5 ways to stretch your hard-earned cash

Being a finance professional, I’m always looking for ways to save or rather, stretch my hard-earned cash; it’s in my DNA.  Mr. Amah is always amazed at the kinds of deals I often find and how I do so effortlessly.  What he doesn’t know is that it is not totally effortless, just appears so.

Without further ado, below are 5 ways to make your cash go further.  This is by no means an all-inclusive prescriptive list.  I’d love to hear ways you have employed to save a bit more this year:

  • HAVE A BUDGET:  I can’t stress this enough (click here for earlier blog post on budgeting).  When you take the time to create a SMART budget, you will honor it. Budgets are a good way of keeping track of expenses and staying on top of savings goals.  It became even more imperative once I got married i.e. as a single person, I maintained a budget vis-a-vis keeping a mental picture of my spending because I could.  Nowadays running the Amah household, I live by our budget and all that mental picture mantra is wholly incorporated into the budget.  If anything, it enables us figure out where we have saved versus overspend and plan better for next time or apply the savings from one trip to the next trip.
  • SKIP DRYCLEANING: Drycleaning is overrated and overly expensive, not to mention running the risk of having your clothes ruined.  Furthermore, in the long run, drycleaned clothes wear out quicker.  Invest in a good laundry machine, wash like colors together, hang dry when you can and save yourself a few hundred bucks a month on drycleaning costs.
  • MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: ‘Health is wealth’ is no empty phrase. What you eat / do in private will eventually show in public e.g. if you eat unhealthy foods consistently and maintain a sedentry lifestyle, it will show up on your waistline and lead to frequent visits to the doctors for health-related issues.  Before you know it, your closet will need a total overhaul because you can’t fit in your old clothes anymore plus increased out of pocket spending on prescription drugs and hospital visits.  Eating right with regular exercise will leave the body energized, fit, healthy and save you a ton in medical bills and new closet — that’s killing 4 birds with one stone.
  • EAT HOME COOKED MEALS MORE OFTEN: It is no question that eating out or ordering take out frequently is not only expensive but you are not in control of what exactly you ingest.  Many meals at restaurants / take outs including fine gourmet dining are fraught with very high levels of sodium, saturated fats and many more unhealthy items.  Eating home cooked meals more often ensures you are in total control of what you ingest and costs twice as less than eating out.
  • BUY GROCERIES IN BULK, AS NECESSARY: If you have a sizeable household, then grocery shopping at warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s club where goods are sold in bulk and discounted is highly recommended to really stretch your hard earned cash.

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