Make Your Money Go Farther
If you’re making decent money but always find yourself in the hole or have little to show for it, it’s time to get to the bottom of your financial trouble. It could very well be possible that you don’t earn enough to cover all your expenses. But maybe the problem isn’t your salary, but the fact that you spend way above your means. No matter the issue, understanding how to make your money go further can dramatically improve your cash flow. Here are a few ways to start making a change:
Everyday life can be expensive, and simple things like renting an apartment or driving to work can take a lot of your extra money. Rather than do everything as an individual and risk going broke, share expenses with a friend and save. If you’re struggling to pay rent or your mortgage, getting a roommate may provide some wiggle room. And if you drive far to work, carpooling with a coworker or using a ridesharing service like Lyft Line can reduce your monthly transportation costs.
Cancel unused memberships
Monthly membership fees can add up quickly, and it’s easy to justify an expense if you actually use or need a particular service. But if you have a monthly gym membership that you haven’t used in months, or if you’re paying for other services that you don’t use on a regular basis, such as Netflix or Spotify, canceling these services keeps money in your account. Separately, you may not pay a lot for each membership, but when you calculate the total monthly cost of all your membership fees, the money you save by canceling these services might pay a bill.
Limit costly conveniences
Having groceries or takeout delivered to your house saves time – but between convenience fees and tips, it doesn’t necessarily save you money. In fact, there are many conveniences that can hit your pocket hard. Do you have a housekeeping service? Do you pay someone to wash your car? Does a lawn care service come to your house every week? You are undoubtedly busy, and like most people, you may not have extra time for household chores. But if you’re barely making it financially, or if you’re spending more than you’re saving, dropping some (or all) of these services can be the ticket to a better financial outlook.
Evaluate monthly costs for utilities and other services
There is no rule that says you have to be loyal to a particular company. With that said, if you feel that you’re paying too much for a cell phone, auto insurance or cable, shop around and compare rates with other companies. According to Consumer Reports, cutting the cord with traditional cable providers has become a recent trend as many users are opting for internet packages and streaming services. For example services such as Netflix, Hulu or Sling may be a more cost effective way to catch up on your favorite shows than your current cable package. Do your homework now, and you might be able to switch providers once your current contracts expire.
Never underestimate the financial benefits of creating a more energy-efficient home. Any effort you make to consume less energy can reduce your electricity bills, and ultimately stretch your dollars. Buying energy-efficient appliances – which use less water and energy – and replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lights are obvious solutions. But there’s more you can do. For example, only run your dishwasher or washing machine when there’s a full load. Keep an eye on the thermostat and get in the habit of lowering the temperature while away from the home. Replace air filters as recommended by the manufacturer, install shower heads that use less water and unplug unused chargers or electronics are a few additional ways to help reduce energy consumption and your bills.