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Make Your Money Stretch!

written by: chesanekc•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 4/30/2009

Are you suffering financially during these hard economic times? Well, chances are you are like the rest of us and money is really tight these days. You can make your money last longer, by being smart with it.

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    Tips to Make Your Money Last

    During a rough economy, we are all really feeling the weight on our shoulders financially. Many of us are barely making enough money to get by, lost our jobs or are trying to live paycheck to paycheck. It is a scary time, but you can be smart with your money and actually make it stretch. You may be thinking that you really have no money to use, let alone make it last longer, but there are a few tips that you can use to help you understand how to make your money last a bit longer.

    Groceries and toiletries can be very expensive, especially because you usually need to buy them every couple days or at least once a week. So how can you make your money stretch when you have these things to buy all the time? A great idea is to make a list of what you need and then look at the weekly circulars for the different stores around you and compare the prices. You can then see the difference in prices and see which store will offer you the better value. When you are buying perishable items it is a great idea to really buy the items in bulk. This way you save money by not having to buy these items once a week. Buying in bulk is usually cheaper in the long run than buying a few items here and there.

    Stop spending on the little luxuries. You may be thinking you can't even spend any money on any type of luxury such as a vacation or a day at the spa, however you may already be splurging on the simple things you enjoy. Do you buy your cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks on your way to work? If so, you can really be spending a lot of money on something that you can simply make from home. Or what about buying the newspaper or a magazine everyday? Although these are small items, they end up costing you a lot of money down the road--a lot of money you could be saving for a larger luxury, such as the vacation you want.

    If you need an appliance in your home, try looking for one that is not brand new. This doesn't even mean that you need to buy an item that is used; it means that you should look for last year's model. This goes the same for cars as well. Objects are actually a lot cheaper when they are last year's models instead of the current year. Just because it is not brand new, doesn't mean that it won't be sufficient. Besides, it is new to you! It is something that you had to replace with a newer version, so you shouldn't feel cheap by doing this.

    Gas prices have been like a roller coaster these days. One week they are down very low, and the next they have skyrocketed once again. It is hard to remain faithful to the gas pump, because you just never know what the price will be. People cannot afford spending their hard earned money into their gas tanks. So how can you get around this? Luckily, there is a lot of public transportation that allows people to lay off the gas miles on their own car. Carpooling with a coworker, friend or even spouse will also allow a person to save money on their travels. If you can walk or ride a bike to work or any activity where you would normally drive to, that will also keep you fit and help save money in your wallet.

    Saving money is very hard. To stretch money each week can also be tough, but you can start by cutting back on little things that take place in your everyday life. Cutting back on things you really don't need or buying smart can help you save your money and help you get through these hard economic times.You can stretch your budget!