It’s safe to say that most people are laser focused on money right now—specifically on how to make it last longer. To help you do just that, we compiled the following list of tips for spending less in 2020:
- Rank expenses by priority.
This will help you create a monthly budget. First, differentiate between discretionary and fixed costs. For example, fixed costs may include rent, car payment and utilities…while discretionary expenses may include entertainment, cable TV and new clothing. Second, rank all of your fixed costs in order of importance, starting with those you can’t live without. For most, this will include rent, car, utilities and food. Then, rank your discretionary items; this will help you identify some expenses that you can cut out for a while.
- Question every expense.
Go over your list on a regular basis—even daily—to identify items you can cut completely or those you can negotiate a discounted rate on. This includes reviewing all of your subscription services (e.g., gym, radio/music, etc.)—and remember, if you don’t use it, lose it.
- Continue to cut out discretionary expenses.
Once you’ve streamlined your budget, continue to eighty-six as much non-essential spending as possible, even if only on a temporary basis. For example, cut out the fancy coffee every morning or suspend getting takeout food for a while.
- Get a grip on impulse purchases.
Impulse and pleasure purchases can be the biggest budget buster. Try to refrain from getting online and browsing, because this often leads to impulse purchases. The more you can rein in your impulse spending, the longer your money will last each month.
- Switch out your credit cards for a debit card.
It’s always easier to pull out a credit card for purchases…thinking, “I’ll just pay for this later.” But “later” always comes quickly. Try tucking all your credit cards away in a drawer and using only a debit card. When you know the money will immediately be withdrawn from your account, it makes you think twice about what items you really need.
For many, keeping careful watch over household cash flow is a necessity right now. Try following a few or all of the tips above to make your hard-earned money last longer.