15 Money Mistakes to Stop Right Now!

We’ve all struggled with money. Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably made a decision or two in which you were throwing your money away. It’s always a good idea to evaluate and analyze your cash flow every now and then to make sure you’re getting the most bang for each buck. Here are some money mistakes that we all make and that we should stop making right now!

Not Having a Budget. If you don’t have a budget, create one.  Without a budget, you won’t know what you’re spending your money on, and knowledge is power when it comes to finances. Look at your monthly income, and make categories that fit all your wants and needs (cutting any wants, if necessary).

Using Credit Cards without Paying Them In Full. When possible, only use your credit on things that you can pay off in full. Having a credit card is a good idea because it builds credit and you can get some nice rewards, but don’t max it out just because you can. Instead, buy things on your credit card, but pay them off in full before the deadline—this will prevent unneeded interested accruing against you.

Not Having a Savings Account or Emergency Fund. Having a savings funds or emergency money is great, but don’t just store away all your cash like that. This makes your money become stagnant, making it less valuable as inflation increases. Instead, put some money aside for emergencies, and then invest the rest in stocks or something similar.

Buying Expensive (new) Cars. If you’re out looking for a car, consider looking at a used model. Even a car that’s a year old is going to be a much better deal than this year’s newest model. Cars can never increase in value, they only depreciate, so buying a new car similar to throwing money out of the window.

Spending Too Much on Food. Food can be a huge hidden expense. Try to sit down and make a meal plan for the week. This will keep you focused so that, instead of buying a $10 meal at lunch, you can pack your own for a fraction of the price. Over a year, this can save you thousands of dollars.

Not Setting Financial Goals. To get your financial life on track, it’s important to set financial goals. This are things that you can work towards so that your money is being spent or saved with purpose. Make some financial goals and then stick to them!

Not Discussing Finances as a Couple. If you’re married, then sit down with your spouse and talk to him or her about your finances. I cannot stress how important this is! Not only will it help your marriage, but you’ll see your money start to bulk up. There are 6 Critical Financial Discussions every married couple should have. Once you’re both on the same page, there will be less frustration between both of you and you’ll have twice as much energy and will power to reach your goals.

Not Paying off Debt in a Smart Way. Debt has a nasty way of sticking with us and ruining any happy financial prospects we may have. If you have debts, don’t spread your money across all of them, but focus on the smallest one until it’s gone. That way, you won’t be paying interest on it anymore, which gives you more money to throw at your larger debts.  This is called a debt snowball and it really works.

Being Complacent at Work. We live in a very competition driven world these days. That can sometimes be frustrating, but it can also work to your advantage. If you feel like you deserve a raise at work, then talk to your boss. One huge money mistake we make is not being aggressive enough in the workplace.  If you are worth more than you are being paid, talk to your superiors. If you aren’t satisfied with your pay, look elsewhere for work that will pay you what you are worth.

Focusing on Everyone Else’s Finances. It’s way too hard to work on your own financial goals while you are working hard to “keep up with the Jones’ is probably the least productive thing you can do with your time and energy.  Everyone’s life is different—that’s a fact of life. So trying to compete with someone else is only going to make you upset and, probably, in debt. Focus on yourself and your situation and do what works for you.

Spending too Much on Gifts. You don’t need to spend tons of cash to show your friends and family that you love and appreciate them. It might be tempting to buy a really nice present or gift for a loved one, but don’t do it if you can’t afford it. Showing love in a different way for them.

Not Investing in Your Retirement. Start now, no matter how old you are, to invest in a retirement plan. You’ll want to make sure that you have enough money when you’re older to actually support yourself when you stop working. The way you choose to invest your money now can greatly affect how happy and stress-free your life down the road will be.

Buying Things at Full Price. Whenever possible, don’t buy things at full price. That’s not always going to be the case for everything, but you can often find great deals or gently used items that are much more cost-savvy than brand new ones. Even if you have to wait a few weeks for something to go on sale, it will be worth it in the long run.

Not Being Able to Say “No.” Remember that it’s okay to say “no” sometimes. If you don’t have the money to invest in your best friend’s new business or you can’t afford a nice vacation this year, that’s okay. Financial situations change, and be honest and upfront with yourself and others (when necessary) if some cuts and changes need to be made.

Your Happiness from Relying on Money. Lastly, remember that money doesn’t equal happiness. Don’t get so wrapped up in your finances that you forget to enjoy life! Yes, it’s important to have a plan for your money, but that doesn’t need to consume your life. Be responsible with your money, and then focus on what makes you happy.

