Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How to Make Your Dollars S-T-R-E-T-C-H

I’ve heard it said that there are two ways to have more money:

A) Increase your income

B) Decrease your spending

Since it isn’t always possible to increase our income, let’s focus on something each of us can do: decrease our spending.

1. Pay tithing. (Do this first, somehow things always work out.)

2. Pray. (Ask Heavenly Father for His help. He will help you!)

3. Set Goals. (Amazing things happen when you have a goal.)

4. Budget. (Almost a four-letter word -- I know, but it will give you freedom if you learn to do this.)

5. Discern between needs and wants. (Make a ‘wish list’ for your wants and save those for birthdays, Christmases, or save up for them. Learn to anticipate instead of instant gratification.)

6. Think outside the box. (Are there any goods and services you might be able to trade for other goods and services? – ie. lessons, tutoring, handyman, babysitting, meals, cleaning, yard work, sewing, etc.)

7. Brown bag it. (Make and take your own lunches when possible. The savings add up!)

8. Buy ‘used’ when possible. (You can find treasures at second-hand thrift stores and yard sales. ‘One mans junk is another man’s treasure.’ Also, your local classifieds have incredible savings on almost anything you might need.)

9. Borrow DVD’s and books from your local library. (Make sure to return them before their due date to avoid overdue fines.)

10. Buy items on sale. (Stock up on needed ‘on sale’ items when possible.)

11. Use coupons on things you need. (I just love those two-for-one coupons!)

12. Prepare and eat your own meals. (So much cheaper – and healthier -- than buying already prepared foods or eating out.)

13. Avoid wasting food. (Use up those leftovers – they can become ‘fast food’!)

14. Use your food storage. (Rotate it before it expires and eat healthier, too. Be sure to replenish your supply when possible.)

15. Grow a garden. (Eat and preserve your own food.)

16. Wash your hands. (This simple thing will help keep you healthier.)

17. Walk when possible. (Save gas and release ‘happy’ endorphins. I like happy!)

18. Brush and floss daily. (‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’)

19. Get enough sleep. (‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.’ You'll make better decisions when you're well-rested.)

20. Make your own cards and/or gifts. (Sometimes time is more available than money. Many people appreciate handmade items.)

21. Give service. (This gives you a very satisfying feeling and blesses the receiver(s) as well. It takes your mind off yourself.)

22. Change your attitude. (Be grateful for what you do have. Think, “What I have is enough.”)

I’d love to hear how you make your dollars s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

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