Money, Ways to Make More & Ways to Save More: Budgeting 101

Photo Credit: 401kcalculator.org

There are several reasons why one might want to create more money in their budget. To pay off their debt more quickly, build up an emergency fund, save for a house, just survive from paycheck to paycheck, etc. etc. Unless they’ve come up with some magical way I’m not aware of, there are only two ways to create more money in your budget… making more or spending less. I have outlined a plethora of ways to do both below, and I’m sure there are even more ways out there than these. So get out your pen and paper, and start planning…

WAYS TO MAKE MORE MONEY

Do you want to know how to make easy money fast??! Yeah, so does everyone else, but that’s just a bunch of hooplah. There are not many people out there who are willing to just give out money without requiring much in return. That’s ridiculous! Making money requires earning it. The best advice I can give you in order to make more money is to use your talents, whatever they may be, and then utilize social media with pictures of your handiwork to get started. If you still have no clue, then I’ve listed out just some of the many ways you can make extra money for your budget below.

1. Yard sales

Trying to pay off your debt? How about selling some of your junk? If you have cute little kids, let them make some extra dough too by selling lemonade, and sweetly asking your customers if they would like some. The majority of people won’t be able to resist whether they want lemonade or not, unless they are really cheap like me.

2. Ebay

If I didn’t have a job, manage my home, own a business, and write for my blog, then I would totally be selling stuff on Ebay. Some great things to sell are name brand shoes and jeans, old game systems, vintage items, and popular toys. You can find these things easily at thrift stores and garage sales.

3. Etsy

If you are super crafty (I’m not), etsy.com is a great place to sell handmade items. You can sell jewelry, scarves & toboggans, pillows, cards, cat sweaters, candles, art, whatever you like making. They also have a vintage section, so if you like scouring thrift stores and yard sales, it would be a great place to sell items you find.

4. Cleaning

You could clean fancy rich peoples houses on the weekends, rental property, such as apartments or someone who owns a lot of rentals, or stores, such as hair salons will hire someone to clean on the weekends. A lot of people will also hire someone to pressure wash their homes if you have a machine to do it with.

5. Sitting

You could sit babies, houses, pets, the possibilities are endless! Actually those are the only things I know of, unless fruit’s a thing. Have you ever heard of fruitsitting? Nah, probably not. Anyways, if you are good with children then this would be a great option for you, and people going on vacation usually want someone to watch their pets or their home.

6. Yard work

You could mow lawns, weed eat, plant shrubbery and flowers, trim hedges, water plants. There is plenty of work to be done to keep a yard in tip top shape, and plenty of people who don’t want to do it.

7. Bake cakes

If you are good at baking and decorating cakes, then you could make them for people at an affordable price. Some good prospects would be people trying to save money on a wedding or people planning birthdays.

8. Run sound systems

If you know how to work a sound system you could make a little extra money running them for weddings or events. Just make sure you know what you are doing, because this is one of the more embarrassing things to screw up on, unless the minister says the wrong names for the bride and groom or something.

9. Paint

If you are good at painting rooms, and don’t get it everywhere (like me) or hate it, then you could offer to paint rooms for people who do, or someone who is building a house.

10. Substitute teaching

This is a great way to make some extra cash, because it’s flexible to your schedule, and you can agree to work on the days that work for you. Find out your locations requirements by calling the board of education for your area. You might have to do a bit of training, and will most definitely have to have a background check.

11. Fix stuff

There are plenty of things that need to be fixed, and plenty of people who don’t know how to fix them. If you are handy with any of these things (or you could learn) you can fix leaky faucets, computers, cars, vacuum cleaners, etc. Just make sure you charge a much cheaper rate than a professional, because then why else would they hire you?

12. Woodworking

Do you love building things or at least know how? You could make farm tables out of salvaged wood, shelves, spice racks, whatever someone wants you to build, then build it! Even if it’s a replica of Noah’s ark (they will owe you a lot of moolah).

13. Referee

If you like sports and know a lot about them, you could referee at local school games. Just make sure you have some thick skin against all those angry parents yelling at you. If you’re interested here are some step-by-step instructions on how to become one.

14. Sell used books on Amazon

You can buy extremely cheap books in excellent condition at thrift stores and yard sales, and then resale them on Amazon at a higher price. You can use BookScouter.com to look up how much the book is going for by entering in the ISBN. This is also a great idea with current textbooks.

15. Paper route

Have you ever thought about delivering your local newspapers to peoples homes for some extra cash? This is a great side job,  because you can usually do it super early before anyone is awake or late at night when everyone has gone to bed, so it won’t conflict with your schedule much.