Other Related Posts:

15 Things You Should Stop Spending Money On

25 Easy Ways to Save Money

How to Make Money Blogging

50 Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side

15 Legit Ways to Make an Extra $1500 a Month

15 Money Mistakes to Stop Right Now!

25 Easy Ways to Save Money

We all want to make more money, but it seems like it can be such hard work sometimes. You either have to take a whole new job or spend $0 on fun things until you’ve reached the amount of money you want. However, you don’t need to make such sacrifices anymore! Here are 25 easy ways that anyone can start saving money.

Budget

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it because it’s so important: Budget, budget, budget. If you haven’t, then start; if you have one, then sit down and re-evaluate. It can never hurt to go over your budget again and work out any kinks. This will help you be more accountable with where and how you spend your money.

Snowball Method

If you have debts that are gathering interest, here’s the best way to pay them off and keep that money for yourself. Instead of spreading your extra money across multiple different payments, only pay the minimum on all but one—the smallest one. From there, work you’re way up through the next biggest debt until they’re all gone.

Overpay

Like the snowball method, overpay a bit on your debts or credit cards as much as you can. This will keep the interest levels down while also helping you whittle away at the debt as a whole.

Water Meter

Invest in a water meter for your house. This will help you measure and keep track of how much water you’re using and when so that you can figure out ways to make your water use more efficient.

Pack Lunches

Don’t buy lunches for you or your family. Instead, spend some time every night or morning and make packed lunches. This saves you money (since packed lunches are cheaper than ones you buy), but it’s also probably healthier since you’ll be controlling what you and your family eat.

Keep Doors and Windows Shut

This is especially important if you have kids or animals in the house. Doors and windows often get opened and never get shut, letting the cold air out during the summer and hot air out during the winter. This, in turn, makes you pay more to keep your home at a nice temperature.

Seal Cracks or Leaks

Besides keeping doors and windows shut, you’ll also want to check for any cracks or leaks in them that are slowly letting in cold or hot air. Even if it’s a subtle crack, it can costs hundreds of dollars to be thrown away on your utilities.

Garden

Save some money by growing your own vegetables, fruit, and herbs. You’d be surprised at how much money you spend on those kinds of foods, plus it’s a great way to be self-sufficient and get out in the great weather!

Check Offers

Before you go shopping or out to buy something, check to make sure you’re getting the best deal. This might mean spending a few extra minutes scanning online for competing prices or looking over a store’s catalogue, but it’s worth it if you can save some money!

Rebate Program

There are tons of rebate programs you can get involved in or couponing sites that save you money! Ebates is one of the most popular, but you can enroll in numerous programs with all sorts of different perks and benefits.

Buy Used Books or free Kindle books If you love to read and have your own library, then buy your books secondhand or buy electronic versions. I’m not a fan of e-books, but you can get some great deals (even free books) if you use a Kindle or other similar product. If you want a hard copy, then buy a gently used copy that you can still read but doesn’t cost nearly as much. Use the Library If you like to read but don’t care about owning your own books, then consider just using the library. You usually only have to pay a one time fee (or small annual fee) to get a library card and then you can read as many books as you want. Buy in Bulk This isn’t always the case, but buying in bulk makes the price of each individual item go down significantly. If you have a big family or go through certain items really quickly, then this is a great idea. For small things, don’t buy in bulk However, buying in bulk may actually be bad for you. If you live by yourself or your family doesn’t go through things like milk or ranch very fast, then buying them in bulk may be a waste of money. If you find yourself throwing out food before it gets used, then stop buying in bulk and buy the size that you’ll actually use. Save Spare Change It might be tempting to just leave your change in the cash register or get rid of it, but don’t! Keep your spare change and collect it. Over time, you’ll get a pretty hefty collection of change that you can use for whatever you want! Turn off Lights Get you and your family in the habit of turning off lights when they’re not being used. This seems especially difficult for kids to grasp, but it’s a good habit to start. You’d be surprised at how often this happens and how much money you can save if you can start turning them off when not in use. Coupon, Coupon, Coupon There’s really no reason not to use coupons. They’re easy to get, free, and give you great deals on products you were probably already going to buy. Look for store and manufacturer coupons to save twice as much. Don’t Get Sucked into Sales Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean that you need it. Avoid the urge to say, “Oh! It’s on sale now, so I should buy it before they’re all gone” or something similar. If you tell yourself that, then you probably didn’t need the item in the first place. Buy Based on Value, Not Price This is hard for some people to do (I was one of them), but it really is better to buy based on value and not on price. A shirt that’s $5 but falls apart in two days isn’t nearly as smart of an investment as a $20 shirt that last you years. Buy Used Baby Clothes It’s silly to buy brand new baby and kid clothes. They’re going to outgrow them in a few months, and then you’ll just have to spend more money. Buy used (but still clean and good quality) baby clothes since they’re only going to be used for a little bit. 25 Easy Ways to Save Money5 Use Less Laundry Detergent Companies are tricky when it comes to laundry detergent because they usually put a scoop that is way too big so you’ll use more cleaner. Clever, right? Beat them at their own game by using less detergent (usually half the scoop will do the trick), and you’ll take a lot longer to go through it all. No Gym Membership I’ve always found it funny that people will drive to go to the gym. I know you do more than run and walk at the gym, but you’re wasting money on gas and the gym membership when you do that. Get rid of the membership and buy a workout DVD or run outside if you want. Join Free Customer Rewards Programs The trick here is to make sure that the rewards program is actually free. Some stores make you pay for their program, which I don’t think is usually worth it. But if it’s free and you can get access to great deals and coupons, then why not? If you hate the emails, then just create an email specifically for rewards programs. Make a List When you go to the store, make a list and stick to it! Don’t get distracted by fancy deals on products you don’t need or yummy food that isn’t good for you or your wallet. When you stick to your list, you only get things you need and save money! Drink More Water This may sound like a health tip, but it’s also a financial one! By drinking water more, you’ll cut things out like pop that can get pretty expensive (especially name brand). You’ll also be more full at dinner, which means you’ll eat less, which means you’ll spend less money on groceries! It’s a win-win!

