Where does all the money go every month? You’ve already examined the big picture, because you know you’ll never make it to millionaire status if you’re still mired in big-picture money traps. However, what about the daily, weekly, and monthly shortfalls that pinch your budget?
Should you consider getting a higher paying job or take on a second job? Maybe, if you’re suffering from consistent financial shortfalls. However, there are plenty of other ways to tighten your belt around the house—small things you can do that will turn pennies saved into dollars earned.
Cut the cable. It’s never been more painless to cut the cord on cable TV. You will probably need to spend a little bit up front for hardware, such as an antenna and something like a Roku streaming device, but your monthly costs will plummet dramatically.
Winterize. Winterizing your car keeps it running smoothly and free of breakdowns; saving you pennies on maintenance and hundreds of dollars on repairs. The same goes for winterizing your home. Head off unexpected repairs and boost your home’s energy efficiency so you save money all year long.
Clean out the closets. Like kids who don’t play with their toys because they have so many they can’t even see them all, if you’re not using something, you might as well make some money off it. Have a garage sale or list big items on Craigslist, and then don’t allow yourself to buy more stuff to fill in the gaps on your shelves. That goes for collections, too. If you actively interact with and enjoy your collection, fine—but if not, it’s time to let it go.
Brew your own coffee or tea. You’ll be surprised by how much money you’ll save turning off that daily coffeehouse habit—and when it’s because you’re making and bringing along your own high-quality brew, you’ll still feel pampered.
Implement the 30-day rule. Whenever you find yourself tempted by a particular purchase, put the idea on hold for 30 days. Quite often, you’ll find the urge to buy has long since passed when the 30 days is up.
Consider a home warranty. If your home is brand new or your appliances are less than 10 years old, paying a monthly premium to cover repairs on your heating, cooling and plumbing systems and major appliances won’t make much sense. But if your home’s been around for a while, you may save money with a home warranty that covers things like broken water heaters and frozen water pipes.
Cancel unused memberships. From the gym you never work out at anymore to the music service you’ve stopped listening to, dump unused services and memberships. Check credit card bills and PayPal histories for recurring charges to track down memberships you may have forgotten about.
Stop banking where your dollar is not valued. If you’re still using a traditional bank for your routine needs, you could be missing out on real value. A PenFed membership gives you solid banking services that won’t nibble away with maintenance and other fees—plus discounts on all sorts of products and services; from tax preparation and credit monitoring services to dental and prescription benefit programs.