There are few of us who haven’t wondered if there’s not a better way to realistically approach saving a few dollars. Let’s face it, there’s a reason “how to save money when you’re broke” is red-hot keyword phrase. It doesn’t take long to realize our idea of what being “broke” is doesn’t equate to some financial adviser’s version. So are there ways to put a few dollars back when you’re struggling to keep the utilities on? You might be surprised. I promise – I won’t tell you to cut your satellite TV, have a yard sale or line-dry your clothes to cut back on your electricity bill (although that is good for the environment).
Like it or not, you have to change your thought process. One woman, who splurged on ice cream each time she went to the grocery store, took a step back and added up the $6.99 she was spending every two weeks. That $14.00 spent each month equated to more than half of her monthly water bill. It also equated to almost $170.00 a year. When you’re strolling through the grocery aisle, you might be thinking, “Seven dollars isn’t going to make me or break me”. And it won’t; but by passing up on those splurges from time to time, you might be surprised by how quickly it adds up. It’s one baby step – and every one counts.
Can you write? Are you good at graphic design? If there’s something you’re good at, why not sacrifice a few hours each week to earn a little money? One man, an accounting clerk at a plumbing company, enjoyed writing as a hobby. An hour sacrificed doing some research yielded several reputable sites that paid money for writing articles. He admits some paid better than others, but once he honed in on those few sites that were most promising, he signed up, began taking small writing assignments and has now increased his weekly income by $50 to $100. He also admits that he commits to an hour or two on Friday nights and sometimes, an hour or so more over the course of his Saturday or Sunday. It all goes into a PayPal account, where he leaves it for three months. After three months, he has easily grown his extra earnings and makes an additional mortgage payment four times a year. It’s all in what you make it.
Finally, take some time to get to know who you are. There’s something to be said about staying in on a Saturday night, hair pulled up, no make up and in your reliable and comfortable sweats. Do some soul searching, catch up on all those television shows you have stored on the DVR and turn the ringer on the phone off. Think of it this way – a girl’s (or guy’s) night out is going to cost a pretty penny. You have cover charges at the club, dinner, drinks and sometimes parking fees. It’s all worth it and it’s always fun, of course. But be honest with yourself – doesn’t it sometimes – even just a little – feel predictable? No one wants to cut their social lives completely (myself included), but again, it’s all about your thought process.
Each of these “compromises” comes easy for most of us. If you think about it, you really have nothing to lose but much to gain. But even more than the money saved, you’ll appreciate the absence of sleepless nights spent worried about your finances.