Here are a Few Other Great Ways to Save Money or Supplement Your Income:

7 Serious Ways to Add $500 to Your Income

5 Ways to Save $500

22 Online Stores That Offer Free Shipping

50 Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side

Top 54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

12 Surprising Ways to Save Money

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

15 Legit Ways to Make an Extra $1500 a Month

25 Easy Ways to Save Money

How to Pay off Debt with a Debt Snowball

The debt snowball method is very motivating because you start to see results of your efforts quickly.  To get started, organize all the debts that you have from lowest balance to highest balance.  Ignore the interest rate at this point. Next, pay the minimum payment on each of your debts except the one with the lowest balance.  Pay as much extra as you can on the debt with the lowest balance.  Often, when people are trying to pay off debt, they pay a little bit extra on each account.  This doesn’t make as much sense long term.  We are trying to eliminate balances, and apply that payment to the next one. Once the first debt is completely paid off, take the payment plus the extra you were paying and apply it to the next smallest balance.  This feels so good to eliminate a debt, and move on to the next one!  It is easier to continue a hard thing when there are satisfying milestones along the way. So, at this point, you are paying the minimum payment, plus the minimum payment of the last card as well as the extra amount you were applying to that balance.  This snowballs fast and as you continue on this route, you will begin to pay your debts off faster than you had planned. Debt snowballs work wonders.  My husband and I paid off 16k in debt in a year and a half, making very little extra money.  We had to sacrifice a few things in order to have extra money to be able to apply in the first place.  We went out to eat once a month, instead of once a week.  We also ordered water and shared a larger meal.  We also cut out extra projects and found free or discounted things to do for entertainment. It required sacrifice and discipline, but ultimately, it was well worth it. It was very motivating and quite satisfying to pay each card off.  We started cerimoniously paying them off together and celebrating with dessert.

For other great ideas on getting out of debt or ways to budget, see these related articles:

15 Things You Should Stop Spending Money On

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5 Ways to Save $500

20 Things You are Forgetting to Budget

12 Expenses You Should Never Put on a Credit Card

How to Make $100k+ a Year Working From Home



How to Pay off Debt with a Debt Snowball

12 Surprising Ways to Save Money

You don’t need to cut coupons or stop going out to eat in order to save money. While those are all good ideas, there may be other ways to cut your monthly expenses while still enjoying some of the things you like.  Some of these ideas might actually surprise you!

Shop Your Insurance

You can change your insurance carrier (in most cases) any time you want.  There is no contract with insurance so shop your rate!  I didn’t realize I was paying too much, until we decided to get other quotes and we were accepted by one of the very best auto insurances out there, and our premium was half of what we were paying.  That is a big savings!  You could be leaving money on the table by not shopping your rates.  Shop your car insurance rates, homeowners insurance rates, life insurance rates and any other policies that you may have out there.

Be Savvy

Once upon a time, we purchased a pergola for our outdoor patio.  We found one we loved and we didn’t even look around.  We had found our one and only and we paid for it and anxiously awaited it’s arrival.  Fast forward a year, and we see an identical pergola at an outdoor show.  For $3,000 less.  We spent thousands that we didn’t need to, by not shopping prices and getting quotes.  We are usually more savvy than that, so it took us both by surprise.  We blew it and it cost us thousands.  Don’t get impulsive and purchase based on emotion.  You will always pay more by going with the first option you find or not shopping around.  This goes for home decor, contractors (landscaping, plumbing, electrical, drywall, etc) and even purchases that you may not expect.  I am continually surprised to find out (thank you, husband!) that you can negotiate prices on many things that you wouldn’t expect.  Also, read reviews and be sure you are comparing apples with apples.

