There is never enough money to meet all of your needs and to have a bit of fun, is there? Many people struggle to bring together all of the components of a balanced budget and think the only way to gain anything extra is to work harder or more hours. Do you really need a raise? You may, but you can often find additional ways to save money within your existing budget. The more creative you can be, the more likely it is that you can use what you do earn in a better manner, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over a few years. With that in mind, here are five ways to get extra money from your budget without working more.
1. Start by recording your expenses
One of the first and most important things to do is to track every single dollar and penny you spend over the course of a few weeks or up to a month. This may seem like a struggle and not worth it, but it will be eye opening. As you do so, you will notice what you are spending, where it is going, and which areas you have to reduce costs. You can’t save money if you do not know where every dollar is going.
2. Improve energy efficiency
Saving money on energy bills is an excellent step. You can do this in various ways:
- Turn your air conditioning up by two degrees or your heat down by two degrees. This move can save you substantially on your heating and cooling costs.
- Use power strips for all of your electronics in the kitchen, computer area, and at the TV. At night, switch the strips off, cutting all of the extra power they use.
- Use solar lights whenever possible, especially outdoors.
3. Pack a lunch and ride with a friend – 5 Ways to Get Extra Money From Your Budget Without Working More
If you travel to work any length of distance, find out if taking the bus is less expensive. Avoid the coffee shop stop every morning because it could be costing you hundreds of dollars a month just for one coffee a day. Park further from your office to get the lower price and get some free exercise in the process. Pack your lunch instead of buying each day.
4. Negotiate with everyone
Have you told your cell phone provider you are thinking about switching? What about your cable TV provider? Chances are good you will cut your costs significantly by simply negotiating your bills with each company. Talk to your insurance provider (especially if you get a quote from another), too.
5. Stop using credit
When you buy something for $100 on credit and don’t repay it right away, that item is really costing you $110, $120, or more depending on interest rates. You are paying a huge fee to use your money. Hold up on spending for a few months and focus on only spending cash instead.
Everyone thinks they need to work harder to earn more and have more. Rather, you need to reexamine your budget and find ways to save.