Everyone encounters a time when you have to use budget savers to make the money you have last until it replenishes and the budget resets.

It’s usually when you’ve decided not to spend any money for a short period (by doing a spending freeze), or there just isn’t enough money to make ends meet.

This may involve getting creative and even slightly tweaking your lifestyle to stretch every dollar you have.

You can learn how to stretch your budget by easily identifying your habits and your weeknesses.

You can quickly get on a budget saving plan by looking for deals to help your budget stretch.

And, living on a budget isn’t that hard when you look for those fun freebies to keep your family happy and occupied.

If you are starting to question whether or not you’ll make it to the next paycheck, here is how to use budget savers to stretch your budget when you’re tight on money.

budget savers

Identify Your Budget Busters

The first thing you need to do is determine what your budget busters are in your budget. It might be clothes, food, shopping, or something else. Then you know which area is going to make the most impact on helping you have more money each month. In other words, this is the area where you should focus your efforts.

This is the first step in how to stretch your budget.

To do this you’ll need to keep track of what you’re spending on (or look back one month at what you spent on last week).

Oh stop groaning! It doesn’t have to be hard. Just print out your bank transactions for the last 30 days.

Then grab some highlighters and categorize your spending.

  • Every time you bought food, highlight that green.
  • Every time you went out to eat, categorize that pink.
  • If you bought stuff on Amazon…  you might need to look up your order to determine if it was really FOOD (or household related) or if it was something else.. (unnecessary bathroom caddy I’m looking at you).

In our home, it’s usually our restaurant budget that throws our monthly spending for a loop. I hate cooking, and when life gets busy I want to eat out so I can spend time chatting with everyone instead of cooking (and then cleaning up afterward).

That means when I see that life is going to get busy (such as having 4 volleyball games in one week), I try to get ahead of the days by planning out what our meals are going to be so that I can put them in the crock pot.

Yes, it might still be going out to eat, but only if we have enough money in our budget. That may mean going to a less expensive restaurant such as Steak N Shake instead of Panera.

We also stretch our at-home dinners by turning leftovers into a new creation for lunch the next day, and finding cheap but filling meals.

We also try to keep our meals fun so we don’t get bored eating at home!

Whatever your budget busters are, you can get creative to find a way to make them budget savers. That way you’ll easily make it to your next paycheck.


Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

budget savers

Get Visual

When you need to stretch your budget, sometimes it’s best to SEE what you have to spend. The easiest way to do that is to use cash. When you can physically see how much you have to work with, it can be easier to manage.

Use the cash envelope system to divide the remaining dollar amount of your budget into cash and put it into specific spending envelopes.

Focus on the most critical categories first such as groceries and restaurants, and then work your way down to the ones you could do without.

This will help prioritize your budget, and help keep you from overspending.

budget savers

Get Rid Of Any Nonessentials

If you are finding yourself in a situation where you don’t want to spend money because you fear you won’t have enough to pay your bills then you need to start eliminating anything that is considered nonessential. These become your budget savers.

Warning, Truth Bomb ahead: Fabric softener is nonessential, Netflix is nonessential, and as much as I hate to say it… Starbucks is nonessential too.

The best budget saving plan is the one where you get rid of all the nonessential items that are sucking your budget dry.

Want to watch movies without paying for Netflix? Here’s how to get FREE Redbox movies!

You may look at your grocery budget and think that this is an essential category, but there is potential there that will save you money.

Here are some other nonessential grocery items you may be adding to your “grocery” bill:

  • Ice Cream
  • Snack Cakes & Sweets
  • Chips
  • Laundry smell booster beads
  • Sodas or juices
  • And so much more!

Did you know you can save up to $500 this year just by comparing prices at the grocery store? You can!

You can survive on just water and without snacks (homemade cookies anyone?), even if it stinks for a few weeks!


Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

budget savers

Shift Your Focus

If you are really serious to get reduce your spending then you need to think about ways to stay busy for FREE.

You can get movies from your library, watch a movie in the park, or find a free streaming service to make your own movie nights at home.

Many times our boredom leads to online shopping or watching TV (and commercials) which leads to spending even more.

Unsubscribe from retailer’s emails that have sales too tempting to resist. Focus your efforts on getting a teeny tiny part of your home organized each day to stay busy (and keep how much stuff you DO have front and center!).

When you shift your focus and stay busy, you won’t be tempted to spend money while living on a budget.

As you can see, you can learn how to stretch your budget by easily identifying your habits (and your potential weaknesses).

Living on a budget isn’t that hard when you look for ways to shift your focus that will help your family stay happy (and preoccupied so you don’t spend uncessarily).

That way you’ll stretch your budget as far as it can possibly go!

How To Stretch Your Budget When You\'re Tight On Money