In step 3 of Say Bon Voyage to Your Debt, we are going to look at ways to find more money.
One way to “find” money is by plugging the leaks in your spending. You’ll take back that wasted cash and put it where it can do some good. To do this, you need to know where your money is going, and that means tracking your spending. For more information on how to do this, see Step 2. We personally do this several times a year, and we are doing this for July along with the group.
You are going to have to make some tough choices by reducing and eliminating expenses. Here are a few common budget leaks to get you thinking:
- Bring food and beverages from home versus buying out.
- Rent a movie from the library and make homemade popcorn instead spending $20 each at the theater.
- Have a potluck dinner with family and friends instead of splitting the cost of a restaurant bill.
- Institute a “don’t buy” month (you can buy needs but not “wants”).
- Do free activities – in summer there are lots of options. We attend festivals, and concerts and movies in the park.
- Reduce your bills by eliminating unneeded services (lawn, cable TV, premium channels, etc.)
- Do things yourself versus hiring someone. Some home projects can be tackled with the help of the internet and your hardware store’s advice.
- Buy used versus new. About 20 years ago we bought our patio set used for $100 (table for six, including cushioned chairs, chaise lounge, and end table). We are still using this set and have only replaced the cushions. It would have cost ten times the price if we bought it new.
These are just suggestions. Think about your own lifestyle to find reductions that will work for you.
Another way to find money is to make money. You don’t have to get a second job, necessarily. Here are some creative ways to increase your income.
- Sell unwanted items for cash. Think tag sale, online sales, free classified ads in a local paper, etc. People love a good deal! We’ve have sold everything from new toothbrush heads to a car online.
- Earn some extra cash. There are websites that will help you connect with people who need your skills. Do your research before you commit.
- Use your hobbies to earn extra money. Don’t start a business that requires lots of money. Instead, rent out your skills or sell your handiwork. If you’re a gardener, rent yourself as someone who does spring planting or puts the fall plantings to bed. If you’re a scrapbooker, organize other people’s photos. Do you have extra handiwork laying around? Sell it on Etsy.
- Rent out extra space. Do you have extra space in your garage or a spare bedroom? Rent them out. Again, do your research and get references.
Now think about what you can do to earn money. You might be surprised at finding an enjoyable second income that works well for you and your family.
For more information and support, join my free private Facebook group “Say Bon Voyage to Your Debt”. We officially started on July 3, but you can still join to get the individual support and worksheets. Sign up here: www.facebook.com/groups/PayOffYourDebt/. To receive a bonus budget tracker, sign up through my newsletter
In our next issue, we will tackle something unexpected.