How Making an Extra $500 Per Month Can Change Your Life

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Do you live with the stress and anxiety of having an uncomfortable amount of debt?  Are you frustrated that you seem to be living paycheck to paycheck and you cannot find a way to get ahead, to save and to start investing in your future?  Now more than any time in the history of the world has it been easier to earn additional income without getting a formal second job.  If you are serious about changing your situation and have the time and determination to put in some work, it can dramatically improve your finances in many ways.

Paying off $3,000 in Consumer Debt: 

Scenario:

Total Debt:  $3,000

Interest Rate: 18%

Minimum Payment: $90

Amount you are paying each month:  $120

If this person would stop using their card today and make $120 payments to this debt each month it will take them 32 months to pay off this debt.  You will end up paying a total of $3,840 to pay this debt off so to change this we need to either spend less or earn more and use that money to pay down this debt quicker. 

If you are motivated and driven and remember why you are hustling out there to bring in an extra $500 per month you can flip this scenario around pretty quickly.  The $500 would bring your total monthly payment up to $620 per month which would mean that you would be debt free in 6 months and would have only paid $3140 to pay off this debt.

Net Result:  Bringing in an additional $500 each month would get you out of debt 26 months quicker and save you $700 in interest. 

Creating A 3 Month Emergency Fund:

Scenario:

Current Monthly Expenses (non-discretionary):  $3,500

Currently saving per month:  $100

Current Savings Account Balance: $500

3 Month Emergency Fund Total: $10,500

Building up an emergency fund of 3 months is something that not many are able to do and it will provide you with tremendous benefits in many areas of your life.  You will feel a tremendous amount of confidence, security, and an increase sense of freedom so the work and dedication will for sure be worth it and you will thank yourself once you get there.  In this scenario, we are pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and only having $100 left over each month to put into our savings account.  It would take you 100 MONTHS which is just over 8 years to achieve this goal.

If you committed to a side hustle and brought in $500 per moth in additional income and put it in savings, you would reach $10,600 in 17 months so just under a year and a half.  You need to really think about this and think about what you want and where you want to be.  Are you willing to really get after it for the next year and a half, is it worth it for the benefits you and your family will receive?

Is it worth it? – You Decide

If you don’t make changes in your life then you cannot expect much to change and all you will if is wishes and dreams of a better financial life.  If you do decide to start a side hustle and you are able to achieve your goal who knows, you may end up loving your new life and keep hustling and at that point you can start focusing on really getting your long term investments going.  $500 in additional income each month can be life changing for many – Click on the post below to learn about 3 Side Hustles that you  can start earning money from in 1-3 weeks.

Your comments are appreciated – let us know what side hustles are working for you and please share your success stories!

3 Ways to Make $500 Per Month That You Can Start Quickly

3 Ways to Make $500 Per Month That You Can Start Quickly

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Food Delivery

Delivering food is one of the fastest ways you can earn an additional $500 per month since the start up process is quick and relatively simple.  All you need to get started is a valid driver’s license, auto insurance, a car or in some areas a bike and a smartphone.  Filling out the application is very easy and user friendly and from there it can be 1-3 weeks on average and you are good to start your deliveries!  Get started today with Grub Hub and you’ll be making some side hustle money in no time!

The Ride Share Guy says that on average delivery drivers with Grub Hub make $12 – $13 per hour.  To make $500 per month delivering food you need to work about 9 hours per week. 

Grocery Shopper and Delivery

Being a Grocery Shipper is something that has really taken off since the pandemic started early in 2020 as many people are trying to avoid going to grocery stores so the demand is high right now which is good news for you. Shipt is one of the major companies to sign up with and based on some of the reviews you can be hired and start working in as little as a week.  In order to qualify you must be 18 or older, have a valid drivers license and auto insurance, have a reliable vehicle 1997 or newer, knowledge of produce selection and be able to lift 40 lbs.  They advertise that you can make anywhere from $16-$22 per hour and you get to keep 100% of any tips you receive.

