I’m pretty sure you’d like to have more money in your bank account. I may be stepping out on a limb with that statement, but my experience tells me it’s a safe assumption.
You work hard! Of course you’d like more money.
Me too! That’s why you should go sign up for Impact University! (Don’t judge me for trying to feed my kids.)
The reality is 75% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Most Americans have less than $500 in their savings account. The personal money situation for millions of people is pretty bleak. What’s worse is that it doesn’t have to be this way!
If you’re one of those people living paycheck to paycheck or living with debt, I think you should boost your savings account. But it’d be one thing for me to tell you that’s a good idea, which you already knew. It’s another thing for me to tell you how to do it.
How to Save Money Fast
- Garage Sale: You have tons of things around the house that you haven’t touched in months. Some things to include in your sale might be a playstation or xBox, old baby furniture & clothes, furniture you don’t like anymore, electronics, cameras, your kids… okay maybe not the kids. But if you haven’t touched it in the past year, sell it!
- Craigslist: For bigger ticket items like bedroom sets, old iPhones, TV’s or anything you didn’t sell at the garage sale, throw those items online. You’ll probably get more for them here.
- eBay: Yep. Keep selling stuff. Antique items and electronics do great on eBay.
- Second Hand Stores: Sell your kids old clothes and maternity clothing for extra cash. It’s also a good place to find new clothes for yourself.
- Cut out cable: I wrote this article breaking down how much money & time you’d save if you just cut out the cable bill.
- Shop Insurance Rates: Call a major national carrier, your current agent, and a local broker at least once a year to shop your insurance premiums and coverage.
- Negotiate Contracts: Electricity and cell phone/internet are 2 necessities you have. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar for them. Call the companies and ask for a better deal.
- Change your W-4: If you get a tax refund each year, adjust your W-4 so that your company takes less money out of your paychecks so you bring money home. You’ll get less of a refund, but have more money every month.
- Coupons: You can’t get away from buying food. But you can find ways to make it cheaper. Cut your grocery bill by looking for coupons on the things you already buy.
- Overtime: If your company offers overtime, take advantage of it and get as many hours as you can.
- Stop investing: If you’re in debt or broke, you need to get an emergency fund in place before you start investing for retirement and kids college. Stop your 401k contributions until you’re debt free and have a healthy emergency account in place.
- Buy term/Cancel whole: If you have a crummy whole life insurance policy, buy a good 20 year level term policy and cancel the cash value plan. You’ll save money on the premiums and get a check back for the cash value.
- Sell the car: Got a vehicle with some equity? Sell it and use the cash to buy a cheaper car. Use the rest of the cash to fund your emergency account or save the monthly payments you were making.
- Find a cheaper place to live: If your rent or mortgage is more than 30% of your take home pay, you will never be able to win with money. You need to sell your house or find a cheaper place to rent.
- Turn off the lights: Be more conscious of the money you do spend. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. All those dollars add up.
- Part Time Job: There’s a good place to go when you need money. WORK! If you’ve got a money goal, a part time job is a great way to hit it. Deliver pizzas, clean toilets, fix fences. You can get some serious cash fast if you’re willing to sacrifice part of the time you just gained back from cutting out TV. (see #5)
- Freelance: Do you have a skill other people need? Graphic design? Writing? Freelance is a great way for extra cash. Maybe you have a skill that you could teach. Try starting a class.
- Start a Small Business: My wife made wreaths at Christmas time one year for some extra holiday cash. I have another friend that makes labels for baby bottles and sells them online. Be creative!
- Do a monthly budget: Use the Custom Money Checklist to help you plan out your spending. Then use the envelope system to stick to your plan.
I think you should have more money in your savings account. If you’re willing to make some of the sacrifices listed above I think you’ll get there.
What do you think? 19 point lists are silly. What else would you add? Tell me in the comments below.