Most people who will read this blog or follow me on Twitter, have the desire to better themselves financially and otherwise. If you don’t have sufficient savings to meet your NEEDS for 3 months, you need to save more money by taking the following advice with urgency.
Let’s say an average single person needs $5,000 per month and the average small family needs $10,000. These numbers will vary based on your location and choices, adjust accordingly. If you are single you NEED to have $15,000 cash and if you have a spouse and kids $30,0000.
If you don’t have this, I suggest you make it one of your top priorities to get to this, as soon as possible. There has been a bull market for the last decade and unemployment is at all-time lows, surely this can’t continue forever. It may be in a few days, weeks, months or years, but there will be rough times economically and those with little to no savings will be DEVASTED.
To save more money, there are two components. Reduce expenses and increase income. Work on both, aggressively and daily!
This doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. Look at this task with a positive lens rather than excuses and negative thought. Make a game out of it to see how much you can cut expenses and increase income. Compete with yourself, instead of comparing to others.
It’s not easy, but if you do this you will be proud of yourself.
HOW TO SLASH YOUR EXPENSES
Go through your bank and credit card statements for the last 3 months. Review any expenses that are not essential.
- Cancel your Netflix. You don’t need more entertainment, you need to work and save.
- Stop going to Starbucks. Only drink coffee at home or get it free from work.
- Don’t eat out. Cook and eat at home or pack your meals.
- Shop at discount stores for groceries and essentials.
- If you have an expensive car that is not paid off, get rid of it for something that is modest.
- Stop paid hobbies.
- Stop paid entertainment.
- Reduce your cell phone bills using cheaper providers.
- Cancel your cable and home phone, go internet only.
- Don’t buy a new phone unless you need to and if you do, make it cheap as possible.
- Cancel any gym memberships, workout at home.
- Shop around for the cheapest auto insurance.
- Cancel any recurring memberships (i.e. Spotify, newspapers, magazines, etc.).
- Stop buying paid apps on your phone.
- Don’t drink alcohol or do drugs.
- Downsize your apartment/house.
- Do you own taxes (it’s usually easy if you don’t have a lot).
This list can go on and on, but you get the point. Go through your expenses and make a list, then try to remove them as fast as you can. If it’s too much to deal with for you, try to remove 1 per day.
It can be overwhelming at first but you will get used to it. Once you achieve your savings goal, you can mindfully add back things.
Somethings may not make sense to do, so analyze it before doing. For example, if you have a handful of car payments left on your car, it may make sense to keep it and ride it as long as possible. Or in some cases, it may make sense to keep a nicer car so you can earn income from it.
Be prudent, thorough, most imporantly HONEST WITH YOUR SELF.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR INCOME
This can vary from person to person because everyone’s situation and skills are different.
The idea is to increase your income using short-term strategies that provide immediate cash, while you work on other longer-term strategies that will pay bigger but later.
- Drive for Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, etc. Takes seconds to get started!
- Get roommates and have them pay you rent.
- Rent your place when you’re not using it using AirBnB, VRBO, etc.
- Babysit. This can work well if you are going to stay in on nights and weekends to save money. Now you can make extra cash while doing that.
- Provide food as a caterer. You can make a cooking hobby into extra cash. Also will allow you slash your food expense.
- Sell food and drinks at local events. The cost of buying a basic setup to be a vendor is minimal.
- Flip free things from Facebook Marketplace & Craigslist on Ebay. Spend free time, looking for things instead of consuming useless entertaiment.
- Do landscaping work. It’s hard work, but that’s why people like to outsource it.
- Do your job better to get raises and bonuses. You should be doing this no matter what. You should be striving to achieve the highest pay your employer is willing to pay someone that does your job. If you aren’t learn from those that are making more and get better.
- Get a second full-time or part-time job after work. One of the more clear cut ways, since you are working for some else.
- Change jobs to better-paying jobs.
The best part of short-term strategies is that they will divert your time from spending activities to earning activites. You can’t spend money or time doing non-productive things if you have a second job. You will automatically change your mindset by doing this.
- Build relationships with people who can help you get into a more lucrative job or career.
- Educate yourself online for free to get into a better-paying field.
- Earn online income building a social following and selling products. There are many people who teach this, it’s not my expertise or interest to teach this. I suggest you find a someone trustworthy that knows what they are talking about and following them for a while. Be hesitant to spend money, 99% of information is free nowadays.
- Build a service business. Service businesses take less capital to start. Examples: tax preparers, attorneys, consulting, web design, consultants, IT services, coaching, bookkeeping, hand car washing/detailing, and so many more.
Focus on adding some short-term strategies right away. Once you settle in with those, start working on long-term strategies.
These are just examples, think what works for you and adjust accordingly. There are tons of other resources to find other ideas that may fit your life. The idea is to start moving towards the goal and adjust as you go.
If you don’t have three times your monthly expenses saved, I strongly urge you to do this, NOW! Before it’s too late. When there is an economic downturn it can be hard to keep your regular job, let alone earn extra cash.
Make this a personal challenge to save more money by increasing your bank balance and track it daily. Set small hurdles for yourself and jump over them. It becomes more fun as you start achieving each hurdle.
Most people are so far from where they could be with saving that they have given up on long-term goals. They just live paycheck to paycheck b/c they can’t spend within their means and they are too lazy to work harder. That’s not you!
It’s never too late. Save more money and buy your freedom, time, and peace so you can increase your happiness.
If you are serious about doing this and want to discuss tactics, I’m happy to help on the comments below or DM on Twitter.
You can do this!!!