Monday, October 18, 2010

Five Great Ways to Stretch the Dollar and Live Well on One Income

We all need a little help in setting goals and getting on the right track so as to be able to stretch our dollars and live well on just one income.

Some of these methods you will have no doubt have heard before, but we want to emphasize just why you really need to consider these points and take action.

1) – The Budget.

First, the dreaded word “Budget” rears its head. Do not avoid this most primary step as it is the answer to all of your problems. It takes discipline we know but it will pay off in the long run. Start a spreadsheet or keep a notebook, but either way, keep track of where every single dollar goes each month. After a month or two you will see that many of those impulse purchases were just really not needed. You will also be able to start planning on how to prioritize your monthly outflow of your hard earned dollars.

2) – The Must Haves.

Food, shelter, transportation and utilities are the items that you absolutely must pay first in order to catch up to your obligations and to become a responsible bread winner and provider for your family. These primary concerns should not be put on the back burner while you buy the latest iPod or other gadget. If you fail to to keep these basics paid up then your whole plan will start to unravel.

3) – Eating Out – Stop It!

For the first two or three months of your budget you will need to rein yourself in. If you are in the habit of taking the family out to dinner on occasion, we can only tell you to Stop It! This is just the sort of non-required purchases that will eat away at your pay check and you can eat better at home anyway. The end result is that these initial belt tightening procedures are not permanent, and if this is something that you feel is important to do for or with your family, then by all means you will be able to resume eating out. But only AFTER you have accomplished your budget goals and have learned how to thrive on the income that you generate.

4) – Feed the Pig.

As long as you have enough income to take care of the must haves, you are then in a position to start saving some money. The piggy bank is your friend here. You will be amazed how if you just feed the pig with your daily pocket change that at the end of the month there is a sizable amount of cash that you are not missing and that you can build a savings account with. When you build the first part of your savings account up to say $1,000 or $2,000 you will find that your cash flow problems will start to disappear. It is just an amazing result of having money in the bank that will keep the wolves away from the door.

5) – Have Fun and Start an Online Blog.

Just as this fine blog at gives you tons of tips and ideas on how to save on almost everything, you or your stay at home spouse might also have something to offer to the world through the marvel of the World Wide Web. There are free blog hosting platforms at Google's and also at where you will be able to tell your story and build a list of followers that at some time in the future you might just be able to convert into a customer.

There is nothing quite as simple about writing about what you interests or hobbies are. All you have to do is write like you are telling a family member about your latest achievements or plans. Keep it simple and soon your message will be available to millions of readers all across the globe. Where else could you start a business and become famous at literally no cost? Once you have a following you will even be able to earn some money from products on your blog.

I'm pretty sure that you will have some ideas of your own to expand on these five methods to stretch your dollar. Why not leave a comment here and share them with others?
This article is a guest post by Rich Hill who teaches how to save your home from foreclosure at Mortgages Underwater.
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