This is another great way to earn additional money to pay off debt or achieve your goals faster.  To make $500 per month working for Shipt,  you would need to put in around 30 hours per month which is just over 7 hours per week.

Pet Sitting & Dog Walking

For all of you animal lovers out there this is like getting paid for something you love to do!  Companies like Rover give you the option of Pet Sitting or Dog Walking and the set up process relatively quick at 5-10 business days on average.  According to Dollar Sprout, you can typically charge $20-$40 per night for sitting and $20-$30 per walk and of that you keep 80% and the other 20% goes to Rover.  This can add up quickly and is a great way for a pet lover to earn some extra cash.

Why Your Debt Free Plan Will Fail Without A Starter Emergency Fund

If you find yourself in a debt situation that is causing you to live paycheck to paycheck with no savings, you cannot just start throwing small bits of money at the debt right away.  Without an Emergency Fund you will most likely be doomed from the start and life would have to go perfectly as planned for you to get out of the debt hole you are in.

Not having an Emergency Fund is one of the biggest reasons that people are unable to get out of debt.  It is nearly impossible to get out of a serious amount of debt without first creating an Emergency Fund for many reasons.  If you have never really had an emergency fund you will be very surprised at how quickly it can change your mindset, decrease stress and anxiety, improve sleep and allow you to free your mind to live in a more positive space. 

What we are talking about here is a Starter Emergency Fund.  You will read all over the place that you should have 3-6 months of expenses saved up but if your situation is not great then all you need to worry about is getting this up to $500 or $1,000 – preferably $1,000.  Once you successfully get rid of all of your debt you will be in great financial shape and have the confidence to then build up a nice 3-6 month Emergency Fund but you shouldn’t worry about this right now.

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How the Starter Emergency Fund will help prevent you from failing to get out of debt

Not Adding To Your Debt When Life Throws You A Curve: 

Life has a tendency to throw you curveballs at what seem like the worst possible times.  If you are living paycheck to paycheck with no savings and you see your credit card balances going up and approaching your max limits, the thought of a $600 car bill can lead to panic and a lot of anxiety.  Knowing that you have money in the bank that can financially cover a lot of what life throws at you will give you a great sense of comfort and security.  Consider yourself the “owner” of this emergency bank and it’s much better to get a loan from yourself than it is to borrow from someone else.

Staying Mentally Strong Enough for Your Debt Free Plan: 

Many people get really motivated to get out of debt, getting all of their bills together and creating a budget and everyone is happy.  2 months down the line your car brakes start making that awful sound every time you break and now you need new brakes – boom, $750 please.  With no Emergency Fund, your only real option is to add to your debt and put it on the credit card.  Seems pretty straight forward but it is not, and this is where people give up on the plan that was just created.  Over those 2 months you might have been able to work really hard and pay down $500 – $600 worth of debt only to see all of this not only get erased but you are now in a worse position than you were 2 months ago.  This can crush someone’s confidence and turn a positive mentality negative which is why getting to at least $1,000 is so important.

Having an Emergency Fund in place will allow you to view life’s unexpected events as inconveniences instead of them feeling like life shattering events.  More importantly it will allow you to feel just a bit more secure which should help you sleep better at night and keep you in a positive mindset.  A positive mindset will be a major factor in whether you succeed and by accomplishing this first goal you will start strong and have a lot of confidence propelling you forward.

Best of Luck and Stay Positive!

The Positive Effects of a 2 Hour Per Week Side Hustle

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The Power of a 2 Hour per Week Side Hustle

So you took the big step, gathered all of your financial information and sat down and completed your budget………and with just making the minimum payments on your consumer debt you have a break even budget.  This is not the greatest situation to be in as paying the minimum payments on debt means you are in debt hell and it will take you years and years to pay these balances off and you will end up paying tons of money in interest payments.

Most people get too overwhelmed as to how to get out of this situation and with a little willingness to put in some work, a side hustle that can be done on your own time that fits your schedule is what you are missing.  The Power of working for just a few short hours each week can have such a dramatic impact on paying off debt and it’s something you should seriously look into.