Beauty Budget

Cut the beauty budget!  I love getting my eyebrows waxed and tinted (I am a super blondie.) It is expensive and a recurring cost.  One trip to the beauty supply store, some Youtube videos and a few experimental eyebrows later… I do it at home, on my own time and it saves me money and time.  The few times I paid for it, it was $40+ and it took time, planning, babysitter for the kids, and it was a hassle. Pedicures are an extra expense that some may spend that can easily be cut out and done at home.

Subscriptions

Sometimes those 10$ a month subscriptions sneak up on you and add up.  I am not saying to cancel everything, but look over your expenses and see if there are subscriptions you can do without.  Magazines, gun clubs, Pandora (do the free version?) car wash passes, etc.  If you are trying to save money, it may be time to reduce the extras or see if you can do without things you are used to paying for.

DIY Items

Save money by making your own homemade products! You can do DIY soap, shaving cream, lotions, etc. Not only do you get customized products to your liking, but you also save money by making them at home.  Usually, these products are made with things you have at your home already.

Cut Coffee

This may be hard for you, but just imagine how much money you’re spending on coffee everyday. Let’s say you buy a cup of coffee for $4 at your local coffee store 5 days a week. That’s over $1,000 a year just on coffee! Cut coffee out (or at least partially) and you’ll see some extra cash coming in. *Dodging virtual tomatoes that are being thrown my way by the coffee addicts of the world.*

Community calendar

If you’re trying to find fun activities to do while also saving money, then turn to your community calendar. There are so many fun things in the community that are free.  Also, take advantage of “kids eat free on Tuesday” type of events or festivals that are free and entertaining.  Saving money doesn’t have to be a drag.  In fact, if you get creative you will probably go places and do things you wouldn’t have normally known about.  It is an adventure!

Treat yourself (sparingly)

We all get that itch to spend money.  While saving money is a good thing, and we should all be doing it, be careful about still allowing yourself to splurge once in a while.  Treat yourself every now and then so you don’t explode! Give yourself a small monthly allowance or implement another system so you spend money while still saying within budget.  If you budget for extras as much as possible, it will prevent binge spending and it will keep you from really blowing the budget after working hard to save.

Keep Utility Bills Lower

I don’t know what it is about children, but they are almost incapable of shutting a door (is this just my kids?) and we finally changed the hinges to our exterior doors to self-closing hinges.  This has helped a bunch with our AC bill in the summer.  You would be surprised how much money you can actually save if you use energy efficient bulbs in your home, keep doors closed and open windows to cool things off if you can.  Also, unplug unnecessary appliances or power cords, keep lights off, etc.  If you are consious about saving energy, you are doing not only the world a favor, but your pocketbook.  Don’t run unneccsary water and keep your blinds closed on hot days.  All of these things will help you keep your utilities lower and help you save money.

Library card

Instead of buying every book that you like, (thanks a lot, Amazon Prime) get a library card so you can read the books for free! Yes, Libraries are still out there and they are great!  How often do you go back and read the same books?  Almost never.

Shop Classifieds 

You can find a lot of the things you “want” or even “need” that are slightly used or in pretty good shape on the classifieds.  This can help satisfy the needs you have, while not costing a fortune.

Make Goals, Budget and Keep Focused

Ultimately, if you don’t make goals, you won’t know where you are headed.  If I can emphasize one thing on Flipping Pennies is that the most important thing in changing your financial situation is to set goals.  Be clear, specific and outline a path to get there.  Be realistic, but give yourself a reason to push you out of your comfort zone.  There is great strength and confidence that comes from self-control, working hard and reaching your milestones.

Sometimes, the answer is to make more money.  If you get creative, and are hard-working and resourceful, there is no shortage of side gigs or things you can do from home (on your own) to make money to ease the financial burden a bit.  Check out some of our articles about making extra money or working from home:

How to Make Money Blogging

How to Budget When You Don’t Make Enough Money

50 Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side

Top 54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

10 Ways to Earn a Living on the Internet

12 Surprising Ways to Save Money

How to Become an Amazon Product Reviewer

Set up your profile

You can’t become a product reviewer if you don’t have an account set up, right? So, get an Amazon account and then go to amazon.com/profile and you’ll go to your profile page. Keep this professional looking and up-to-date, because this is where people will go to contact you and see your reviews.

Join a reviewer website

There are a few out there that you can get involved in. iReviewHome and Reviewso are just a few. These websites get you access to products and promo codes that usually discount the item by 50-75%. You need to be a part of these sites because it gets your name and profile out there so you can have access to more deals and products.

Stay on top of your reviews

Don’t buy or get a product and then wait 2 months to put up a review. This sets a bad standard for your work and will also repel future companies from you that are looking for product reviewers. Usually a time span of about 2 weeks is ideal to get the product, use it enough, and then provide a decent and well-thought review.

