How to Make Your Money Stretch

Have you ever looked at your bank account balance with regret? Have you ever wondered “Where did all of my money go? I just got paid yesterday” or “Geez, I will not get the next refund check until a few months from now!”

This used to happen to me OFTEN. My solution was simple. I closed the Internet browser to my on-line banking account and opened it back up after a few hours or the next day (to give Jesus enough time to complete His miracle of turning the $5 into $5,000). Once my wishful thinking got #playedout, I decided to use my mathematician skills and perform Creative Math. Here are a few of my tricks that I either used in the past or currently use to make my money stretch:
  1. Buy 1, not 2: I tend to get shopping or food happy (or maybe it’s just greedy) and I want to buy 2 of everything. 2 packs of gum. 2 shirts that are on sale (I need different colors). 2 (well, actually 3) Subway cookies. If my money needs to stretch, I just buy 1 or NONE AT ALL.
  2. Be a chef: I look at the foods/ingredients that are in my kitchen cabinets/refrigerator, and google recipes that include those foods/ingredients. I make the mental decision that “I am going on strike against grocery shopping because I currently have food in my place.” A casserole dish is usually my “I do not want to spend money on food so I am going to place random combinations of food into one dish” meal. A PB&J sandwich has never failed me neither…#thankGod
  3. Eat before going out (or bring snacks): I am a foodie and I eat every couple of hours. Eating before going out or eating my own snacks leads to smaller portion sized meals when going out. It also prevents me from becoming #hangry. I am not a fan of having to wait on a bad server before I can eat.
  4. Rent a movie or watch a movie during matinée: I love to watch movies and would probably waste hundreds of dollars if I only watched them at the movie theaters. I rent movies from Redbox or stream them from Hulu/Netflix. If I prefer to be out of the house, I go to the movies during non-peak hours (and apply trick #3).
  5. Take the metro during non-peak hours, take the bus, and/or walk: Is it me or is the DMV’s metro system expensive? As a result, I catch a ride with my father, before 7am, to a metro station that is closer to work (so, I pay less due to the non-peak hour and distance). Sometimes, I take the bus to work which saves a few dollars as well. If I am not on a strict time schedule, I walk to locations that are within a 2-mile radius (#fitnessgoals)
I know that there are tons of ideas that I did not list. How you do make your money stretch?
dollar out of 15 cents
#SmartSaturdays: While I was still living on my college campus, I became smart. I hid about 50%, or more, whenever I received cash from family or friends somewhere in my dorm room. Of course – there were times when I could not locate the money. Then, many times, I forget I had the money. But the money seemed to show up just when I need it! #ontimeGod

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