Yes, it’s true. You do need to have some money in order to save or invest it. And one common excuse which people use is that after everything is paid, there’s no money left. Well, if the truth be known, there’s always money somewhere. You simply have to know where to look. Here are some ideas to get you started. Some of them may work better or be more practical for one person than for another. The point here is to shake your brain a little, to get you thinking creatively about ways to “find” the extra cash to pay down your debts, build up your emergency fund, implement an investment plan or whatever you need to do. After going thru the list, you’ll probably be able to come up with 50 more ideas on your own.
Ask for a raise.
Take a second job. Even small jobs like babysitting or yard work can help you raise the money you need.
Sell some assets, such as a boat, coin collection, second car, jewelry, etc.
Transfer your credit card balances to a card with a low interest rate.
Ask your credit card companies to waive your annual fee. Some are willing to do it.
Use your tax refund or alimony payment.
Raise the deductible on your insurance or reduce the amount of coverage that you have.
Cancel any insurance you have purchased from your credit card companies. It’s dreadfully overpriced, and only covers their interests. If you feel you must have more life insurance, get from an insurance agent.
Take out a loan against life insurance or retirement accounts.
Cancel any insurance against credit card theft or loss that you have purchased. You don’t really need this since you’re only liable for the first $50 charged on a card after you report it stolen or missing (assuming you report it within 48 hours).
Withdraw money from your bank accounts at the bank and not at an ATM where you’ll be charged a fee.
Have a garage sale.
Sell items to a pawn shop. Be aware that you’ll probably only receive about 50% (or less) of the value of the item this way.
Sell items in a consignment shop or on eBay.
Barter; for example, fix your neighbor's car in exchange for haircuts.
Cut coupons, shop sales and use rebates. Buy store brands instead of name brands.
Turn a hobby into a money-making venture. Sell homemade pies to local restaurants; sell birdhouses you make at a flea market; anything that has value, utilize it.
Sell your car and buy a less-expensive used one or take the subway or the bus until you can afford a new one.
Sell your home and buy a smaller, less expensive one.
Cancel your cable service.
Cancel your cell phone service.
Or, cancel your home phone and use only your cell phone.
Return things you have purchased but don’t need. Get cash back if you have the receipt. If you don’t, get a store credit to purchase things that you do need.
Borrow books from the library instead of buying them.
Rent videos instead of going to movies.
Cook at home instead of eating out.
Do your own home repairs, laundry or other services.
Suggest that your teenage children get jobs and contribute to the household.
Plant a vegetable garden to cut down on your grocery bill (and to eat healthier).
Join a wholesale club and buy in bulk. Split large quantities with friends.
Use the garden hose instead of the car wash.
Turn off lights when you’re not in a room.
Lower the heat at night and when you’re away.
Open a window instead of turning on the air conditioning.
With prices at the pump spiraling out of control, gas consumption has become an ever-increasing portion of the weekly budget. To help save money, form a carpool. And for short jaunts, consider riding a bike or walking if at all possible (it's healthier, too). If you want the real scoop on gasoline inflation, be sure to check out InflationData.com, the place in Cyberspace for inflation information.
See how easy it can be? Implementing just a few of these strategies could conserve more money than you’d think. Be creative! There’s always something that you can do.