7 Winning Character Traits Of Leaders You Want To Work For: I have been very fortunate in my life in so many ways.  One that has often gone overlooked or taken for granted is one that…

Charlie & Debbie

Let’s face it. Money is tight these days no matter who you are. Well, maybe not if you’re Taylor Swift. But, for the rest of us, it feels as if as soon as the check comes in, it’s all gone. And, I’m not talking about spending it all on extravagant meals out or travel abroad. Daily necessities like housing and food suck every dime you make instantly. But, as I was going through my day of pinching this penny and squeezing that dime, I made a quick mental list of 6 ways to save money if you live paycheck to paycheck.

Now, I know we grow tired of these so called ‘financial experts’ blathering away online or on TV giving us impractical advice.  Some of them have decent points.  However, quite a few of them assume we have extra money to invest and grow our fortune.  Apparently, they don’t realize we’re as poor as we are.  Those are great things to do once you stop the bleeding.  But, I’m talking living day to day.

And, once you’ve cut the obvious fat from  your budget if you still barely scrape by, this is where a bunch of us are.  Expenses have skyrocketed.  But, our salaries have not.  And, if you have a child in college as we do, it’s even more frightening.  The experts point to making a budget.  Of course, that’s an important first step in seeing where your money goes and where it needs to go.  And, we can always value shop, use coupons, etc.  As I write this, the Today Show feature about money suggests helpful apps like ‘Good Budget,’ ‘Pocket Guard,’ and ‘YNAB.’

Then, we need to find a little bit to stow away for a rainy day instead of resorting to credit cards in an emergency.  That’s where it gets tricky if there’s nothing left over to save.  So, these are the tiny every day habits I practice to find a couple of pennies here and there.  So, I hope these 6 ways to save money if you live paycheck to paycheck help you.

  • 1. Cut Unused Subscription Services

    You may laugh at this one thinking it doesn’t apply to you.  However, many of us signed up for things a long time ago and simply forgot.  Is there a streaming service you don’t need anymore?  How about a food or wardrobe monthly delivery still charging you?  Always remember to cancel those free trials once they start charging if you don’t need or want them.   And, some suggest taking help from something such as rocketmoney.com to help track and cancel unused apps.  I have not used this service and can’t speak to it personally.  Do your homework to choose how best to tackle your housekeeping.

  • 2. Make A Meal Plan And Stick To It

    You may not realize how much you spend at the grocery store.  And, experts tell us to cook and eat at home rather than paying restaurant prices.  However, even grocery store prices are outrageous right now.  I can carry over a $100 worth of food into the house in two hands these days.  So, it’s important to make a meal plan.  I decide what we will eat each night.  I list the meals and ingredients we need for those meals in the notes section of my phone.  I delete them from my phone as I toss them into my cart.  And, I don’t buy anything else on impulse.  It’s good for your bottom line and your waistline.

  • 3. Order Appetizers, Kids Meals Or Split Entrees When Eating Out

    Eating out costs are out of control these days.  And, although we eat the majority of our meals at home, it’s not realistic to think you’ll never go out.  So, when you do, give these options a try.  The portions at some places are so large it’s possible to make a meal from an appetizer.  And, sometimes I prefer apps to entrees.  Or, split an entree with a dining partner.  And, if you get take out, order from the kids’ menu.  No one will know you don’t have a hungry toddler at home!  Plus, keep those leftovers and have them for lunch the next day at work rather than grabbing fast food.

  • 4. Cut Down On Alcohol Consumption

    Look, I know going out for drinks with friends is sometimes good for the soul.  But, those craft cocktails add up quickly.  So, pace yourself.  First, go economical by sticking to happy hour specials.  Then, slow your roll with a water or non-alcoholic beverage between drinks.  Or, just decide to stick with club soda.  And, if you’re ordering a meal multiple cocktails before or during isn’t necessary.  Plus, it fills you up and makes it hard to enjoy that food you spend so much cash on.

  • 5. Squeeze Out Every Last Drop Of Product Before Buying New

    Ok, this may sound crazy but it works.  A lot of our precious dollars go in the trash.  And, I’m not just talking about food waste.  Think about skin care and simple hygiene products.  Those aren’t cheap.  So, make sure you squeeze every last drop out of the tube before buying new.  I started taking the scissors and cutting tubes open to scrape the last bits that get caught in the end.  And, I was shocked that with my face cleanser tube, hair product and toothpaste tube I was able to get at least another week’s worth of use out of all of them.  Try it, it’s a game changer.

  • 6. Drink Free Office Coffee Instead Of Expensive Coffee House Brews

    This one’s for those of us still commuting the long haul to the office every day!  Hey, as long as we’re pouring money into our tanks to get to work to earn that living, we should get a few perks, right?  So, save money on the coffee.  I get it.  Those coffee house lattes are delicious.  But, they cost a fortune.  And, they’re not great for our diets.  So, first thing I do when I get to the office is make a big pot of the free office coffee.  We don’t have a bunch of alluring reasons to make that 45 minute drive in, but the coffee is complimentary.  It reminds me of the old days waiting for my oil change at the Jiffy Lube.

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