Let’s assume that you have a credit card balance that is $8,000 with an interest rate of 19% and your monthly minimum payments you owe is $240. This payment plan would take you 49 months to pay off and in total you would pay the credit card company $11,760 over that time – THAT IS $3,760 IN INTEREST ALONE – THAT’S NEARLY HALF OF WHAT YOU CURRENTLY OWE!!!!

Now, what do you think would happen if you did something like driver for Uber or DoorDash or something similar and were able to make $10 per hour after taxes and expenses and did this for just 2 hours per week?  If you took that earned money and used it to make additional payments it would have a very positive effect on this credit card balance. 

2 Hours per week would be 8 hours per month and would add an additional $80 to your monthly payment making them $320 instead of $240.  By doing this, it would now only take you 33 months to pay this card off and the total amount of money you would have paid would be $10,560.  You would save $1,200 in interest and you will be done 16 months sooner which is HUGE.  You can now use this money to pay off other debts, start an emergency fund if you don’t have one or use it to invest in your future.

If you would like a free copy of our Side Hustle Calculator that you can play around with to see the effects additional payments will have please like our page and leave a comment below and we will get that sent to you.

Start your Debt Free Journey Today – Just Start!!

If you are in serious debt, or even what you feel is an average amount of debt but it’s enough to make you think about it on a regular basis, you need to make some changes and the time to start is NOW!!  Like a lot of things in life that might make you get out of your comfort zone, starting is often times the biggest hurdle.  After taking the leap at anything and giving it a small amount of time people in general often wonder why it took them so long to start and wish they started sooner.  This is no different and I promise you that if you take action right now you will feel better in the morning, maybe only a tiny amount better but these tiny amounts add up quickly. 

The below 4 steps can be completed, today, in less than two hours and by doing so you will wake up tomorrow with a firm understanding of what comes in and what goes out, an emergency savings account and the data we need to set up an attack plan for your consumer debt and improve our credit score.

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  1. Get an accurate picture of how much money is coming in and going out on a monthly basis.  Reply below if you’d like us to send you one!  You can also sign up for Mint which is a great site that you can link your bank to.  It allows you to see each transaction and label them into various categories which will give you a great picture of where your money is going.  You might be surprised just how much money you are spending in certain categories, for me it fast food!!

It can take you a little while to organize everything into proper categories but as long as you do two things – Signing up for an account and linking your bank accounts then you did it!  Maybe it will take you the next 3 days to get everything documented but that’s not what is important.  Up until this point you have probably tried to calculate and guesstimate what’s coming in and what’s going out.  What’s truly important is that you take the first step and starting the journey and knowing what comes in and what goes out each month is truly the first step of the journey.  Mint will give you a great dashboard that you can check in with as often as you would like and they also have a great mobile app to boot!

  • Sign up for an Online Savings account and schedule Auto-Deposits – even if it’s only $5 per month to start:  This will be used as your emergency fund moving forward and you want this with a separate account so it makes it a bit harder to access.  Having a budget is vital, having an emergency fund is just as vital.  Life is unpredictable, what is predictable is that random things will happen to you that you weren’t expecting and sometimes that means you need money and you need it now.  Once you have a nice emergency fund set up it will no longer affect your monthly budget or going into more debt.  After tonight you will officially have an emergency fund – it might only have a balance of $10 but non the less it’s an emergency fund – Congrats!!!  It’s recommended that you have an emergency fund with 3-6 months of your living expenses.  DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED – 99.9% of people need to build this account up over time to meet those recommendations and a lot of people go their whole lives never achieving this.

The Key here is to JUST START – today you didn’t have an emergency fund or a true plan for one.  Tomorrow you will wake up and no that even if it’s a small amount, you will be Auto Depositing money into it each month. 