Be Helpful!

Putting a star rating on Amazon and then just having text like, “it was good” or “it didn’t work as well as I thought it would” is not helpful! Tell them what you liked and didn’t like about the product, how you most effectively used it, and it what sort of situations it’s a good buy or bad buy. The more helpful you are, the more people who will follow your reviews, which means the more products companies will want you to try out for them.

For Other Ways to Make Money From Home, See These Other Related Posts:

Top 54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

How to Start a Blog

How to Make Money Blogging

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

10 Ways to Earn a Living On the Internet

50 Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side

7 Serious Ways to Add $500 To Your Income

How to Become an Amazon Product Reviewer

Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs when You Don’t have a Degree

Lots of people these days will tell you that you need a college degree to get a good job. Some say that the bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. While that may be true in some fields and careers, not all jobs require a degree. In fact, quite a few well-paying jobs don’t need one. Here are just a few high paying jobs that no college education are needed for.

 Loan officer

This job just requires a high school diploma and on-the-job training, but no college degree needed! Your responsibilities are to evaluate and authorize loans that people and businesses want to take out. The salary depends on where you work, but the average pay is around $56,000.

Fashion designer

If you have an eye for fashion and a creative side, then you could possibly make your mark as a fashion designer. There are schools and courses you can go to to get better at fashion design, but none of them are necessary for the position.

Gaming manager

They actually offer college degrees in gaming and casino management, but it’s not a requirement to become a gaming manager. If you have skills in math, customer service, and hospitality, then this could be a great job for you.

Commercial pilot

I’m a little surprised that you don’t need a college degree to be a commercial pilot (it seems so complex!). But as long as you have good vision and a drive to be a pilot, you can start your career as a commercial pilot!

 Firefighting manager

Have you ever wondered who helps the firefighters stay organized and trained in order to fight all the fires? While this is a job that’s probably best to work up to, you can still get it without a degree. You’d help manage all aspects of the firefighting process, which could be pretty exciting.

 Elevator installer/repairer

Whenever you use an elevator, you probably don’t think about who installs them or takes care of them. But, you can actually make a pretty decent living doing just that! The salary for an elevator installer and repairer is around $58,000.

 Funeral director

It may sound strange, but a funeral director actually pays pretty well, especially for a non-degree job. You can make around $80,000 a year as a funeral director, did you know that? I think that’s pretty impressive, seeing as none of that money would go to paying off pesky student loans. Obviously, you need to be okay around the deceased, though.

 Dental Hygienist

Again, this doesn’t require an actual college diploma, but you do need to have training. Dental hygienists can usually get a job in any city, and you can make around $60,000, which isn’t bad at all!

 Sales representatives

It seems like one of the most booming jobs nowadays is a salesperson or representative. You don’t need a degree for this job, you just need great people skills and the ability to sell a product. This job’s salary varies depending on your skills and position, but it can make quite a hefty dollar.

 Private investigator

Put those stalking skills to the test and become a private investigator. You’ll obviously need to do this legally, though, so make sure you aren’t just randomly stalking people around the city.

 Model

I know a lot of people make fun of models, but hey, if you can do it and make some good money, then I say go for it! You’ll have to spend quite a bit of time and energy on getting your name out there and auditioning, but once you get your foot in the door, it gets a little easier from there!

Air traffic controller

If you love airports, then this is the job for you! You can become an air traffic controller without further education PLUS you’ll get discounts and specials deals from the airport that you work at. Making around $100,000, being an air traffic controller is a pretty sweet gig.

 Language teacher

If you’re a native English speaker, then you can actually make quite a bit of money with just that one qualification. Lots of companies (both local and online) hire English speakers to be tutors and teachers of English. If you speak another language, you can probably find a few places for that language too.

 Real estate agent

You do need some sort of education for this (usually a state run real estate course) because you have to get a license, but you don’t need a college education. Now, a degree in economics, construction, or interior design may be helpful, but it’s definitely not required. If you have a passion for good property, then try this out!

 Journalist

I’m going to tell you right now that this job is a LOT easier to break into if you have a degree. However, that’s not always necessary, especially if it’s for a smaller newspaper. However, if you want a good paying job in this field, then you’ll have to work yourself up without a diploma. Don’t let that deter you, though, if you want to be a journalist!

 Computer technician

This is one of those jobs that doesn’t technically require a degree, but the diploma definitely helps. However, if you’re skilled with computers and know how they work, you can usually get a job in this field just because of your skills.

 Non-retail manager

This is a job that you’re (most likely) going to have to work your way up to, but it pays pretty well for a non-higher education position. Some positions let you make around $60,000 a year!

Blogger

I can’t write this article without mentioning being a blogger. If you love writing and have an eye for advertising and online marketing, then you can make some pretty good money at blogging. There are a few coveted bloggers that are making six figures, so that could be you!

