Hi guys! Have you ever watched a house being built? I’ve seen some interesting ways that modular homes can come together, but if you think about a traditional home or a cabin, there is beauty in watching it slowly come together over time (think Building Off The Grid on DIY Network). Things start fairly small, getting plans and materials together, then slowly and carefully executing until one day, you have a home. I’m giving a very general overview of all of this, but I want you to remember something: solid homes are not built in a day. It’s a process that starts small and progresses until the goal is reached. Keep this in mind, then think about your finances.
Have you ever gotten frustrated with where you are? Have you ever gotten frustrated with wondering why you’ve been where you are for as long as you have been? Why? What standard are you measuring your finances against? What standard are you measuring yourself against? Is it realistic? I’ll say it again: a solid home is not built in a day.
Now, back to your finances. Getting out of debt, living a comfortable lifestyle, building wealth – all that would be super easy to do if we could just make more money, right? Yes, you’re absolutely right! For the vast majority of us though, that ‘big payday’ may never come. So, what are your options then? If you don’t win the lottery, no one writes you into their will, and you can’t work a second job for whatever reason, what do you do? Believe it or not, there are ways to rework what you already have and turn it into more money in your pocket with very little effort. To good to be true? Not necessarily.
Here are my top 7 ways to make more money without working a single minute more than you do today.
1) Make a Call
How much do you currently spend on your cell phone bill every month? How about your internet or cable bill? Sometimes, just a call to your current carrier to ask what promotions are going on can save you money. Or if they don’t want to offer you anything, take a little time to call different carriers or check online to see what promotions they may have. After receiving no offer from my internet provider earlier this year, I started shopping around and switched carriers. That simple switch is saving me $20 a month ($240 a year) on my internet service, and I’m getting a faster speed than what I had before.
2) Cut Cable and Other Subscriptions
If you are really serious about saving money or really need to figure out a way to cut expenses, the easiest way to do that is to cut the fat. If you don’t need it to live and be safe (basic four walls), it’s fat. An alternative to completely cutting it out though is to do what I described in #1 – shop around. See if you can get similar (or better) service at a lower cost. There are a lot of streaming services available these days that include live TV. It’s not necessary to pay a big name company for cable when you can get similar channel lineups from streaming services for much cheaper. I know folks that have stripped everything away except for Netflix since they’re not home much and only watch TV on occasion. They’re perfectly happy with just that. Or you could do what my parents opted to do. Buy a good quality antenna and pick up some good channels for free. Pluto and Tubi TV are also decent free options if you have an internet connection.
3) Bag Your Lunch/Meal Prep
Even if you’re working from home these days, it’s still worth it to meal prep and make your lunch (and dinner if you can) ahead of time. This will help to make it easier for you not to call the closest pizza place or delivery service or grab fast food when you get hungry. That take-out meal or fast food may only be $8-10 dollars, but getting it even only twice a week at this cost is an average of $72 a month or $864 a year. I bet you could find a better use for those dollars.
4) Make Your Coffee At Home
This is a pretty popular one. I hear it a lot, but it is a good point to make anyway. It may be worth it to invest in a good coffee maker if you can get it at the right time. I was able to get a Keurig K50 from Target during a Black Friday sale online a few years ago and only paid $45 for it. No coupon code, no gift cards. I just knew that that time of the year was the best time to get the best deal on things like this. I usually buy my k-cups at Target or Publix when they have a Buy One Get One (BOGO) sale. The four boxes that I have now (yes, four, don’t judge) were all from a Publix BOGO sale. There’s a BOGO sale there on coffee almost every week, just with different brands. My creamer comes from Aldi and sweetener (French Vanilla Syrup) from Amazon. (I also bought the pump – here or at World Market for $2.99) After $45 upfront for my Keurig and $3 for my syrup pump, my morning coffee now comes together for about 76 cents a day. Compare that to a basic coffeehouse pickup on the way to work, and I’m saving about $2.19 a day, $43.80 a month, or $525.60 a year. Crazy right?! $525 more in my pocket every year from doing nothing more than making my coffee myself. (If you want to take it up a notch, this $15 milk frother has not disappointed.)
5) Find New Insurance
I’ll talk specifically to car insurance here because this is what I did 2 months ago. Every 6 months or so, get in the habit of comparing coverage and quotes from other car insurance companies (or at least annually for homeowners or renters insurance) and see where the costs settle out. Now, you may not see much of a difference the first or even fourth time you do this. I actually did this comparison 10 times across five years before I saw a difference that made it worth it to switch. I pay my car insurance in full every 6 months. My new insurance company gives me the same coverage as my old provider for $192 less. In several more months, I’ll be comparing coverages again. Keep shopping around.
6) Shut Off The Lights & Water
Another thing you can start doing today is to be more efficient with the way you use your home. Do you turn out the lights when you leave a room? Are you that person that leaves the water running while you’re brushing your teeth? How many loads of laundry do you do every week? Can you combine smaller loads so that you’re running your washer less often? How do you dry your clothes? Can you hang them out to dry instead of run your dryer? Pay attention to things like this. A few small changes could make a difference in your utility bills.
7) Eat Healthier
Take a look at the prices of groceries these days. Generally, produce will be cheaper than meat and processed foods. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, but I do try to incorporate vegetables into the majority of my meals. I think of it as making the vegetables the main dish and the protein as the side. It helps me save a little more money on my grocery bill, even if nothing is on sale, and I feel better overall because I’m fueling my body with what it needs. Also, don’t skip over store brand products. For many items, the store brand is manufactured at the same facility as the name brand, but you’ll usually see the store brand priced much lower.
There you have it! Seven things that you can start doing today to put more money in your pocket. Even taking just a few of the things that I’ve done – changing internet and car insurance providers, making coffee at home, and meal prepping lunch – you could say that I gave myself a $2,000+ raise. And I didn’t work a single minute more. Didn’t sell anything. Didn’t start couponing. Just made some small changes.
Which of these things are you going to commit to start doing today? Use your ‘why’ to help you stay motivated.
Don’t despise small beginnings 🙂
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