  • Tally up your Consumer Debt:  We aren’t going to put a plan in today as that’s the next step.  The only step we need to Start Moving forward is to identify our consumer debt so we know exactly where we stand.  What you need to do is to write down on paper or create a spreadsheet of each Open Consumer Debt Account that you have.  You need to know the remaining balance, your interest rate as well as the minimum payment due each month.  Don’t let the totals stress you out – by putting this together you have STARTED!!! Congratulations to you for taking this first step!!
  • Sign up for a Credit Karma Account:  Knowing and working to improve this score will give you more options along your journey to become debt free.  If you don’t know your score, you probably aren’t thinking about it when making decisions.  Credit Karma is a great site as you an see your progress and get encouragement along the way.  For the longest time I avoided my credit score but once I signed up I was actually surprised that things weren’t as bad as what I thought they were. It’s fun and exciting to have a place to log into that can show you the effects your actions are having on your scores.  Getting out of debt is a journey and little bits of encouragement are needed along the way to keep you going. 

If you follow people on social media or look into success stories of others that have overcome debt and now prosper and have a good relationship with money there seems to be a common theme – Why didn’t I start my journey sooner.  If there’s one thing I wish you take away from this it’s that you don’t need to have everything figured out in order to get started.  These are very small steps you can take and once you do, you will have started moving forward towards a path of a better financial life.  They may seem small steps but they are steps in the right direction.  You climb Mount Everest by taking one step at a time, you need to have the same mindset when getting out of debt.

I hope you get started right now – and if you do, great job!!!!  You should be proud of yourself for taking this step towards a more comfortable relationship with money and a more rewarding financial life moving forward!!

How To Maintain Financial Responsibility during the Holidays

Have you ever wished you could genuinely enjoy the holidays without the worry that you don’t have enough money for all of the gifts and get togethers that will inevitably pop up?  Or that you won’t leverage the holiday season with credit cards that you could spend most of next year trying to pay off?  Let’s discuss some of the best things you can do to keep this holiday season under control while enjoying it at the same time for what it truly is.

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  1. Set Your Limits:

The biggest stressor over the holidays is over spending, which is why you need to figure out how much you can spend before you make your first purchase.  In an ideal world, you wouldn’t be putting any money on credit cards to make it through the holiday.  If you can’t find a way to make that happen, you should only charge what you feel you can pay off completely by the end of February.

2. Make a list of your expected spending:

This includes who you will buy gifts for, what events and get-togethers you already have planned and an expected amount you plan on spending.  When in doubt, over estimate the amount you think each one of them will cost as most people tend to underestimate spending this time of year.  Don’t forget the extra expenses such as wrapping paper, cards, parking etc. these expenses add up quickly!

3. Do not get caught up in the sales:

There are sales everywhere you look around the holiday season – these are budget killers because if you buy something on sale that is not on your list, you will now be going over budget.  You should FOR SURE be on the lookout for sales for the items ON YOUR LIST as this can help save money.  Do not become a victim to the sale this holiday season!

4. Do not wait for the last minute!!

The earlier you can get your list created the earlier you can keep your eyes out for sales.  Another thing that can sometimes happen to people who wait until the last minute is that sometimes things are not available, or they are hard to find.  When this happens it is easy to overspend to compensate for the failure to find what you were looking for.

The one thing to always remember is that the holidays are supposed to be a time for caring, giving, joy and happiness.  Stay within your means, have a plan and stick to it – if you are able to do this you will be able to enjoy the true meaning of the season and you won’t feel exhausted when it’s over.  Best of luck this year and Happy Holidays!!

3 Most Effective Auto Investing Apps

There are various different Apps out there where you can invest small amounts of money each month and some that round up purchases to the next dollar and invest that money for you as well.  If you are someone that has been thinking about adding to nest egg and investing money but don’t know where to start and can’t seem to make the jump and start – these are for you.  These sites make it very easy to sign up and start the process and you can have a plan set up that will make a weekly deposit to be invested based on your profile.

Most of these have a minimum of $5.00 per week, if you are someone that has been thinking about starting an investment account then you shouldn’t have a problem coming up with this amount.  $5 per week with an annual return of 7% would turn $7,800 that you would put in, into $26,500 over 30 years making you a profit of almost $20,000.

