As we approach the end of the year (where did the time go?) we may be thinking about what we can do better nest year. I know I am. A lot of us make resolutions. Making and saving more money is usually on the list. We all have bills to pay, and families to support. Without money, we just can't do much in life. Sometimes making ends meet and being able to save can be hard. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With some research and careful planning, there are many ways that you can boost your cash flow. This can help you save money instead of spending, or even allow you to afford those extra little luxuries we all deserve… like a vacation!
Here are a few ideas to boost your cash flow in 2017.
Cutting Back on Recurring Monthly Payments
Are you one of those people that sign up for automatic payments for most of your bills? Household bills, Netflix, music subscription services, and social media services might all be things that are coming out of your account. While you may have gotten to the point where you don't even notice that these things are leaving your account, you may be paying for something that you don't even need anymore. Pull out your latest monthly statement and take a good look at all the recurring payments that come out each month. You may find that you are paying for things you no longer use like gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, or other services.
Check Your Food Spending
This is a big one for me right now. Since my recent move we have been eating out WAY too much because it is currently more convenient. If you look at your bank statement you may be surprised at how much you spend on fast food and restaurants. In fact, this may be the biggest bill after your mortgage and household bills. However, this is one bill you have complete control over, so take advantage of that. Try your hand at meal planning and have a set list for grocery shopping. Being armed with a list helps you to reduce the number of impulse purchases. You may also want to consider the places you shop. You might be surprised by how much you can save by making a few small changes. Install an app like Flipp to check out the deals on items that you wish to purchase while out shopping. Also, you can save a ton of money by taking your lunch to work instead of purchasing food every day.
Ask Your Providers for a Better Rate
Cell phone carriers, cable companies, and Internet providers often offer the best rates to new customers. However, getting a better rate can be as simple as calling them. Give them a call and see if there are any current packages available that will save you some money. Or, check out the website for the provider and see what current deals are being offered. You may be surprised that they are willing to adjust your plan to keep your business. I call my cable and Internet provider at least once a year to adjust my package.
You will hear mixed thoughts on whether or not consolidating debt is worth it. However, having many different debt payments can be expensive. Most credit card payments will have their own individual interest charges, and this can mean that you are paying more than you need to. If you can get the right deal, and you are looking to get rid of debt, it is worth considering consolidating your debt into one loan, creating just one simple, manageable payment for you. Just be sure that the interest rate is super low.
Earn Money While You Shop
During the holiday season, there is a ton of online shopping. Many people prefer to avoid the lines in malls and big box stores. However, not many people are aware of cash back sites. This is a great way to earn while you are spending. Let’s be honest, you have every intention of making that purchase anyway, so you may as well click through a different website and earn cash back. This income can really add up especially at this time of year. My favorite site is Ebates. I have been using it for a few years, and it works. Ebates has a mobile app and Chrome extension that can help you remember to use it when shoppings.
Coupons are a great way to reduce your total spending. This can turn an expensive grocery trip or clothing haul into something much more manageable. You can get coupons in your weekly newspaper, or online. Some grocery stores even allow you to add the coupons to your shopping card so you don't have to remember to bring them in.
Finding a side gig could make a huge difference in helping you save money. Online ventures are becoming more and more popular as people look for ways to boost their income from the comfort of their own home. You can find many ways to turns your hobbies or passions into a profitable side gig. Some popular options including blogging, photography, graphic design, being a virtual assistant, phone support, or social media work.
Investing in the Stock Market
The stock market can seem like a daunting investment to make, but after a bit of research and starting small, you will see that it could prove quite lucrative. Thankfully, there are plenty of online websites offering information. For tips and advice to get you started learn about Money Morning. Just remember that this can be a risky venture, so you need to ensure that you are comfortable with taking a risk. After a little time you may have very nice nest egg. This is something that I want to do very soon.
Completing Online Surveys and Mystery Shops
Finally, signing up to complete mystery shops and surveys could prove a great way to earn a little extra cash when you have time. Small jobs like filling out surveys can even be completed while you are watching television.
If having better cash flow and saving more money is on your list for the upcoming year, you need to come up with a plan to make it happen. These are just a few ideas that may help.