When your budget is tight and you really need a little more wiggle room, cutting expenses is certainly one way to do that. Learning to be frugal with your meal planning and looking for ways to save money on your monthly expenses and insurance can go a long way to freeing up some room in your budget for more important things.
Take a good hard look at your budget? Do you actually need every line item, or are there some things that you can easily cut back on? For instance, do you need every single movie and sports channel your cable company offers? If you only watch a few channels, you may be able to make a significant cut to your budget by cancelling your cable service and signing up for a streaming service instead.
Do you need to be making a car payment or could you trade your car in for an older, used car that you can pay for in cash? Doing so would probably cut your car insurance as well.
It’s a good idea to give your budget a good review every six months or so and be sure that you still need everything you’ve included. Go through each line item to see where you can make some shifts. Cutting $20 from your cell phone or cable bill is $20 you can put towards savings. Reducing your grocery expenses by meal planning can give you even more money for your growing savings account.
But what if all your cut backs and frugal living aren’t quite enough to get you to where you want to be financially? You’ve cut everything you can, you’re no longer splurging on anything unnecessary, and you still don’t have enough to put aside in savings or investing.
It may be time to look at raising your income. There are a few options for increasing your income that you should consider.
For starters, are you overdue for a promotion and/or raise at work? What if you agreed to take on additional responsibilities; could you make more money?
Maybe your boss is telling you that you need to continue your education or get a certification to make more money. If so, talk to your employer about their willingness to contribute to those costs. Many employers see the benefit of having you continue your education because it often means you can bring more money into the company. Therefore, they’re usually willing to help out with the costs. Look at the continuing education benefits your company offers.
If you’ve determined that you can’t make any more money at your current job and/or you’re not able to find a better paying position, it’s time to look at other ways to increase your income like taking on a part-time job or starting your own part-time business.
If you decide to look for a part-time job, find one that you’ll enjoy being at because you’ll be spending a lot of your formerly free time there. You may also want to look at part-time home-based jobs like working a customer service call center or offering transcription services. There are a variety of companies looking to hire freelancers part-time and many pay very well.
Lastly, consider going out on your own with something you love. Get paid for your photography talents, write how-to books and self-publish on Amazon, start a blog and build your following so you can monetize it, work with a home-based party company to sell products through home parties, schedule social media posts for companies. There are so many options, you just need to find the right one for you.
When you need more money, you need to look at both sides of the equation, saving money and making money, in order to achieve the most success.