There are plenty of ways to put a little extra cash in your pocket that people often forget about or don’t take advantage of. They complain they don’t have any money to put into savings or take that weekend getaway they’ve been dying to take. The truth is all they really have are excuses. People often tell me I’m “lucky” because of the traveling that I do. I want to tell them it’s not “luck” at all actually. My priorities are just different and I make sure that I always have money to travel. Not only are they ways to save money by making sacrifices, but there are ways to earn extra money in addition to your daily nine to five so that you don’t really have to sacrifice much, other than time of course.
If you are looking for ways to cut back on spending, the first thing you can do is to take a look at any bad habits you might have. This could include eating out, drinking beer, smoking, or an addiction to the cinema. If you are the queen of eating out for every meal, make a point to start cooking your own meals. Try just starting with lunch only and pack your own for work. You’d be surprised the extra change that ends up in your bank account by just making a sandwich rather than dropping $10 at Panera Bread. If you are one to pick up a six pack or a bottle of wine every night, cut back to three nights a week. If you average $7/night on alcohol and cut back to 3 days a week, that alone will save you almost $30/week or $120/month. That can cover at least your cell phone bill, if not your electric bill. A trip to the cinema for one person and a popcorn and coke can cost $25. It’s crazy! If you are a weekly movie-goer, try cutting it back to once and month and wait for the others to hit DVD. Rather than take your car to the car wash, wash it yourself. Ride your bicycle instead of driving somewhere to save on gas. There are so many things that we can sacrifice in order to save a little extra money. We all have our vices and bad habits. This doesn’t mean you have to give them up entirely, but cutting back alone can allow you to put that extra money to a greater good.
Another way to earn a little extra cash is to eliminate the clutter from your life. It’s amazing the amount of “junk” we can acquire throughout a lifetime. We fill up our closets with stuff and when they get full, we start filling up the attic or the basement or the garage. Before we know it, our houses our overflowing with stuff we hardly ever even look at, let alone use. Instead of letting this stuff sit in your home, collecting dust and wreaking havoc on your life, why not get rid of it and try to get some money back out of it? It’s amazing how many people would pay for the things you feel are worthless. Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure, right? There are many ways to go about getting money for your unwanted goods. You can start by taking your clothes and shoes to a consignment shop that will give you a percentage of the money when an item sells. Alternatively, there are shops such as Plato’s Closet that will give you money up front for your items. Although, keep in mind, these items usually have to be in near perfect condition and they are pickier about what they take. More expensive items, like old guns or expensive jewelry you can take to a pawn shop. Just know ahead of time how much they are worth so you don’t get ripped off. A yard sale is always a great way to get rid of things, but it does take a lot of time and planning. Plus, you have to be willing to let your items go for the rock bottom price. Even still, I’ve made close to $1,000 in one weekend of yard sales. Additionally, with the ease and convenience of the internet, there are always ways to sell your items online. The great thing about selling your items on eBay or Craigslist is that you can reach so many more people and finding someone willing to pay what you want is a lot easier. It’s also easier to stay firm on a price from behind a computer screen when someone is trying to haggle you. In less than a week, I made $500 from selling a set of Bose outdoor speakers and an old desktop Dell computer on Craigslist. Both items had been sitting in my house unused so I figured I’d rather have the money in my pocket. I bought myself a flight to Chicago for a long weekend and didn’t even have to put in much effort.
In addition to cutting back on spending and selling your stuff, there are always jobs you can pick up that do not require a lot of time or effort. For example, if you excelled in a particular school subject you can start tutoring for a few extra hours a week. This is a great side job because you can make your own schedule and work as little as you want or as much as you want. Another option is to offer to pet sit or dog-walk for friends, family or neighbors when they go out of town. Who doesn’t want to get paid to hang out with some cuddly fur babies?