Experts have said that two-thirds of Americans do not use a budget, which is pretty scary considering the amount of debt in this country and the lack of savings. Expenses are costly and extra money is tight, but if you can increase income anywhere you can in order to have extra income to put towards funding your retirement, you will be in better shape than most. By making a few sacrifices and smart money decisions you can be on top of your finances in no time.
Get Out of Credit Card Debt
Sure, it’s easier said than done, but if you are in credit card debt then your first order of business is getting out. Say you are making $400 a payment to the credit card, once that balance is paid off, that is like a car lease freeing up that you can now use to get ahead of your bills and hopefully use to save for retirement. Whether it is student loan, credit card, or even a mortgage, add up your debt payments that you make in a month and think about how much extra money you would have if you were free of those payments.
Ditch the Gym Membership
I understand we need to be healthy, but now that it is summer, you can ditch the $50 a month gym membership and spend a little more time outside working on the landscaping, playing sports, or scoring a few extra points from your dog by going for extra walks. Around Christmas/New Year’s is when the gym is flooded with new applications to meet a resolution to get fit, but after a few months the visits decrease from a few times a week to none at all, and pretty soon you are paying for not going.
Donate Items Around the House
Charitable donations do not add up to income right away, but they can make a significant difference during tax time, especially if you owe at the time. Be sure to save your receipt, but any household items from clothes, to kitchen accessories, to furniture is gladly accepted by those less-fortunate, while getting a tax break at the same time. If you are looking to generate extra cash, garage sales are still pretty successful, and there’s always eBay and Craigslist to sell if you feel like shipping/meeting people in person to unload your items.
Use Your Car for Profit
Speaking as someone who uses Uber/Lyft all the time when you can avoid drinking and driving, and at a great price for transportation, there is plenty of opportunity to use your own car to drive those like me around. You can choose your own hours, so if you want to avoid the late-night crowd you can, although you probably can take advantage of higher wages during the high demand peak surge pricing times. If you are free at night and like driving around, why not make a little extra cash at the same time, and I also hear they improving the tip feature, which could be more incentive to drive.