Making Ends Meet
It’s not a surprising fact that these days many folks are having a hard time making ends meet. In most cases, the income they get from their full-time work is not enough to cover both their necessities and luxuries. According to the American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC), it is possible to have a healthy financial life if the consumers know how to manage their finances properly.
If you hit a financial roadblock along the way, we have some money-saving tips which are easy to incorporate in your daily life. This way, you won’t need to starve yourself trying to make ends meet.
Assess Monthly Expenses
To understand your financial status, you have to keep track of both your income and expenses. Each month you should be breaking down all your cash inflows and outflows such as your bills, utilities, and salary. The more granular you are the easier it will be to find opportunities to save and reduce cost.
There are some really great apps out there that can automate the process for you by connecting to your credit card and bank accounts directly such as mint.com. But whether you use software or paper, accurate tracking is critical
If you want to save money on your favorite items, you may opt to use coupons. There are various websites where you can quickly get a coupons and deals on product and services that you use everyday.
Be sure that you are only purchasing items that you have use for. Some folks see a sale or a coupon and feel they are getting a great deal so they make a purchase. But if it’s a product or service you don’t really need, it’s actually an additional expense and taking you away from your goal of making ends meet. Avoid impulsive purchases!
It is also recommended to shop around regardless. Coupons can be great but sometimes other stores will offer the product for cheaper even without the coupon.
Create A Meal Plan
Many families fail to make ends meet because of their food choices. Meal planning is an important exercise that can save you a significant amount of money each month. Proper meal planning will reduce waste and allow you to make food based on what is on sale or in season, allow you to purchase food at it’s cheapest. Here are some pointers you can apply when coming up with your strategy:
- Do not buy many options for the same kind of food. If you’re going to buy cereal and one is on sale that you like, buy multiple boxes of that cereal.
- Pack your lunch food instead of eating out and use products that are in season. Select left overs or food that will expire soon to limit waste
- Sometime we do need to indulge so look for restaurants where food for kids are free upon the purchase of an adult meal. Don’t be fooled by “all you can eat” and think that it’s a bargain. There’s only so much you can eat and often you’re paying a premium. Also find restaurants within your budget. Do not order food delivered to your house through services like SkipTheDishes, Grubhub or UberEats. The cost of the service is significant. Just drive!
- List down your meals and ingredients for each day. This will help you budget how much you will be needed when buying your groceries. This will help you buy the right quantity of food and avoid extra indulgences.
Look For A Side Hustle
If you feel that you have already reached your maximum cost-cutting amount, then the next thing to consider is to increase your money inflow. This feat can be achieved by looking for new side hustles. Adding income streams to your current full-time job will most likely provide more money for your needs.
The best side hustles you can go for are those which are conducted online. This kind of approach will help you save more energy and time. Listed below are some of the most sought off part-time jobs out there.
If you are fluent in English, you might want to try English tutorial jobs. Many non-English nationals need tutors. Each session requires a one-on-one video conference, so you have to ensure that you have a fast and reliable internet connection, microphone, headphones, and a computer. If you prefer face to face tutoring then market locally and find students you can help.
If you have a special skill or level of education, you can tutor on any topic and make great money on your schedule.
Do you know the job of a freelance writer produces high income? To maximize your earnings, all you have to do is master your time management skills. The more time you give to writing, the more money you will earn. If you’re just starting, you can visit sites like Contently and Upwork to land your first clients.
Real Estate Agent
Becoming a real estate agent can also be done on a part-time basis. The most vital thing for you to increase your earnings is by tapping your network base and consider them as potential clients. Talk to them, ask them what they need, and look for the best show homes based on their considerations. As a real estate agent, you also have to guide them in the process of staging and preparing their homes upon buying.
If you want to employ your programming skills and use this to make money, then you should try becoming a game developer. Draft your own game and post it on play store sites. The more the users download your app, the higher the commission you will receive. Not bad, right?
Check out Elana Varon’s The Ultimate Side Hustle Book for more side hustle ideas!
Declutter And Sell Things
Believe it or not, there will always be unnecessary things lying in your homes. It may be something you’re afraid of throwing due to sentimental reason or you just stored them on the side and forgot all about it altogether. The simplest solution for this problem is by decluttering and selling what you find.
Go through every room of your home and take an inventory of the things that you feel you don’t need anymore. Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you’re having a hard time deciding if they should be included in your declutter box.
- Do your kids still play with these toys?
- Do these things still provide value to another person?
- Is there any duplication (e.g., two kinds of this shirt)?
Once you have come with the answers to these questions, then it will be easier for you to know whether you’ll sell these.
Cut Your Expenses
Admit or not, there will always be unnecessary expenses that you are not aware of. You should look for new ways to cut your costs if your costs are increasing faster than your income. Push out larger expenses to when you have the income to better support the purchases, such as:
- New television
- A second car
- Extra shoes or heels
- New phone and laptop releases
- Expensive extracurricular activities
Making these little sacrifices will definitely help you boost your savings.
You Are Not Alone
Always remember that you are not alone in this financial slump. There are a lot of people who are experiencing the same difficulty as you – even when you think that they are ahead. To help you in this cause, just make sure to follow the five tips above, and things will eventually get easier.
Read Surviving The Tough Times: How To Make Ends Meet Now by Pat Mistretta to help you survive this financial challenge.