Sure, sticking to your budget is tough but it can help you to reach important life goals. Understandably, if your budget is too restrictive, and you don’t have the flexibility to do the fun things in life, you could get frustrated and find yourself off track. Below are some of our best pain-free ideas for bringing in a little extra spending cash into your budget. The ideas go beyond the expected advice to toss all of your spare change into a jar (though this practice can work, too) or of finding the lowest price for gas. They’re clever, fun, and dependable. You might even find them addicting.
This is the most basic tip on our list but is also one of the hardest so we’ve placed it first. If you can manage to underspend your budget you’ll have extra money for the good stuff. As difficult as it can be to underspend, there are ways to make it fun. Challenge yourself and make it a game. If you do well on one day, see if you can do even better the next. Or, if you’re budgeting with another person or your family, see if you can make it into a competition. Find out who can save the most or who can find the most creative way to come in under budget for a certain area.
Look for odd jobs that provide quick cash for little work
Did you know there are ways that you can earn regular, fast cash with little effort? There are easy to get, small jobs available doing a variety of easy tasks. These include surveys that you can complete from your laptop in front of the television, secret shopper jobs you can do during your regular store visits and marketing jobs available where you attend fun events for free. These jobs don’t always pay much, but the money from them can add up and become a great source for fun funds. Where do you find them? Online searches can help and one specific source for leads is Pennyhoarder.
Look for items that you can sell
Every home has its own share of things that just aren’t needed. Maybe they’re even in the way. As you identify these things (or trip over them) consider if they are something you can sell. Hold a garage sale, take the item to a consignment store, post your items on eBay, or consider a social media buy and sell group. Some neighborhoods even have bulletin boards where neighbors can post flyers with items for sale or host hold hyper-localized buy/sell groups on social media. Use them. An added benefit to this tip, it helps you manage household clutter while you gain access to a little cash.
Hit thrift stores and dollar stores
By shopping at dollar stores and thrift stores, you can save unexpected money on groceries, toiletries, clothing, snacks, toys and a host of other items. You won’t be sacrificing quality either. In fact, once you’re there you’ll be amazed at the variety of things that are available. It can become an addicting habit that you keep to even when your budget isn’t so tight.
Keep your paperwork in order
Extra late charges and other fees can make for a leaky budget and undermine your savings efforts. If your paperwork isn’t well organized, you might even lose track of things enough so that paying a bill slips past you and you are late. In addition to late fees, if it happens enough times you may become subject to higher interest rates or your credit rating may suffer. Keeping track of your paperwork also has another benefit. It can save you time if you need to organize your documents for taxes or for any other purpose.