Who doesn’t want to save or earn more money? If I asked one-hundred people, I’m sure 99 of them would yell, “Me!” Yet, managing money sounds like such a daunting task; there’s budgeting, recording, calculating, and analyzing involved. Not everyone wants to start with math-related steps. I believe in changing financial habits through baby-steps, which often lead to bigger steps and eventually accomplishing goals.
So, as a starting point, I’ve come up with a simple list of money tips that are easy to do today:
Drink more water! It’s really just that simple. Instead of purchasing sodas, teas, coffees, etc., just drink tap water. This works for both home and restaurants. This little tip really does add up. Take for instance ordering a soft drink at a restaurant, ranging from $1.75 – $2.75 on the low side, it quickly adds up.
Brown bag it more often. Another no-brainer. Work in a corporate setting? Take your lunch a minimum of 4 days a week. Not only do you have more control over your food choices, you might also notice a decrease in your waist as well – eating homemade food is often healthier than at a restaurant. Going on a long car trip or taking a day trip? Pack a small cooler full of snacks you love. The possibilities are endless and so is the money you’ll save.
Drive Less. Many everyday trips/errands are under 2-miles. Hop on a bike or hoof it a couple miles. Or, if you’re feeling like really saving some money (and the planet), check out your public transportation options and take the bus or train to work 2 days a week. Don’t have that option? What about carpooling with a colleague? You could potentially save a tank of gas each week!
Skip the TV. Okay, maybe not the TV itself, but definitely cable. Sign up for Netflix or install an antennae (I have a post on this in the works). While you’re at it, check out your local library and rent movies or – God Forbid – GRAB A BOOK! I just cancelled my own cable and am saving $60 a month.
Entertain at home. Socialite? Instead of saying, “yes”, to every party, dinner, or event, plan a few at your own home. Host a potluck dinner, invite people over on a Saturday afternoon for a patio party, or pick a theme, like game night, and ask guests to bring an item to match the theme. Partying at home is cheaper than a night out on the town.
Sell your stuff. Maybe this really isn’t “earning” more, but you’ll have more cash in your pocket if you have a garage sale. Don’t have a yard? No problem; with eBay and Craigslist, you can list your items online. Go through your closets, garage, or storage. You might be surprised at how much “stuff” you have that you don’t need any more.
Moonlight. Do you remember this terminology? It means “get a side job.” Take on a weekend or after hours job, pet sit or baby sit, shovel snow or mow lawns. Basically, earn additional income on top of your “regular” job. *Bonus points if you remember the show. (Man, I’m dating myself.)
Ask for a raise. If it’s been a while since you’ve received a raise, but are working your butt off, ask for one! The worst your manager or boss can say is, “No.” Of course, you’ll want to prepare some key reasons why you deserve one, but the up side is you could earn more.
Work overtime. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all jobs, but if you’re one of the fortunate people who can take on extra hours, ask for them! This might even include going to a few weekend or evening trainings or taking a some college courses, depending on your position.
Change careers or jobs. Easier said than done, I know, but sometimes drastic times call for drastic measures. Of course, you don’t want to quit your current position until you’ve planned out your path, but this might be the option that could net a large salary increase.
There are a plethora of other options for saving money and/or earning more money, these are just a few simple and easy steps towards the financial enlightenment.
What do you do to earn more or save more?