The first step to getting control of your money is to look at the things you purchase each week, making a list of each and every item (food, beverages, etc.), and then crossing out every thing that you could actually survive without.
If you look at your bank statement for the previous month, you may see a handful of purchases for $3 – $10 at your local gas station and convenience stores. For some of you this may easily add up to $100 – $150 per month.
“Convenience” is the drain on your wallet in this case. Stop buying food and convenience beverages on the go. Just stop. Money saved: $100 – $150.
2. Can You Bring Home More Bacon?
It’s important to say early on in this article that while dwindling finances can motivate us to change a lifetime of poor spending habits, we should also consider additional ways that can start bringing in more money, residually. Did you know that a YouTube video could earn you $1,000 or more a month, with enough views? Do-It-Yourself videos are a popular draw nowadays. Your first Do-It-Yourself video may lack some luster, but in time you may finally get the formula right for creating a video that draws views and passes on compelling instruction.
Helping people receive cash advances when they are low on money and between paychecks is another way to generate income.
For those of you who spend a lot of time on social media, here’s an opportunity to build a business. Fact is in a down economy there are a lot of people in need of a pay day loan (a pay day loan can be a good thing for a person without a support network in a financial crunch; use it once, maybe twice, and hopefully by then you’ll have control of your spending; a pay day loan becomes a dangerous financial plague if a person becomes dependent on it). (CashAdvance.com isn’t a lender. Rather, they connect you with a vast network of “reputable lenders” who compete to offer you the best possible loan option, all from the privacy of your home.)
Your first effort though should be to avoid taking on new debt. No loans. No credit lines.
So a “cash advance” is a last resort option; use it only in a time of real emergency; for example, you’re about to lose your home or apartment or sole vehicle.
3. Stop Going Out
Recapping what’s been said up above, you need to start thinking frugally, and should consider new ways to bring in more income.
You also need to be willing to make a few sacrifices.
For some of you, this is like the world coming to an end. But really there is life outside of the social scene, the weekend bars and nightclubs or restaurant outings that drain wallet’s of $100 – $200 every weekend. Some of you in some states may be spending even more in casinos.
So how do you redirect this energy that drives you every week to head to the bars or casinos with your friends? Choosing a new hobby is a great way to redirect this energy. Fitness, for example, and the many reasons to be fit. Many people who pursue fitness in fact willingly choose to forsake the bars and drinking for the sake of trimming body fat and getting their health in order. A dedicated Saturday and Sunday workout routine can help you break the chains that pull you toward the bars and / or casinos where so much of your income may be going currently.
Or there’s also this: Life in the great outdoors. We’re talking hiking, camping, fishing, or canoing/kayaking, as just a few examples. Each of these can be a drain on wallets though, but do you really have to shop at high-end sporting good stores when there is plenty of great second-hand equipment in the world being sold on sites like Craigslist or in local thrift stores?
If you look hard enough, and talk to people experienced in any recreational pursuits outdoors, you can find ways to keep costs down, way down.
Like to make the occasional trip to see a new movie in theaters? Some theaters have 9:30 – 10:30am matinee times at reduced prices, lower than a typical mid-day matinee cost. Skip on the soda and treats and you’ve just saved yourself quite a bit of money.
4. The Groceries You Buy
Your local grocery store down the street may have higher prices than a bigger store like Wal-Mart or even Target (those that sell groceries nowadays). Big box stores in the business of selling groceries nowadays are saving families money. You may have to drive a few miles of your area, if one isn’t handy, so buy enough groceries to last 2 – 3 weeks and it should be well-worth the trip.
Invest in an additional freezer, and buy certain foods in bulk that you can freeze.