8 Ways To Stretch Your Budget Farther

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Understanding the value of a dollar can be hard at times.  It is a lesson that we are taught at a very young age.  “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”  However, even as an adult, it can be truly hard to comprehend when to choose to buy something, how to spend our hard-earned money and when to just say no to buying anything at all. 
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to respect a hard-earned dollar a lot more than I did when I was younger and have learned several hard spending lessons along the way.  Some of my best tips of stretching a dollar are self-learned and I’d like to pass them on to you to save you from making the same mistakes that myself, or others, have made along the way.

 1. Always Pack Your Lunch

This is a motto in my house.  No matter where we go, I always have something to eat with me that I brought from home.  It seriously never fails that hunger strikes at the most inopportune time.

I refuse to buy food on the go for several reasons.  It’s inflated in price and it’s not healthy.  Stick an apple in your purse, keep a pack of crackers in your car and each and every day for work, pack your lunch.

Don’t give in to the temptation of going out to eat.  With what you spend for one meal, you can buy lunch for an entire week to bring from home!

2. Keep Your Change In A Jar

When I was younger, I used to not keep change at all because I found it annoying.  It’s loud, heavy and of little value truly.  However, after an experiment of keeping loose change in a jar and cashing it out at the end of the year, I had enough money saved up to purchase 6 months of my car insurance.

How crazy is that?  Just by keeping change left over from other purchases!

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask To Borrow Things

Have a home project that you are working on and don’t see the point in renting a certain tool for a job that you will do once?  Save that cost and see if anyone you know has it to use.

Barter or exchange something with them that they need.  No sense in spending that money to buy something when the likelihood of using it again is so slim!

4. Ask For A Discount

Seriously.  There is no shame is asking for a coupon.  Many times in line, I have asked the check-out person if there any coupons this week that I should be aware of, and they have pulled out a piece of paper and scanned in a coupon that saved me anywhere from 20-30% instantly.

All just by asking that one simple question.

5. Put Away That Debit And Credit Card

It’s true, we spend more when we don’t feel the pain of actually spending.  Think about it.  How easy is it to pull out that piece of plastic and swipe away. 

Sure, you are “spending” it, but swiping away doesn’t have the same effect as pulling out cash and counting it out loud to hand over. 

Paying with cash seems to trigger a response that makes one aware when they are spending.  I know it does with me.  When I pay with cash, I have a much higher percentage of buyers remorse than when I pay with debit or credit.

6. Give Yourself A Limit On What You Can Spend For The Month

Factor in all the expenses that your estimating, and then give yourself a budget.  Once you have reached that spending limit, that’s it.  NO. MORE. SPENDING.

You can start over with your new budget the next month, but before that?  You’re done.  You’ve reached your max.

7. Make A Needs Versus Wants List

Know exactly what you need for the month and pair it up with things that you want.  How do they balance each other out?  Do you really need that new pair of shoes or does it fall into the want category? 

Prioritization is key.

I’ve written an entire article on needs vs wants that you can find here.

8. Stay Away From Online Temptation

Are you a chronic late night shopper?  Stop.  It’s like snacking late at night.  Just don’t do it.  Lock down your computer after a certain point and just step away.

Your bank account will thank you.


No matter what your spending habits are, there are always ways to stretch the dollar to make your incoming money last longer.  Take a look at your spending habits and see where you can cut the fat a bit.

Stretching the buck may seem hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, your savings game will grow even more!

Hannah R

Hi, my name is Hannah and I'm the founder of Barefoot Budgeting. This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you! Whether it is making a budget, saving money using DIY projects, or even saving by helping you with my favorite recipes I will cover it all! If it helps you save money in your life I want to help!

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