Stressed out by your financial situation? Aren’t we all. Awhile back we presented six strategic financial moves you could make to regain control of your money situation — and here are six more that are just as powerful:
Don’t buy more than you need
You spot a great deal and the first thing that pops into your head is: I’ve got to stock up! But what good does stocking up do you if you don’t have a legitimate use for the abundance of product you’re buying? A perfect example is my parents who have started “couponing.” They now have a huge closet full of non-perishable food items, and more soaps, shampoos, and deodorants that they’ll be able to use in their lifetime. I raid their closet from time to time, which saves me money on those items. Meanwhile, they’re simply wasting their cash because nobody — and I mean nobody — needs 55 bottles of Suave conditioner under their bathroom sink.
Pay your bills first
Many personal finance experts will tell you that you should pay yourself first when you receive your paycheck. I don’t disagree — we all need to save money — but if you’ve got bills to pay, especially debt on high-interest credit cards and school loans, those need to be paid first to avoid racking up high-interest charges or late fees. Eliminating those bills as quickly as possible frees up additional funds that can be used to bolster savings in the future.
Unsubscribe from marketing emails
If you’re a sucker for a good deal, try unsubscribing from the marketing emails that may trigger you. As they say: out of sight, out of mind. And you’ll probably see some savings almost immediately if you compare your month-to-month bank statements after the fact.
Compare media plans
I call my cell phone and other media providers every January to see how I can shave a few more bucks off my services. Sometimes they have new offers for which I qualify for re-upping my commitments and other times I’ve taken advantage of deals on my existing plans that have simply lowered in cost. Wirefly offers a comparison engine for cell phone plans, TV, Internet, insurance, and more; and the average Wirefly user saves 30% by switching their plan to another provider.
Make more money
There are so many ways to make extra cash if you’re willing to put in the effort.
“Boost your budget by pulling in extra cash through a part-time job, one-time gigs, or by selling your unwanted stuff,” suggests money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. “You can make money on old gadgets, clothing, home goods and even gift cards. If you have a marketable skill like web design, mobile development or freelance writing, pursue a side hustle through UpWork.com. You can also find one-time gigs through Craigslist or TaskRabbit.com, or get your puppy fix by signing up for Rover.com and dog-sit during the busy travel season.”
A lot of things we buy are out of convenience, but by choosing our own financial well being over our propensity for laziness, we can put a substantial amount of cash back in the bank in just one month. You save a lot of cash by making your own coffee — and brown bagging your lunch instead of buying it. You can also try dry cleaning your clothes at home with a kit, mowing your own lawn, and driving your gas-guzzler a little less often. You don’t have to live like this forever, of course — but as long as you need money for those overdue bills, you should be doing what you can to reduce costs.
Photo Credit: Rosemarie Voegtli