savings tactic is to shop seasonally. Buying produce that is in season is often cheaper. As a bonus, seasonal produce can often introduce you to new fruits and vegetables. Lastly and most importantly, plan your meals each week. In doing so, you prevent unnecessary trips to the grocery store that may end up costing you more with impulse buys. It also prevents you from giving in to the convenience of dining out.
These are just a few ways to cut back on spending and relieve some of your financial stress in the new year. Find a solution that makes the most “cents” for you, and take the first steps toward financial stability.