How To Tighten Your Belt in Tough Times
Even small savings can avert a crisis. Use these tips to save small amounts of money in several areas of your budget and tighten your belt during tough times.
Benjamin Franklin said, “A small leak will sink a great ship.” Small things can really make a difference. If you consistently spend more than you earn, even if it is a small amount, it will create stress and financial bondage. On the other hand, Benjamin Franklin also said, “Little strokes fell great oaks.” Focusing on spending less than you earn makes money available for saving or reducing debts.
This reminded me of a recent article that stated how people are combating higher prices and tightening the belt during tough times by cutting out small things. Even if it is a small amount, it will add up over time to bring a greater feeling of peace and financial freedom. The following ideas can help you save money by spending less in different ways.
Do your own work instead of hiring someone else to clean your house, cook your meals, fix your car or mow your lawn.
Get rid of a storage unit. If the items in the storage unit are valuable to you, they should be in your home. If not, you are wasting a lot of money storing things that probably aren’t worth the price you pay to store them.
Replace cable television with a streaming service and cancel gym memberships for free at-home exercises.
Declutter your home and sell the things you don’t want.
Take care of what you have. For example, regular brushing and flossing your teeth could save you hundreds of dollars in dental bills.
Have you overspent your way into debt?
Make a plan to get back out. Get How to Conquer Your Debt No Matter How Much You Have and create a debt payoff plan personalized to your budget and lifestyle.
Consolidate trips by planning ahead of time to do your errands on the same day. Carpool. Remove excess weight from your car. Get information ahead of time by calling on the phone to save you a trip to the store if they don’t have what you want or if it isn’t in your price range. Slow down as it is more fuel efficient. Inflate tires properly. Buy gas at the cheapest place in town. Walk or ride a bike or use public transportation.
Make Things Last Longer
Use half the amount of soap for laundry and for the dishwasher. Wash clothes in cold water if there are no visible stains. Wear your outer clothing more than once if it doesn’t smell or isn’t dirty. Tear dryer sheets in half. Wash your hair every other day.
Lower the thermostat and wear a sweater. Take shorter showers. Unplug the things you aren’t using. Run full loads of laundry and dishes.
Start living better for less.
Subscribe to get money-saving content by email that can help you stretch your dollars further.
Twice each week you'll receive articles and tips that can help you free up and keep more of your hard-earned money, even on the tightest of budgets.
Subscribers receive a free copy of our eBook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better for Less.
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
Go to a matinee instead of a movie in the evening. Find free concerts in the area. Use your local library. Have a potluck dinner instead of a dinner party.
Go to lunch instead of dinner. Split a meal. Find out about restaurant specials. Leave kids at home. Drink water instead of soda. Eat half of your meal and take the rest home for another day.
Buy second hand. Always buy on sale. Buy off season. Have a clothes swap.
Do your own cooking. Make your own bread, tortillas, bagels, crackers, etc. Find less expensive alternatives. For example, make spaghetti instead of lasagna. Use cash when you shop so you can’t go over your limit. Stop buying junk food and soda. Use half the amount of meat or cheese in recipes. Don’t be loyal to one store. Buy produce in season. Buy store brands. Take your lunch to work or school. Don’t buy pre-cut veggies or shredded cheese. Instead, cut or shred it yourself. Eat hot cereal instead of cold. Go shopping less often. Don’t waste food. Instead, eat your leftovers.
Little things do add up. By following the advice of Benjamin Franklin, and by focusing on the little things, it can really make a difference.
Reviewed November 2022
Wouldn't you like to be a Stretcher too?
Subscribe to get our money-saving content twice per week by email and start living better for less. We'll send you a free copy of our eBook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better for Less to get you started.
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
- 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People
- 5 Simple Budget Cuts That Can Save $200 a Month
- How to Track Down Unclaimed Funds Owed You
- 32 Ways to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
- Do You Need Credit Life Insurance When Buying a New Car?
- How to Maximize Profits When Selling Online
- Staying Motivated to Continue Digging Yourself Out of Debt
- 9 Things You Need to Do Before You Retire
- You Didn’t Save Enough for Retirement and You’re 55+
- When Empty Nesters Reorganize and Declutter Their Home
- Reinventing Your Career in Your 50s or 60s
- What Mature Homeowners Should Know about Reverse Mortgages
- 2 Reasons to Collect Social Security Benefits As Soon As Possible