The average person makes just under 25 debit card transactions each month.  If you sign up for one of these apps and had it round up to the next dollar and invest that money for you it can surprisingly add up over time and honestly, you won’t really notice the money being gone.  If you signed up today, in 30 years your account could be over $15,000!!  This takes less than 5 minutes – and you won’t even know the money is gone.

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Acorns:

Simple site that took less than 10 minutes to create an account, a profile and link my bank account to start a weekly deposit as well as rounding up each purchase I make to the next dollar and depositing the change.  There are 3 tiers you can have and different options depending on what you are looking for.  Be sure to change from Personal to Lite if you are looking for the cheapest option which has a fee of $1.00 per month. 

Betterment:

Betterment offers you the option to plan for different major events and set’s up a plan based on where you are currently at, what your goal is and how much time you have to achieve that goal.  Weddings, Retirement, Emergency Fund, New Homes etc.  All of these purchases can require that you have a large sum of money saved up and Betterments goal is to help you build that money up.

E-Trade:

This is the better option to go with if you want more hands on control of your investments with an expansive offering of research tools and Analyst Reviews.  There is a higher deposit minimum but a very professional service offering.  You can research funds and create auto investment strategies which is what you should be looking have in place.

There are many options to choose from out there in the Auto Investment arena and if you are looking for somewhere to start, these 3 are great places to get going. Remember that sometimes it’s more important to start something that’s not perfect as opposed to not starting at all. The first two apps will allow you to start auto investing for very minimal amount of money. In order to climb Mt Everest, you must take that first small step – good luck!!

3 Reasons Why Managing Your Budget on Payday is so Vital to Success

 

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You created a budget – GREAT!! But now what do you do with it?  A common reason that budgets fail is that they are only looked at once a month which means that it’s too late to fix any lapses in spending.  Regularly checking into your budget throughout the month not only keeps you in a great financial mindset but it allows you to more effectively plan each month as well as upcoming future expenses.  We are firm believers that the best time to check in on your budget is on the day you get paid for numerous reasons and we will discuss the 3 main reasons below.

  1. Payday is a great day, but also the day your Checking Account tells you the biggest lies.

It would be great if your Checking Account could know what future expenses you have coming up and tell you how much of the money in there is actually yours to spend, unfortunately it doesn’t.  By checking in on your budget each time you get paid you will see how you are doing on your journey to achieve the goals that you set out to achieve.  You will also take a look at upcoming expenses that you need to pay before your next paycheck hits which will give you a true picture of how much of that money is ACTUALLY YOURS to keep.  If you got paid today and your checking account says $2,800 you might feel inclined to treat yourself to something nice without giving it much thought.  If you have $2,400 in expenses that need to be paid before your next paycheck however, you may be regretting your decision in the near future.  Without knowing how much money you truly have, it’s easy to fall into the trap of running out of money and tapping into savings or going into more debt – both of which are budget killers that prevent you from reaching YOUR GOALS.

  1. Planning for Future Expenses

Another key aspect to great budget management is to document and plan for upcoming expenses that fall outside of the normal budget.  Examples include upcoming weddings, birthdays, holiday season etc. that can destroy a month or two of a budget if you don’t plan for them.  By checking into your budget each time you get paid YOU get to decide what to do with the excess money BEFORE IT’S SPENT.  In hindsight, most people would have chosen to do different things with their money than what they actually did with it.  This isn’t because people have no will power most of the time, it’s because they failed to plan and when you fail to plan you plan to fail.

Starting this year, my wife and I decided to start putting $150 into a separate account each paycheck starting in October for the holidays.  We will be getting paid 6 times so when the holidays roll around we will have $900 saved up for the sole purpose of spending it on gifts, food, family parties etc.  The holidays should not be a stressful time and by doing this, we will have built up a nice cushion that we will not feel guilty spending on others this year.

  1. Start the paycheck period off strong!

The first few days after you are paid are vital to the success of your budget.  It is so common to see budgets get ruined on payday and the first few days that follow.  Make budgeting fun and have a cheap night on paydays moving forward – We’re talking staying in with frozen pizza, a bottle of wine and a movie for when you are done reviewing the budget.  If you get paid every two weeks and can be as frugal as possible for the first 4-5 days, the odds are much better that you meet your budget goals each month and each paycheck.

