6 Ways to Extend Your Budget as a Homemaker

Because of inflation, global geopolitical events, and other local and external factors, the prices of  commodities and utilities in the Philippines have increased over the past few years. That’s why there may be times when your budget may feel much smaller than it used to be. This is definitely challenging for homemakers, who have to manage most if not all aspects of the household’s monetary resources.

To ease financial stress and help you stretch your budget to cover all your expenses, here are some tips you may want to consider:

Consider a Cash Loan

If you have an urgent bill to pay or you need to make a big-ticket purchase, one of your best options would be to take out cash loans. These are personal microloans, often facilitated through the website or app of fintech companies. Compared to traditional bank loans, cash loans require minimal documentary requirements; the approval process is thus much faster, making them ideal for emergency purposes.

What’s even better is that cash loans may be credited to your account of choice. Usually, you can pick between a bank account or an e-wallet account for utmost convenience. This makes cash loans even more viable for more people.

The key is to find cash loan products that offer flexibility when it comes to payments. In addition, look for a lender that doesn’t deduct fees from your loaned amount. This way, you’ll be able to get the full amount that you wished to borrow instead of getting one that’s lower than you expected. 

Create a Meal Plan

Food is a basic human need, so you really can’t slash your budget for your daily meals too much, especially if you want nutritious and fulfilling meals for your family. What you can do is improve the way you manage and prepare your meals so that you can make the most of every ingredient and every dish. A good idea is to have a weekly meal plan. Doing this will save you time and effort, especially because you’ll be batch-cooking a lot of stuff. More importantly, a weekly meal plan will help you save money because then you won’t buy excess food or ingredients.

You can check the internet for meal plan suggestions. For some variety, try different recipes from international cuisines or those that put unique twists on traditional Filipino dishes. There are also meal planning apps and recipe apps that can help you manage everything on your smartphone. 

Shop at the Right Time—and with a List

The more frequently you visit the mall or online marketplaces, the higher the chance of you spending unnecessarily. Thus, it might be better for your wallet to have a set schedule for shopping; once a week or every two weeks would be ideal, depending on the size of your family.  If you’re shopping in-store, shop during the weekdays to avoid the crowd. For non-food necessities like cleaning supplies and hygiene products, check out e-commerce sites and schedule your shopping schedule around their monthly megasales events like 6.6 or 11.11. Consider getting e-commerce credit plans like Cashalo’s Lazada Loan to extend your budget and stock up on consumables you’ll be able to use for many months. 

It’s also important to have a shopping list—and stick to it! Without a list, you may forget an item or two which, in turn, may necessitate going back to the store (ergo, more temptation to spend extra). Prepare a list whether you’re shopping in-store or online; in fact, you may need a list more for online shopping considering how easy it is to just click “add to cart” and check out.

Review Your Subscriptions and Services

Some utilities like water and electricity charge fixed rates per unit of consumption, so the most you can do is try to control your use of t to lower your bills. Meanwhile, for other services like internet and video streaming, it would be best if you review your current subscriptions and see if you’re making the most of them and if you really need them. If not, consider downgrading to more affordable plans or even cutting them off completely.

For your smartphone data plan, in particular, check if you’re actually maximizing the inclusions. Sometimes, it can be better to convert to prepaid and avail yourself of bundles or promos for data and regular load. This is especially true if you’re working from home because your phone is likely already connected to a WiFi network most of the time anyway.

Make Small Changes and Repairs ASAP

If you haven’t switched your incandescent or fluorescent bulbs to LEDs yet, now is the time to do so. LEDs are much more energy efficient, and they also last longer so you don’t have to buy replacements as often. You may also want to consider smart power outlets and switches, which are useful for more convenient electricity management.

You should also attend to necessary home repairs before they get worse. For example, if you notice a leaky faucet, you should fix it ASAP. This will not only help you save money on your water bill, but it will also prevent the issue from becoming a bigger problem later on.

Review and Adjust Your Budget

Last but certainly not least, sit down and take the time to review your budget. Perhaps your needs have changed in the past years because your family has gotten bigger or you’ve had to take maintenance medications. This means that your old budget will definitely not suit your present circumstances. Make some adjustments where necessary and applicable so you can give yourself a little more wiggle room.

Stretching your budget can be quite a challenge to make ends meet. Hopefully, the above-mentioned tips can help you with money management and make things a little easier for you.