When budgets are tight and funds are low, finding creative ways to free up cash is a must. Whether you need to get out of debt, start an emergency savings account, or you just want to treat yourself with a little shopping spree, there are some simple ways to free up cash. I’ve compiled a list of suggestions, that I think you might find pretty easy.
1. Switch Energy Providers
One of the most expensive household bills aside from the mortgage or rent (at least for me) is the energy bill. The cost of heating and cooling even a small apartment can take a huge chunk of your income. To reduce the amount you spend, you can do a bit of comparison shopping to see which energy suppliers are advertising the best prices. Thanks to deregulation in the US and Canada, consumers are offered more competitive rates and more energy options which could save you hundreds of dollars each year. To learn more about energy providers and deregulation, click here.
2. Cut the Cable
With the household bills in mind another money guzzler is the cable bill. The good thing is that there are so many different alternatives that you can watch your favorite television shows and movies for next to nothing. As long as you have the internet you can stream shows and movies through your gaming device or on your computer. Many streaming subscriptions are less than $15 a month and work on most devices so you can be entertained at home or on the go.
3. Reevaluate Your Cell Phone Plan
Another monthly bill that can add up quickly is the cell phone bill. In many cases, we add things to our plan that we don’t necessarily need. For example, unlimited data plans can be costly. However, with many public restaurants and stores making Wi-Fi access available to their consumers, there’s no need to have unlimited data. Reducing the data plan can save you several bucks a month on your cell phone bill. Contact your service provider to find out if there are other great packages and offers that you could be taking advantage of.
4. Purge Your Belongings
If you’re anything like me, then you have a ton of things in your closet that you’re likely not using. Instead of allowing them to take up space, purge your closet. This doesn’t have to only apply to your wardrobe, you can also check around the house, particularly the basement, garage, and attic to find anything you’re no longer using. Once you’ve gathered everything, have yourself a yard sale. If you price things right and advertise it well, you’ll make a decent amount of cash on things you don’t even need or want anymore.
5. Bring a Lunch
Instead of eating out for lunch Monday through Friday you can save some cash by bringing a lunch to work. If you spend an average of $7 a day on lunch, you’re looking at a total of $35 a week. Bringing lunch even four times per week would save you $28 a week that could be put to good use. Get creative with your lunch so you don’t get bored with it. Bring leftovers from your dinner, or find quick and easy lunch recipes online.
6. Skip The Store Bought Coffee
There’s no need to purchase expensive coffee on the daily basis when you can make it at home for a fraction of the cost. It may not seem like much if you’re not paying attention but it can really add up. According to ABC News, the average American spends approximately $14.40 a week on coffee. This comes to a grand total of about $1,100 per year. If you like to treat yourself on occasion, try doing it once per week instead of every day.
Sometimes we don’t realize exactly how much money we’re wasting on things that are not needed. By evaluating your household budget and finding ways to cut back you can make your income stretch a lot further. Depending on how much savings you accumulate, you could really put that cash to good use.