16. Seasonal jobs

Jobs that fit in this category would include playing a monster in a haunted house, being an elf or Santa Claus at the mall, hanging Christmas lights, and wrapping presents. I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of. Lay off! I already gave you a bunch of ideas!

17. Music lessons

If you know how to play a musical instrument well, such as the piano, then use your talent to your benefit! There are plenty of kids who would love to learn (a.k.a. their parents would love for them to learn).

18. Sign holder

Be the guy on the side of the road holding a sign for a store dancing around in a chicken suit. You guys are the bravest people I know of, besides firefighters, police officers, and soldiers.

19. Ask for a raise.

20. Find a better paying job.

WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

If any of these ideas seem like something you want to do, then pull out a to-do list, write each one you want to do down, and stick it to your fridge. Then SLOWLY go down the list and implement them. Trying to do them all at once rarely works.

1. Housing

  • Take care of what you have, and regularly maintain what needs to be maintained. When something breaks, fix it yourself instead of hiring someone to do it, or just buying something to replace it. Youtube is a great source of knowledge for learning to DIY.  Just make sure it’s nothing a professional needs to do, or else you run the risk of making the mess bigger.
  • If you can’t afford your rent or don’t want to spend as much, then find roommates. Just make sure they are reliable, someone you can easily coexist with, and they aren’t your best friend (sounds like a fun idea, but it can ruin relationships when you run into problems).
  • Live with your parents for a while (not permanently!), until you reach whatever goal you are aiming for. Just make sure they are really actually not faking it ok with it, and weren’t doing a victory dance when you moved out the first time.
  • Save to pay cash for a cheap starter home, and then renovate it yourself over time as you get the money.
  • Be the maintenance guy at an apartment complex, or offer to clean and repaint apartments when people move out  in order to get a discount on your rent.
  • And finally you could always live in a van down by the river eating government cheese. (or an RV. RVs are cool!)

2. Utilities

  • Switch to LED light bulbs. They may be more expensive than the traditional light bulb, but they can last you 20 years, and use a whole lot less energy! I know this is probably one of the most obvious tips for saving money on utilities, but just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean you’ve done it. Look around. Are all your light bulbs energy efficient? If not, go change them!
  • Open your windows, and use your ceiling fans for airflow instead of turning on the air conditioner, or turn your heat down lower, and wear lots of clothing and blankets. Even lowering your thermostat just a few degrees during the winter can save you money.
  • Unplug your small appliances when they are not in use, and don’t use your lights if they aren’t necessary, like during the day. Definitely don’t forget to turn them off when you leave the room!
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater.
  • Use dryer balls in the dryer. Your clothes will dry faster, and they fluff your clothes eliminating the need for dryer sheets. PLUS, they have these really cute hedgehog ones for sale on Modcloth! Ahh!
  • I know it’s probably your favorite place to get down and sing at the top of your lungs, but don’t linger in the shower.
  • If you have to buy a new appliance, then buy ones that are Energy Star qualified to save on power.
  • If you’re really serious about saving some money on utilities (and you know, the environment), then you could always invest in some solar panels.

3. Food

  • First of all, eating out is your enemy. The cost of eating out is ridiculous! If there is one thing that blows my food budget, this is it. It’s so easy to do, because a lot of times you just don’t feel like cooking, and that’s the easiest option. This can be prevented by planning ahead…
  • Buy a cheap calendar (or have a dedicated section in your planner like me), and make out a menu of what you plan to eat for the month. Make sure you include quick and easy meals for the days you don’t feel like cooking, or you can plan on making double the amount on some nights, so you can freeze half to just warm up quickly. I have notecards of all my recipes, and I will go through them, and add the ingredients for everything on my menu using the app Anylist (it’s awesome!). You probably won’t stick to your menu exactly, because things will come up and you will have to readjust, but it’s better to have a plan than no plan at all.
  • Shop for an entire month’s worth of food in one trip, with an occasional small trip to the store to restock on perishables, such as produce or milk. Yes, that’s right. I said an entire month! The more often I go to the grocery store, the more I end up spending on groceries. I’m not sure why it works that way, but it does. Plus, sometimes I run out of food for meals before I can make it to the grocery store, and I end up eating out instead. Another bonus to this is you only have to go to the grocery store once a month! My husband picks up any additional items we end up needing throughout the month.
  • Only go out to eat at places you have a coupon for, or go on special nights, like $1 Taco Tuesdays.
  • Stick strictly to your list, and don’t bring along people who will be begging you to add things.
  • Plan for your habits. It’s ok to include a few nights in your schedule to eat out if you know you will get burnt out on cooking. I will give you an example. I started noticing my husband and I were going out to Sonic for treats way to often. Instead of just deciding we had to put a stop to it a.s.a.p., we decided to limit ourselves to a special Sonic treat once a week (during happy hour of course). We’re now spending a lot less on Sonic than we were before. Acknowledge your weakness, and put a plan in place to get it under control.
  • If you get asked out to eat by friends often, then instead of saying no, suggest alternatives, so you won’t seem like a complete stick in the mud. If they ask you out lunch suggest meeting at the park and bringing your own food, then just bring something from home. If it’s for dinner, then invite them over to eat instead.
  • Cut costs by having cheaper meals. Have cereal nights, eat leftovers for lunch or dinner, serve smaller portions, etc.
  • Finally, if you really want to be more self-sustainable in the long run, then grow your own vegetables and fruit, get some chickens, get a goat for milk, and breed rabbits for meat. Sounds crazy, but I like it :)

