Sometimes saving money and reducing your debt requires a little “outside the box” thinking. There are other ways to not only save but also change how you think about spending which can have positive long-term consequences.
To get you started, here are eight unexpected ways that you can improve your financial situation.
1. Be Generous with Others
This may seem counter-
intuitive, but taking the time to volunteer can help you to gain perspective on what you really need to spend and why. It’s a great way to stay active and engaged without spending money. Also, working with people who are passionate about causes you believe can provide you with great social and career networking opportunities.
2. Keep Friends You Can Afford
While having friends with money can be helpful, it can also be draining if you feel a need to “keep up with the Joneses.” There’s nothing wrong with aspiring for more, but set limits for yourself and be honest with your friends. If you feel that spending time with them is too expensive, tell them. If they’re truly your friends, they’ll understand and respect you for it.
The easy life can be wonderful, but if we’re paying more than we can afford to live it, what’s the point? Instead, make things less easy and do them yourself.
Have a nice sized yard? Save money on groceries by growing a vegetable garden. Have home repairs? Instead of paying a contractor, try to do it yourself. It’s possible to do a great deal with rented tools and YouTube videos. You can save money and learn new skills at the same time.
4. Cut Your Commute
Want to save on your daily trek to the office? Walk or bike if you can, or consider starting a carpool or taking public transit. Want to be bold? Ask if your boss if you can be a remote worker? Less time in the car means that you’ll save money on gas and wear and tear on your car.
5. Buy It Used
Looking for new clothes, home furnishings, or other non-necessities? Don’t pay full price. Instead, look for the items you want to buy and then see if you can find the same item gently used on Craigslist. Often, they’ll be available for a fraction of the retail price.
6. Make Your Hobbies Profitable
Have a favorite hobby that costs you money? Drop it or monetize it. Instead of going into debt to support your passion, try turning it into a side hustle. If you break even, you still come out ahead. If you make a profit, so much the better.
7. Embrace the Sharing Economy
As a society, our ideas of ownership are changing. Why own, when you can leverage technology to share resources and make money from them.
If you don’t need a car every day, consider taking advantage of Uber or a car sharing service. Going on vacation but don’t want to spend a fortune on hotels? Take advantage of home rental services or AirBnb. Have an extra room in your home? Become an AirBnB renter and put the sharing economy to work for you.
8. Get Some Fresh Air
Feeling cooped up? Tired of staring at screens? Take advantage of the great outdoors. Instead of going to a movie, throw a ball around in the back yard. Almost every community has great parks, hiking trails and other places where you can breathe some fresh air and get away from technology. Not only is it fun. It’s usually a lot less expensive.
Looking for more ways to save? Schedule a free counseling session today or call us at 800-920-2262.