 Operations manager

This is sort of an ambiguous career, but it’s one that needs to be filled and that companies are willing to pay big money to fill. In essence, for this job, you operate all the functions and processes in a factory, company, or other business entity. Some operations managers make up to $130,000 a year, so it’s a pretty sweet gig.

Insurance appraiser

This job requires a keen eye and a good understanding of damage sources, but it doesn’t require a college diploma. At this job, depending on the type of appraisal you do, you would go to homes, cars, or other places and determine how much damage was caused. The average salary for this job is around $60,000.

If you are interested in making money from home with no degree, here are some other related posts:

How to Make Money Blogging

How to Start a Blog

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

20 Ways to Turn Crafts into Profits

15 Legit Ways to Make an Extra $1500 a Month

Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs When You Don't Have a Degree

How to Budget when You Don’t Make Enough Money

Learn to Cut Back

Make a list of the money you have flowing out into different expenses. If you have cable, or streaming networks you pay for, such as Netflix or Hulu, put those on your list next to how much money it costs you each month. If you have smartphones in your family write those down as well. List magazine subscriptions, gym passes, art classes, or anything that comes to you as a regular expense. Then you need to look at your list and decide how to cut back. Maybe you can just eliminate a few things, or maybe you need to cut it all out for a little while until your bank account becomes more stable. There is no point in paying for a huge cable bill, or random magazine subscriptions that you never read, while you’re struggling to make ends meet. The more you cut the better off you will be.

Get into Survival Mode

Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. You have to get into a survival mode and focus only on the essentials. Avoid eating out, shopping sprees, going out to movies or events, or anything that is unnecessary. If you can control your spending habits and you can cut back on these things, you will be amazed how much money you save. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun though. Start making a fun meal plan with ingredients you already have at home, look online for free date ideas that can still get you out of the house, and find ways to mix and match pieces in your closet to wear them in ways you never have before. Overall, just make sure you are only spending money on the things you have to have to survive.

Make More Money

To help you feel more fluid in your budget, you’ll need to find ways to make more money so that you can attack your financial situation from both ends. There are a lot of ways to make money from home on the side.  You can pick up extra shifts at work, or get resourceful and see if any of these 50 Ways to Make Money on the Side are good options for you.  If you don’t have a job that pays well enough and you are having hard time getting ahead, consider finding a new job, improving your skills or even getting educated in a new trade or field to improve your quality of life.

Related Posts:

How to Start a Blog

How to Make Money Blogging

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

Top 54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

Prioritize Your Bills

If you have a lot of bills to pay, make sure you decide which ones have to be paid off first. Hopefully you cut back on everything from the list you made, but now it is time to sort through what important bills are MOST important. Take care of things like your house payments and energy bills first and then keep moving down through the things that are most important for you to keep surviving and having your basic needs met.

Keep a Positive Mindset

Overall, remember to stay positive. Of course this is easier said than done, but it is so important when trying to get out of a financial bind and start to plan effectively. Negative thoughts are destructive and won’t help you moving forward. Try to think each day about good things that happen to you, opportunities that come your way, connections you have with other people that could help, and really anything that keeps you positive and focused on your ultimate financial goals. If you can’t master a positive mindset, you other strategies could fall apart.

How to Budget When You Don't Make Enough Money

What is the Half Payment Method and How does it Help?

The half payment method is where you take a regularly occurring payment you have and you divide it in half. For example, let’s say you have a $300 car payment you need to make each month. Instead of sending in $300 at once, you only send in $150 and then set aside the other $150 (or whatever half of your bill is) at the beginning of the month. You then make the other half of the payment toward the end of the month. By the end of the month, you will have sent in the full $300 by the due date, but you will have been able to break up the payment into two smaller payments. If your creditor allows you to do this, as long as you get both smaller payments in on time, it may be able to benefit you. Here is a break down of how it works if you receive a bi-monthly paycheck (using the $300 car payment example from above): Paycheck #1: $600 Half payment for car payment: $150 Total left from paycheck #1: $450 Paycheck #2: $600 Half payment for car payment: $150 Total left from paycheck #2: $450 What is the purpose behind using this system? Take a look below at what happens when you don’t use the half payment method. Paycheck #1: $600 No half payment Total left from paycheck #1: $600 Paycheck #2: $600 No half payment Full car payment: $300 Total left from paycheck #2: $300 Although you may not think there is much of a benefit from paying the full bill now or doing half payments twice a month, the half payments can actually be really helpful. If you pay the full amount on your payment (like option two above) you have lost an additional $150 from your second paycheck. You can argue that in your first paycheck you would gain $300, but that means there is so much fluctuation in your incoming and outgoing money. When you pay off an entire payment all at once, you are more likely to spend more money because you think you have a lot to spend. Using the half payment method, you would have your car payment taken care of and also not feel like you have to scrape by at the end of the month. Overall, your finances would become much easier to manage.