4. Phone

  • If you don’t have the money in your budget, then this is an easy place to cut costs if you aren’t stuck in a 2-year agreement. Instead of getting a fancy phone will all the works, just get a cheap one that doesn’t include internet. All a phone really has to do is call people, plus you won’t be a phone zombie like everyone else.
  • Shop around for the most affordable plan you can find, or choose a cheaper prepaid phone service like Straight Talk.
  • When it’s time for a new phone, don’t just let your old one sit in a drawer unused. Sell it on a site, such as Swappa, to help cover the cost of buying a another one.

5. Gas

  • Find someone you can carpool to work with who lives nearby.
  • Ride your bike places if your community provides safe conditions for it. Unfortunately there aren’t designated areas for bikers to ride where I live, so it’s not a great option for me, unless I want to run the risk of being side swept by a car.
  • If you are about to reach your limit, then stop driving around. Give yourself so much every week, and stick to it. If you don’t have the money, then don’t go out, and figure out something to do at home.

6. Insurance

  • Shop around, and get quotes from all the insurance companies to see if you can get a better price than what you’re currently paying.
  • If you have an emergency fund in place, then raise your deductible to lower your monthly bill.
  • Drive better. Be a defensive driver not an offensive, stop being impatient to get where you are going, and stop texting and driving you moron. Car accidents raise the cost of insurance, which is annoying.

7. TV/Internet

  • If you don’t have the money for it, than cut it out. You will  actually have time for other things like reading a book, holding long conversations over late night coffee, or churning your own butter.
  • If you don’t want to completely nix your TV, then just get a cheap internet service, and subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, Hulu, or some other streaming service. Even a combination of multiple  would end up being cheaper than cable.
  • If you still want to keep your cable service, then threaten to cancel, and be fully prepared to do so. They will likely offer you a much lower package deal to get you to stay. If they let you cancel, which I seriously doubt, then you could probably still get a cheaper package at a competitor, since they will  be trying to attract a new customer.

8. Thrift

  • Buy your clothes and household items from yard sales or thrift stores. You can find great stuff, even brand new, for ridiculously cheap prices. This is where I get my jeans, furniture, unique and awesome art, small kitchen appliances, books, and the list goes on and on. 95% of the jeans I own came from yard sales for only $1 to $3 each! I grew up on yard sale clothes, and no one ever knew the difference. Unless they just pointed and laughed at me when I couldn’t see them, but either way, what do I care?
  • Always search for coupons before making purchases from a store, and if they don’t have a coupon, wait to buy it until they do or the item goes on sale.
  • Sew your own clothes if you know how. If you don’t, learn.
  • Buy things in bulk. Instead of buying the 12 pack of toilet paper, buy the 36 pack for a much better price per roll.
  • Stop spending money on random impulse buys. If it’s not in your budget, don’t get it. Do you really need that Donald Duck Pez dispenser or that self-flushing litter box? I rarely buy something without carefully considering it first, even if it’s just a Pez dispenser.

Alright, I hope I have inspired you to start saving or making some extra cash, so you can make your financial goals come true! Remember, hard work brings great rewards, so don’t be afraid to roll up those sleeves. I will be discussing how to overcome debt and create a savings next week, so get ready to start punching your debt in the face you future financial beasts!

PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS SERIES:

Week One: Creating Financial Goals

Week Two: A Guide to Creating & Sticking to a Budget

UPCOMING:

11/16/15: How to Overcome Debt & Create a Savings

11/23/15: Fun & 21 Thrifty Ways to Have It

7 thoughts on “Money, Ways to Make More & Ways to Save More: Budgeting 101

  1. This is such a great post. There are so many different ways to save money if we are willing to put some time and energy into establishing a plan.

  2. Wow! You put a lot of information into this post! I really appreciate it. I love when I see bloggers who put a lot of effort and intention behind their posts rather than posting just to post. I also LOVE making money! This is great! Thank you!

    xx. Brittany | Southern Soul

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