Any extra money you can find can be used to build up your emergency fund or for paying off debt faster.
Sell Things You Don’t Need
Few of us have living spaces that are full of only things that we love and use often. Have a look around where you live and you’ll probably find something that you don’t want that someone else would pay for.
Do you rent a storage space to store things that you never look at or use? Sell that junk and save yourself the monthly fee.
Do you live in a family with two drivers and three cars? Would you be less stressed reading or listening to music while taking public transport instead of driving?
Get A Side Gig
Yes, I did just say get a job. When I say work on the side, I don’t mean increasing your hours at a job you hate. I mean finding something you love and doing it. If you love animals you could walk dogs for extra cash. If you play an instrument or speak another language you could tutor in your specialty. You don’t have to have money to post an ad on craigslist. Note: Avoid multi-level marketing schemes like Tupperware.
Of course, if you have a job where they pay overtime, you could consider working those extra hours.
Eat Less Meat
Eating less meat costs you less, you eat healthier, it’s good for the environment, and you’ll probably save an animal’s life. Do your part by selfishly saving money and by eating less meat.
Have a look at your budget categories and grab a piece of paper. Split the paper into two sides by drawing a line down the middle. The left side is for “Helps Happiness” and the right side is for “Nope.” Without looking at what you’ve spent, for each category write the category name on one side or the other. The “Nope” side is for things that may (or may not) be necessary, but don’t bring you joy. When you’ve gone through all of the categories, have a look at your paper. Consider whether you can cut spending in some of the “Nope” categories and use the money elsewhere.
Delay Your Purchases
Whenever I want to buy something new I tend to do research. Also, I never buy something the same day it comes to mind. Most likely, I’ve been living without it for this long so I can probably live without it for a little longer. Instead, I keep a spreadsheet of what I want to buy. It has a column for the date I thought of purchasing it, what it is, where I can buy it, and how much it costs. Then 30 days later if I still actually want whatever it was, then I buy the item.
One of the cool things about doing this is that if there’s something you really want then you get to look forward to getting that new thing for much longer than usual. Looking forward to having something is sometimes more enjoyable than actually having it. Lots of times though, what we wanted 30 days ago doesn’t matter to us 30 days later. In which case we can just remove the item from our list without buying it – impulse buying averted!
Raises and Windfalls
Remember when you got your first job out of school? Remember how much you were making? Imagine if you were still spending that little amount of money and you had the salary that you do now. You’d be swimming in extra money like Scrooge McDuck! There’s no reason to start spending more money as soon as you get a raise or receive a windfall. Put that money to good use by putting it into your emergency fund, paying off a debt, or investing it.
Cancel Those Subscriptions
Do you have a $70 per month cable bill or phone bill? Do you really watch that much TV and make that many phone calls? Most movies and TV shows are available as single purchases these days. Consider whether you would save money cancelling your TV subscription and ordering things à-la-carte.
Phone bills these days are ridiculous. Look at your most recent phone bill to see how many minutes you used and how much Internet you used. If you don’t use Internet on your phone because you have WiFi wherever you go, T-Mobile offers a pay-as-you-go plan without Internet for 10 cents per minute, which means $30 will get you 300 minutes. When I got out of college I used my cell phone so little that I paid about $5 per month on this plan. If you actually use the Internet there are lots of plans for $40 or even $30 per month. Only pay for what you’ll use! You can verify all of your subscriptions this way – magazines too!
Continue Your Journey
Make me happy by leaving feedback using the form below and you’ll be sent to Step 4 when you’re done! Or continue to Step 4 without leaving feedback :(.