When we talk about ways to increase your prepping budget with the money you already have it means managing your money, and paying attention to where every penny you spend goes. You can make your dollars go farther by simply creating a budget, and sticking to it.
At first it can be hard, but don’t get discouraged. Just like everything we do, with practice and dedication you will create a habit. But you have to stick with it, and it will become easier each time. YOU can do it! Pay attention to what you spend on a daily basis, and keep track of it.
Don’t Talk Yourself Into Buying Something.
Always ask yourself do you really need it? And if you do, why do you need it? Is it something you can use every day? How will this purchase make your life better? Does it serve a purpose? Is the purchase a want, or a need?
If you can, wait to make the purchase until you are sure you really need it. Don’t fall for the impulse buy, wait at least 24 hours, or longer if you can before making the purchase. Companies spend millions of dollars in order to find out what it is that create the perfect buying environment, don’t fall for it!
Think about the purchase before you make it! Don’t make excused for the purchase, like I will be able to use it for something, it is a great deal, or it’s on sale. Do your research and your homework before spending your hard earned dollars.
Prioritize and Plan Your Purchases.
Have a deliberate plan before running out to the store. Don’t buy based on emotion. If you have a plan, you will be focused, and make a more responsible buying decision. If you go to the store to shop when you are sad or bored, you will spend money you don’t need to. Have a plan, and stick to it.
Prioritize what you need, and how you intend to be able to purchase the items. You can consider it a list, or write it out as goals that you want to achieve in order to be more prepared.
This is as simple as packing your lunch for work, or not stopping at the coffee shop every day. If you packed your lunch, you could be saving yourself at least $25.00 a week. If you stop for coffee every day, and spend $5.00 a day, there is another $25.00 a week. So by simply packing your lunch, and bringing your coffee from home, you could be saving at least $50.00 a week!
Don’t justify the eating out and coffee habit by thinking you deserve it. Yes, you do deserve to eat, but you also deserve to keep the money you work so hard for. That extra $50.00 a week could be your grocery budget for the month, or it could add to your long term food storage, or it could be money you save for your emergency fund. Don’t get distracted, make the time to pack your lunch, and bring beverages from home.
Suggested Reading: The Most Important Prepping Gear
Set Short Term and Long Term Goals
If you know where your money is going, it is a lot easier to understand the places in your budget where you can save money. Create a budget and stick to it. If you are likely to pull money out of the bank, leave the credit cards at home (or better yet, cut them up to resist the temptation of using them.)
Stop justifying your indulgences. If everything were to go to crap, you won’t be able to justify stopping at Starbucks, so stop doing it today, and learn how to make your own coffee. Work smarter, not harder for your money.
If you create a budget and stick to it, you may not have to get a second job. Know where you are spending your money, and use it wisely. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you may not have to get a second job for extra income.
Ways to Stretch Your Dollars, and get the Best Deal
There are so many ways you can save money when making purchases. If you just go to the store without a list, and plan, you are setting yourself up to spending more money. Do your research!
- Weekly sales fliers
- Buy in bulk
- Thrift stores or yard sales (including Craigslist)
- Buy with cash, not with credit cards
For example, when planning your grocery budget, look at what you currently have in your pantry, and make your meal plan from that. Create a menu for the week, or even month, and then create your grocery list from what you will need in order to make your meals. Then stick to it!
Do not go to the grocery store without having the sale fliers, and your list. Stick to the list, and buy only what you intended to purchase.
If you want to see how much you are influenced by the grocery stores, take a buggy, and in the top part of the buggy, put one of the small baskets. Every time you feel that you have to have something, and it isn’t on your list, put it in the small basket. Then when you get to the checkout line, look at what is in your small basket. When you put up those items, add up the cost of those items, and see how much extra you added to your shopping trip.
Another way to make sure you stick to your budget is to only take cash to the grocery store. Leave the debit and credit cards at home.
By taking some time to learn where your money goes every paycheck, you will be much more knowledgeable of where your money goes every month. Take the time to manage your income, as well as what you spend on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis in order to make your dollars go further.
Tin Foil Hat Time
This week Dale and I talked about how people would react if they had to actually cut a check every month to pay their taxes. Unless you own your own business taxes get taken directly out of our paycheck, and we don’t give it much thought.
I’m willing to bet money that if everyone had to physically write a check to the government each month like a utility bill we would not be as complaisant as we are today.
We also talked about illegal immigration, complacency, entitlement and how keeping us divided by race, religion and economic class is exactly what they want. You can listing to this in the last 20 minutes of the podcast.