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Consumer Blog

Tips for Budgeting, Saving Money, and Paying off Debt

January 16, 2024 6:55 am

a guest blog from Dustin Gregor, CCUFC, Daniels-Sheridan Federal Credit Union

It’s always good to have a few extra bucks in your pocket. Whether it’s saving on fuel expenses, paying a little extra on your credit card bills, or planning dinners at home, every little bit counts. Here are some useful tips to help you save money and generate extra income without disrupting your daily routine too significantly.

  • Living in Montana we all travel. Fuel is a big expense. One way to help offset the cost of fuel is the UPSIDE app. It pays you back $0.03-$0.20 per gallon of fuel you buy. You can use the account as a savings account until you build enough into it. While $0.03- $0.20 may not sound like a lot, it does add up. I filled up my car this weekend. The total at the pump was $65.00. UPSIDE gave me $3.07. We have been using it for a little over a year and have a decent amount waiting to be cashed out for this summer’s vacation.
  • Pay a little bit more on your credit card payment each month. You do not have to double or triple the monthly payment. $5 plus change helps tremendously. For example, if the balance is $1,087.73 with a minimum payment due of $30. Pay $35.73. That little extra will go a long way to paying off your credit card.
  • Plan dinners a week at a time to make at home versus going out to eat. As a family of five, we can spend $250 a week at a grocery store to make dinner. We will spend $100 plus at a resonant for one meal. Spend a little time planning what to eat for dinner. You do not have to go all Gordon Ramsay for dinner. On these cold winter nights sometimes the basics like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches just hit the spot. On the plus side— if you have leftovers, you have lunch for the next day.
  • Work a second job. You do not have to work two 40-hour-a-week jobs. Just something part-time. One or two shifts a week. It could be anything. Work as a bartender, server, or in the back of the restaurant. Door Dash a night or two. Anything to help generate extra income, but do not work yourself too hard.
  • If you get a raise at work, live like you did not. Take the difference between your old pay and new pay and put it into a secondary savings account. For example, if your paychecks were $1,415.86 every two weeks and now you receive $1,528.95. Take the $113.09 and put it away. That is $2,940.34 you will have in savings in one year. The next year you get bumped up to $1,610.24 every two weeks. That that $81.29 and save it for $2,113.54. This is an easy way to get an emergency fund saved up.
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