See Other Debt-Related Posts Below:

How to Budget When You Don’t Make Enough Money

12 Surprising Ways to Save Money

How to Make Money Blogging

50 Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side

7 Easy Ways to Add $500 to Your Income

This system will work even if you are just paid once a month by making quarter payments or small payments every week. It is easiest to start using the half payment method if you start by doing this with your lowest regular payment. Once you have the habit of dividing your payments in half with that item, move on to the next lowest regular payment you need to make and keep continuing with that trend. For information on other payoff methods such as, The Snowball Method, please read this article.
What is the Half Payment Method and How Does it Help

12 Surprising Things You Can do To Become Debt-Free

I am passionate about getting out of debt because it changed my life.  It isn’t easy.  It isn’t even fun sometimes, but the freedom you feel from living within your means will completely change you and you will never go back.  When I talk to people about their financial situations, it is clear that in some cases, a change in income needs to be made.  Aside from the obvious budget re-alignments, and more self-control, sometimes, we simply need to figure out a way to make more money or we won’t get ahead.  Here are a few things that can help you get out of debt. Cut back on groceries Grocery budget is one of the first to modify, because it isn’t a “fixed” cost.  Find meals that can go a long way on a small amount of money.  Take advantage of deals, coupons, discounts.  Depending on the size of your family, it may even be cheaper to eat out a couple of meals a week.  I know that I can’t grocery shop and make a meal and feed my family for less than a 5$ pizza from Little Caesars.  So, once in a while, we do that.  Especially at the end of the month, or right before payday.  Be savvy and discover what works for your family. Work from Home There are so many side jobs or even full time jobs that are home-based.  This can give you more flexibility, and save on gas (no commuting!) Use the Debt Snowball method This is an incredible method that can work for anyone! It also works quickly, and keeps up the momentum of getting out of debt. This works by organizing your debts from the lowest balance you have to the highest balance (regardless of the interest rate they have) and you work hard to pay off the debt for the first item on your list. To understand the full process and how it works read  Pay off Your Debt With a Debt Snowball. Transfer Balances Most of you have had a credit card offer mailed to you offering to “transfer balances” for a low interest rate.  Thisis the good kind of junk mail and can really help you get your debt under control.  The problem with debt is that you accrue interest.  This can keep you in debt forever, unless you make bigger payments, or stop the interest from accruing.  Some cards have offers to transfer balances from other cards to their card for a 0% interest rate (or low, like 3%) for a certain amount of time.  When we were trying to pay off credit cards, we transferred balances from one card to the next, keeping 0% interest rates.  This made our payments go to the entire principle amount and we paid them off MUCH faster than we would have at a standard 12% interest rate.  Be careful to read the terms and conditions of these offers.  Often, there are transfer fees (which can still be worth it, depending on your account balance and what would be saved from the interest) and other terms you will want to be aware of.  Something many people don’t know, is that if you are also using your card, and accruing interest on purchases, you actually only pay off the 0% first, which means you accrue interest on the purchases the whole time.  In a nutshell, to save the most money, transfer balances to a card that you don’t plan to use for purchases, and pay the most you can while the rate lasts.  Don’t be late making a payment or you forfeit your low rate. Budget To make sure you are organized and get control of your finances, it is important to budget. Knowing where your money is going every month is half the battle.  Most people that have money trouble truly don’t have a great grasp on what it takes for them to live and where their extra money is going each month.  Years ago, we had the same problem and didn’t feel that we were spending much extra.  After going through our monthly expenses, we realized that we were each eating out for lunch 4+ times each week.  Even if we only spent 5$ (which we didn’t always) times that by 2 of us, that is 40$ each week (almost $200+) just on lunches.  That was more than half of our food budget each month, at the time.  If you know your budget and stick to it, this will help you to get out of debt, and stay out of debt! For great ideas on budgeting ideas, click How to Budget When You Don’t Make Enough Money. Make homemade products Save money by making things at home out of household products.  You can make your own household cleaners, lotions, laundry detergents, hair products, and more. You will be amazed at how much money you can save every month, simply by making your own stuff that calls for supplies you most likely have around the house anyway (many products require common items like baking soda, vinegar, oil, soap, etc.) Simplify  When something in your house breaks or starts to wear down, try to get creative with how you can replace that item. If your bathroom rug unravels ask yourself, “Do I really need another one?” You can always put a towel down instead or find some other item that would work. When you start to do this with scrub brushes, paper towels, tin foil, and other common household items you will be able to cut back a lot, save money, and live a more simplistic lifestyle. Financial Fast Have you ever heard of a financial fast?  This might sound hard at first, but if you can master this you will feel so rewarded you will want to go… shopping!  Just kidding, don’t do that!  But really, it is very rewarding to exercise your self-control.  If you normally buy extra things you want through the month, or take full advantage of Amazon Prime like we do at our house, just don’t spend any money for a month.  Obviously you need to buy food and pay rent, etc., but cut out restaurants, extras, clothes you think you need and more.  The trick is just to only take care of your essential needs and don’t buy anything else. It takes some diligence and resistance to fight the urge to buy things, but the more you turn down the items you really don’t need, the easier it gets!  You will be amazed that it is possible for your bank account to almost stay the same.  It is a great feeling and after you do it once, you will want to do it again. Sell Your Stuff To make money, try to sell items that you can find for free. Online there are advertisements where people are getting rid of things, as long as you come pick up the item yourself. You can find these on local classifieds, Craigslist, social media groups, the newspaper, or even just driving by peoples’ houses where they have items on their lawn with a “free” sign. You can also contact people you know that are moving and see if they have items they are getting rid of. Collect those items, and then turn around and sell them! You will make 100% profit. Be Savvy How many times have you purchased something, and then you see it go on sale for even less money the next time you are there? To get the most bang for your buck, pay attention to sales, discounts and store promotions. Make More Money that You Spend There is a pretty hilarious segment on Saturday Night Live spoofing this idea, but it is true.  And unfortunately, it has to be said.  Figure out how much money you have to live on, and live on less than that.  There are many circumstances that don’t make this always possible.  Medical emergencies, unexpected car repairs and so many more.  The key is to make the “unexpected” expenses “expected.”  Be sure to budget for birthdays, holidays and even car repairs.  Unfortunately, you may realize as you go over your income and your expenses that you simply do not make enough money to meet your monthly needs.  This is the time to make fundamental life changes.  Maybe a job or career change, living in a different place, or taking on side jobs to make extra money.  This can be a sobering reality, but a reality nonetheless.  Take the challenge and change your circumstances. Take Advantage of Free Activies Research the museums, festivals, and activities in your community that are free to attend. This will make the burden of saving or a financial fast much more bearable.  There are so many activities in the community that are usually free, that you should have no problem still living as you save.  There is no question that it is hard and that it takes self-control and discipline that may not be fun.  But if you put your best foot forward and make the necessary changes, you will live in financial freedom instead of bondage.
12 Surprising Things You Can Do To Become Debt-Free

