Share your best advice for living on a budget and stretching your dollars.
Much like counting my calories, I track everything I spend. I Have an excel spreadsheet that I sit down at night and put everything into just like I do my nutrition counter. 3 years ago I was almost bankrupt and I make a very good salary. Today I have my credit cards paid off.
I am a huge fan of coupon shopping. At the end of my receipt where it tells me how much I saved with coupons, I put that amount away in an envelope at home ... the money saved throughout the year buys Christmas presents!
After I used my paycheck to pay the bills and put some into savings, I take out the rest in cash. I use that cash towards groceries, gas, eating out, and any that I have left I stash away in a can or container. The money in there can be used for clothing, makeup, travel, or whatever.
I have a credit card that gives points for dollars spent. You redeem your points for gift cards. I pay the entire bill every month (no interest for me!) At Christmas, or other gift giving holidays I use my points towards gift cards. Free presents!
Run errands riding your bike if you can (even grocerie shopping). The amout of gas you save is amazing! I've been doing it for a while and I am really satisfied.
And you save money by getting a workout without having to pay for a gym.
When I take out my money, I take out a small notebook and write down what it is for, less impulsive spending as a result.
Remember sitting in Math class and wondering why you needed to know Math after high school? Especially calculus and advanced algebra? I'll tell you why you need it...
Make a budget.
We round to the closest 5 or 0. When we pay a bill or for any item we buy, If the total is 22 we round to 25 and "forget" about the remaining 3 dollars, If is 26 we round to 30. At the end of the year that "forgotten" money sure adds up
I'm horrible at buying things just because they're on sale, or seem like a good deal. If you're not positive you want something, go home and sleep on it. If you're still thinking about it the next day, then go back and get it.