 

If you aren’t regularly checking in with your budget we highly recommend that you START NOW.  Give it a try the next time you get paid and see how you feel afterwards, our guess is that you will feel more confident in your ability to reach your goals and excited to realize that you are one small step closer to financial freedom.  Also, don’t forget to write down all of the upcoming events you may have coming up in the next 3 months – this will help you ensure that they don’t destroy your budget or give you stress.

Happy Budgeting and remember YOUR GOALS AND THE WHY behind your decision to be better with your money.

Increase Your Income to Fix Your Budget

As we know, fixing our budget to have a surplus to pay down debt and increase savings is the first vital step you need to take to start on the path towards financial freedom.  There are various different ACTIONS you can take to increase your income that we will discuss today but before we dive into them, pull out the GOALS that YOU CREATED.  If you are going to take on a side hustle for extra income it’s so important that you keep your goals on your mind.

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  1. Ask for a raise at work

Most people rely too much on their employer to raise their salaries a small amount each year in the form of an annual review.  Knowing your value is key to ensuring you are maximizing your income with your current occupation.  Before asking for a raise you must know what you should be getting paid – check out salary.com to see if what you are making is in line with what others with your title are getting paid.

Once you know how big of a raise you are going to ask for you need to put together the delivery of your message.

  1. What are your responsibilities at work and how does that add value to the company.
  2. Dedication to the company – how long have you worked there?
  3. Research on what the position is worth.

Hi Boss,

I’d like to talk to you about my role here at the company.  I have been ensuring that all of our bills get paid to our vendors in a timely manner to ensure that all of our tools and services remain operational.  I’ve been a loyal, trustworthy and dedicated employee for over a year and a half and after doing some research I have found that my work warrants and increase in pay.  I’m looking for a raise of $3.00 per hour as I feel that is a fair market value.  I hope you see the value I bring to the company and will take my request into consideration.

Not that hard right?  Once you leave the office your fear will dissipate and you will feel a sense of liberation.  Most people don’t ask for a raise out of fear, and fear alone.  Asking for a raise is something that is out of most peoples comfort zone but getting out of your comfort zone is how you grow as a person.  In the above example, a $3.00 per hour raise means over $6,000 a year in income – is getting over your fear worth it to add all that money to your budget income?

  1. Start a side hustle

Working a side hustle has enormous impact on your budget for a few obvious reasons.  One being that you are earning additional money in your free time to supplement your income to either pay down debt or increase your savings.  Another big reason a side hustle is a great option is that while you are making money, you are also not spending money during this time so it’s a double bonus.  Research shows you can make a Net Income of $12.00 per hour driving for Uber or Lyft which might not seem like a ton of money but it can add up quickly and have a dramatic impact on debt reduction.  Sign up for our Email Newsletter below and we will send you our Side Hustle Calculator to help you decide if it’s worth it.

If you have Credit Card Debt of $5,000 and are currently paying the minimum payment of around $155 per month it would take you 55 months to pay off – that is 4 AND A HALF YEARS!!!

Working for 10 hours per month, which is only 2.5 hours per week you could earn $120 to put towards your monthly payments and your credit card would be paid of in………….24 months.  So after the debt is paid off in 24 months you could decide to keep driving.  If you did so, in the same 55 months you could have paid the minimum payments and ended up with no debt or you could sacrifice 10 hours a month and end up with no debt AND $8,500 IN YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT!!

 

Life is all about choices and opportunity, how much different would your life be if you if you were debt free and had enough money saved up to have more piece of mind.  Money and budgets can be stressful, especially when you have no true plan.  Please sign up for our Newsletter to get more helpful tips on budgets, personal finance, goals and a better money mindset.  You will sleep better, stress less, and enjoy all that life has to offer.  You aren’t alone out there – #BudgetNinjaNation

5 Very Impactful Ways to Decrease your Spending to Improve Your Budget

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Decrease Your Spending to Turn your Deficit Into a Surplus Each Month

A budget that has a deficit each month leads to more and more debt and if not fixed, will lead to worse and worse financial health in the future.  There are 3 ways to flip around a budget and turn a deficit into a surplus and you now being on a path to financial freedom.

