Money doesn’t grow on trees, but you can find it in unexpected places. When you think about increasing your budget, you likely think of working longer hours or picking up a side job to bring in that extra cash. While those are productive ideas, there are other ways to infuse your checkbook with some much needed moolah the lazy man’s way.
Clean House With Craigslist
When’s the last time you took inventory of all of your stuff? You probably have a lot of it, and you probably don’t use half of it. When we go through all of our things, we ask ourselves three questions:
- Have we used it in the past six months?
- Are we going to use it in the next month?
- Is this an item with strong sentimental value that cannot be replaced?
If the answer to all three of those is, “No,” we used to donate it to our local thrift store. Now we take a picture and list it on Craigslist. Spring Cleaning suddenly got a whole lot more profitable.
Find What’s Yours
As we speak, there are billions of dollars that ordinary people across the country are owed. The money is just sitting there, waiting to be claimed. It may be a paycheck that an employer never fulfilled. It may be an insurance payment or dividend that never quite made it your way. It may be cash from an old bank account you simply forgot about. Where ever it came from, it’s all sitting in your state or province treasury. Use Unclaimed.org to see if you’ve got some long-forgotten money just waiting to be discovered.
Keep it In Your Pocket
One of the simplest ways to increase your budget is to stop spending so much money. When you go grocery shopping, use coupons. When you go shopping online, be sure to check PromoPro.com before checkout to make sure you don’t miss savings on the things you were going to buy anyways. Whether you’re buying home decor from Target, or birthday gifts off of Amazon, coupon codes are a quick and easy way to reduce your bill each time you shop. It’s easy to say these savings are small, but when you use them consistently you’ll start to see the numbers in your bank account growing in a big way.
Automatically Deduct to A Savings Account
A great way to find money in your bank account is to have a computer put it there for you. When you set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings with every paycheck, you won’t notice that the money’s gone. The computer sets it aside for you so you won’t even have a chance to spend it. Prepare to be amazed the next time you check your savings account balance. Even though you’ll have the same job with the same income, you’ll feel a little bit wealthier. And you should. Because you will be.
Get Paid More for the Work You Already Do
What if I told you that you could be making more money for the work you already do? You’d probably get ready for a lateral transfer. But you don’t have to. You can stay put at your place of employment, and still bring home a larger paycheck by entering salary negotiations. These are usually done at annual performance reviews, but figure out your workplace dynamics: they may allow you to request one anytime of year. When you’re offered a number, don’t just take it. Know what you’re worth, and negotiate reasonably until you’re satisfied with the compensation they’re offering.