Penny Stretching: Making the Most of Your Money in Every Situation

Let’s face it, we’re all trying to look for a bargain and make our hard earned money go as far as possible. In almost every situation where we spend money, there’s probably some way to get more value out of our purchases. Whether it’s bargaining at a market stall or grabbing a multi-pack deal instead of a single item, here are some of the best ways to stretch every penny that you spend.

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Open a Savings Account

There’s no such thing as being too frugal. Opening a savings account with interest rates is a good way to get money passively and stretch your pennies. It’s an easy method to get the most out of your money, but it’s a very slow process. It’s kind of like investing, with the exception that you aren’t risking your money because it’s just a savings account. However, it is undoubtedly slow and if you aren’t actually saving large sums of money, then the interest you get will be rather low. Stashing your money in a savings account is a good way to practice frugality and you’ll have a nice sum of money in case you run into emergencies.

Enter Various Competitions

Most competitions are free to enter and can offer some very big cash prizes, such as Maria Casino’s Discomfort Zone. You simply register to the competition, vote or do whatever the competition asks of you, and then you’re entered in for a chance to win prizes or money. There are hundreds of competitions that you can enter online, in local stores, newspapers or magazines. Just remember to read the fine print and make sure it’s not going to cost you more to win or receive your prize than it does to just buy the item. Many people operate scam competitions so be sure to search for information online before you apply.

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Look for Deals

There are several websites on the internet that list the best bargains that people have found. They’re usually a mix of brick and mortar store sales and online bargains. You can find almost anything for sale on a megastore like Amazon or a marketplace such as eBay. Second-hand or refurbished electronics are a good place to start if you’re looking for a quality piece of equipment that’s backed by manufacturer guarantees and eBay’s buyer policy. Just make sure to read the fine print on eBay listings because some people will add sneak clauses such as “This item is damaged. You are buying a damaged item.” just to try and trick people.

Use Those Coupons

Some people find it embarrassing to walk into a store and hand the cashier coupons for money off—but there’s absolutely nothing embarrassing about being frugal and using “free” money. There are some sites on the internet that will give you coupon codes for cheap items, offers on restaurant bookings and activities such as waxing or even skydiving at discount prices. If you sign up for supermarket store cards, they usually reward your spending by sending you coupon codes. Make the most of these, and you’ll find yourself saving hundreds a year on groceries.

Investing? It May Be The Key To Unlocking Your Future

The future’s a scary place isn’t it. Human beings have an inquisitive nature and need to know the facts; they need the knowledge to ground them. Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future, and that’s a terrifying concept for most.

Especially when money is concerned.

Everyone wants to know that their finances will improve in the future. Everyone wants to know that their hard-earned cash is safe. There’s no straight and clear answer here, but there’s a number of things you can do to take a peek and see what the future holds.

Chief among them, is investing your money. An investment is something you put your cash into in the hope that there will be a profitable return. Simply putting cash into a savings account is an investment. Other investments are bonds, shares, and property. Running a set of investments is called a portfolio.

Unfortunately, investment isn’t risk-free. Banks can fail, and markets can fall through. That has happened and may happen again. It’s not a blind gamble, though; there is an entire archive of information available to you about investing. There’s always going to be risk, though. That’s where the portfolio comes in.

Spreading your investments across different subjects is going to not only increase your chances of success, it’s going to stabilise your income so you don’t suffer when one aspect is under performing.

Firstly, you’re going to need some starting capital to invest. Ideally, this should be around $3,500. This is so you can access the basic Vanguard funds to provide you with more options. You will need to scrimp and save to build your starting fund, and this will be hard work, but the benefits will be worth it.

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Whilst you can put your money into funds, you can also put your money into real, tangible assets. You can purchase gold bullion, which will be stored in a vault for you or you can purchase a property. Either way, they are an investment and options for diversification.

If you would like to find about more about investing in gold take a look at Gold IRA Strategy, Tips, & Rules (The Ultimate Guide) by Sarah Smith

A property investment might be a great option for you. Not only will you hold the deed to a location and a real thing, but it can constantly earn money from you. You can rent this out to commercial or residential tenants and the rent they pay back to you goes to paying off the mortgage on the site. Not only that, but the surplus is your profit. It’s a big responsibility, though, as you’ve got to keep your tenants happy, less they move to a better site and leave you empty handed. Property is huge and diverse and could see you investing into ranches and farms one year before moving over to something like a 1031Gateway property the next.

Investing is a huge world and something that never ends. Although you can’t predict where your cash will end up, it can allow you to peek behind the curtain of your financial future and allow you to have slight control over your future. Do your research and let investing give you a secure future.

Won The Lottery? You’re Not Out Of The Woods Yet!

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You might think that after winning the lottery, you’ll never have to worry about your finances again. However, after a little bit of research, you’ll quickly find that this isn’t always the case! Countless jackpot winners through history have found themselves in situations where they wish they’d never even bought that winning ticket! Though your win may have covered a few immediate financial problems, you’re not out of the woods yet! Here’s how to protect your winnings and make them work for you.

Choose Between a Lump Sum or Annuity

This is one of the first things that a lottery winner will have to decide on, and many different factors go into it. With the sheer amount of money you have coming your way, along with the earnings you’d gain from it, you could quickly find yourself in the highest tax bracket, and staying there for a long time. Talk to a financial advisor, and figure out if you’d stand to make more from investing the lump sum than what the annuity will pay over time. Generally, you’ll find it much easier to make projections with an annuity compared to a lump sum. Though the decision may seem like an obvious one right now, there are a lot of factors you’ll need to chew over before settling.

Get Used to Saying No

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If you choose to go public as the winner of a lottery jackpot, you won’t have long before you’re bombarded with messages from various family members, friends from way back, and various other people all asking for your money. One of the less pleasant aspects to being a lottery winner is having to learn to say “no” here and there. You’ll have plenty of time to consider hand-outs which you genuinely want to go ahead with, so don’t feel pressured by all that attention! There are people out there who won the lottery years ago, and are still getting requests for money. A jackpot is a lot of money, and in order to create a solid financial plan, you need to have a period where you leave your winnings relatively untouched.

Don’t Rush Through Financial Decisions

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One of the most common financial mistakes made by lottery winners is that they make large financial decisions without taking the time to think them through properly. Aside from the choice of how you’re going to receive your winnings, investments, and miscellaneous things like structured settlements, the sudden financial freedom can really go to a lot of people’s heads, and lead to some seriously rash behavior. Despite how you’ve always envisioned a win like this, you don’t have to give massive, extravagant gifts, buy luxury homes, or commit to any risky investments as soon as you have access to your money. You should take it slow, gradually learning what it means to have a massively different economic status, before you start thinking about the steps that are going to make the most sense for you and those you care about.