 

  1. Decrease Spending
  2. Increase Income
  3. Combination of both

In this post we will focus on Decreasing your spending as this is the action that can happen immediately.  Our next post will focus on Increasing your income which might take a bit more time which is why we will leave that for later.  We hope that after reading this you will jump to action and make one immediate change right now that will be one small step towards your goals and financial freedom.

 

Decrease Spending

If your serious about having better financial health and find your budget with a deficit each month you need to decrease your spending right away.  You need to pull out the goals that you created and set them next to your expenses so when you are deciding to keep something or cut it, you can revert back to the reasons why you chose to get in better financial shape.  To start, break down all of your expenses into two categories, Wants and Needs.

Wants:  These are all of the other expenses on your budget, things you don’t need but that you want.  This includes the money spent going out to dinner, movies, concerts etc.  The goal here is to be realistic and honest with yourself about what your willing to cut back on, not necessarily stop in order to achieve the goals that YOU DECLARED you are trying to obtain.

Needs:  These are things that are essential to your life such as mortgage/rent, a car, a cell phone (yes in todays world this is basically a need), your food budget, utilities.  Although we cannot eliminate any of these categories, we can find ways to spend less on them.

When making adjustments to your spending habits think about how you can make a few drastic changes that have large effects as opposed to trying to nickel and dime the entire budget.  For example, if you stop at Starbucks on the way to work each day (20 days) and spend $4.00 per day it will save you $80.00 a month.  This is great but if you make a single bigger sacrifice in categories such as Housing and Car payments it will have a much bigger effect.

 

5 Area’s to focus on when working to fix your budget

  1. Eating out

 

Until you get your budget in order you need to view eating out as a treat / reward if it’s something that you do somewhat regularly.  This is a Want that is easy to cut with a bit of will power and a focus on your goals.  If you go out once a week and spend $50.00 per night that is around $200 a month.  Use this as a reward and go out to eat on the last Friday of the month as a reward.  You will save around $125 each month by doing so.

  1. Save on Groceries

 

There are numerous discount grocers these days and if you haven’t shopped at them, you need to give them a try.  The average couple spends about $650 dollars per month on groceries.  One discount grocery chain, Aldi, has store brand goods that on average are 40% cheaper than national name brands.  Even if you only saved 25% by changing the stores you shop at and the brands you each you could be saving almost $165 dollars per month on groceries alone!!

 

  1. Downsize your car – and the payment

If you live in a suburban area, a car is essential and we can’t get rid of it completely but we can downsize the payment.  If you bought a car for $25,000 and have 4 more years of payments to make this can be a big area to save a lot of money by downsizing.  If you sold the car and purchased another car that costs $15,000 you could save over $200 per month in payments.

  1. Downsize your house or apartment

This is another area where you might have the ability to quickly turn your budget around depending on your situation.  Housing is usually the largest single expense in the average person’s budget and therefore where we can make the single biggest impact.  Downsizing can save up to $400 and more per month – now that is a gamechanger.  If you can cut $400 on a single expense you will save yourself $4,800 per year…..how close and how fast would that get you to the goals that YOU DECLARED!!

  1. Cut the Cable

You can save quite a bit of money by cutting your cable bill, if you don’t want to go bare bones you can sign up for cheaper streaming services like Netflix or Hulu which will provide less options but are much cheaper.  Cutting your bill by $60 per month can save you over $700 per year.

 

If you did these 5 things above you could be saving over $950 PER MONTH.  I know some of these might seem like gigantic changes in your life but this is where you really need to look at your goals.  If you were more financially free could you live with the above changes?  If making the above changes meant you could take the dream vacation you’ve always wanted to take, would you make them?