How to Stretch One Income Twice as
If you stay
at home with your children, you know that part of your job is to stretch
those ends until they meet.
And anything's possible.
Your Money or Your Life author
Vicki Robin lives on the $6,000 that her investments generate each year.
Here are some tips for
stretching every dollar.
1. Save a penny, keep
Dump your pocket change
into a jar each night. Invest it in a high-interest bearing account at
the end of each month.
Woman�s Day magazine
recently suggested this money-saver, adding that if a couple puts just
one dollar each into the jar every day, the sum will top $700 at the end
of the year.
Invested at 10 percent
interest over 10 years, that pocket change will grow into $12,000.
I have a friend who keeps
her change in an empty Swiss Miss hot chocolate container. She calls it
her "Swiss Bank Account," and it has already funded two family trips to
2. Use your computer
You can save big money by
shopping online, if you know where to look. Find online coupon codes for
leading web merchants here:
You'll also find
information on how to download local coupons, as well as how to get a
2003 Entertainment book, which will help you save money in your own
I use mine all the time
for groceries, oil changes, and dining out. And because 2003 has already
begun, you'll get the book for $10 off, plus free shipping.
Shopping online saves a
lot of headaches, too. I love that I can buy diapers at discounted
prices (with an online coupon) without having to haul my three wee ones
to the store.
3. Write letters.
Whether you love the
product or hate it, write the manufacturer a letter. Customer service is
key for companies these days and a company that receives a complaint is
bound to make amends.
On the same token, many
companies will acknowledge--and encourage--your satisfaction with
coupons and discounts.
4. Shop smart.
Look at the grocery store
ads before heading off to the store. Maybe you can reserve a few items
for purchase at a nearby store that is offering unusual bargains.
5. Ban impulse buying.
Make it a family policy:
if you see something you like, write it on a wish list and wait at least
three days before buying.
6. Watch out for
"nickel and dime" expenses.
Those little snacks and
coffee stops can easily add up to more than $500 per year.
7. Shop around.
Research purchases on the
internet. Before making a big online purchase, visit
8. Refinance your
Signing a few papers a
few months back saves us $100 per month on our mortgage payment.
9. Examine credit card
If you have credit card
debt, make a promise to yourself to pay it off.
If you�re paying credit
card debt, you�re paying not just 17 percent more for your purchases
than you need to, you�re also missing out on the money that the sum
could earn for you if you had invested it.
Comparison shop cards
Or simply call your
credit card company and let them know you have been offered a card with
a lower rate. Then, ask if there is a way to decrease your rate.
One two-minute phone call
recently reduced our rate by 4 percentage points. That was one call I
wish I�d made a long time ago.
For Further Reading:
Susie Cortright is the author of three books for moms and founder of the
award-winning Momscape.com, which features free stress-relief tools and
online coupon codes for the web's leading merchants. Visit
http://www.momscape.com today to find
money-saving offers and get her free course-by-email, "12 Days to Less