If spending less than you earn is the first step to Get Rich Quick’ish, then way too many of us are off to a very bad start and it’s time to make some changes. So let’s do it!
As I see it, there are four options when it comes to spending less than you earn:
- Keep doing what you’re doing (guaranteed to end in financial disaster if you’re aren’t living below your means)
- Make more money
- Eliminate and/or reduce your expenses
- Make more money and eliminate/reduce your expenses
Numbers 2, 3, and 4 are your only real options. Ideally you’ll opt for option #4. With that in mind, here are a few off-the-top-of-my-head ideas that you can use right now to start improving your financial situation, starting with how you can make some extra cash.
Easy ways to increase your income:
- Sell some things you no longer want/need/use on eBay or Craig’s List
- Have a yard sale
- Take a second job
- Ask for a raise at work or take on extra hours
- Look for a new job that pays more
Typically housing, transportation, and food are the three biggest hogs in our budgets, making them a great place to look for areas to save, so here are a handful of ways to reduce those three expenses (See an expanded list of 78 unusual money saving ideas).
- Move somewhere cheaper
- Get a roommate
- Keep your home cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer
- Do your own home repair and maintenance vs. hiring someone else; don’t know how, or you aren’t very handy? Look for some how-to videos on YouTube. Lots of these jobs are within your wheelhouse if you’ve got a little help
- Same goes for car repairs and maintenance
- Cancel your satellite or cable TV. If you must have TV, put an antenna on your home or in your attic and pick up a bunch of stations, including all the the major networks, for free
- Downgrade your phone plan and don’t pay for a data plan! Data is expensive so use wi-fi connections to access the internet
- Eat out less, cook at home more
- Reduce your grocery bill. Hamburger, not steak. Chicken, not salmon. You get the idea.
- Take your lunch to work
- Coffee is free at many workplaces so drink it there instead of going to Starbucks
- Drink less alcohol
- Sell your car and ride the bus. Or ride a bike. Walk.
No doubt this list could easily double in size with very little effort, and some of these might be easier and less painful than others, but keep your goal in mind (to get rich!) and remember that these changes don’t need to be permanent.
You can always change your ways again once you’ve improved your financial situations, which shouldn’t take long, but if you’re in a hole – stop digging and start climbing out.