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

So, you’re looking to make a few extra bucks, but you are hesitant to get involved with an online money making scheme. Your concerns are valid, there are “bad businesses” everywhere,and it can be difficult to weed out the good from the bad. Fortunately, we have researched these websites for you, and now it is our duty to share these wonderful opportunities with you.

Ebates

Ebates doesn’t exactly make you money, it helps you to save money! Merchants pay Ebates to refer customers to them. Then ebates used the money from the merchants to offer discounts and deals to their shoppers. Visit the ebates website before making any purchases online, and use the link that ebates provides. When you do so, ebates will pay up to 25% of whatever you purchase.  It is free to sign up, so get started!!

Inbox Dollars

Inbox Dollars is basically an online rewards system that offers cash payouts. All you have to do is use their search engine, print coupons, and online shop. You get money each time you use their search engine. Really, what could be easier? You even get an instant $5 bonus just for using your email address to sign up!  Of course it is free to sign up, so sign up now and start earning at Inbox Dollars.

NCP Nielsen

NCP Nielsen pays you to scan your grocery store purchases to your phone. Start your free account and scan the barcodes of the items you buy at the grocery store. Record where you shopped, how much you spent and NCP will reward you with points that are redeemable for money.

Ipsos Isay

Sign up for free and take surveys over the phone on different sorts of products. You take surveys, earn points and then cash them out for rewards via PayPal.

SwagBucks

This is a free site that gives you rewards (points redeemable for money, gift cards, or other rewards) for answering polls, taking surveys, trading in old video games, and playing games on their website. They’ve paid out over 78 million dollars to their reviewers.  This is totally legit and a great way to earn extra cash.  Register free for Swagbucks here and get started.

 Blogging

Start a Blog focused around your likes and passions. Focus in on this niche, and use it to make money. Successful blogs receive thousands of visitors every week, and you can use affiliate networks and ad networks, such as Google Adsense to earn a really great income blogging from home. For more information about blogging, please read our step by step instructions on how to start a blog for only  how to start a blog for only a few dollars a month.

Sell Your Products Online

If crafting is your passion, consider opening an Etsy shop. Etsy is a place where individuals can sell their homemade goods and shop for unique items. Many shop owners do so in their spare time, and some can even turn it into their main source of income.

Sell Yourself

This isn’t as bad as it sounds! Offer your skills as a freelance writer, public speaker, or blogging guru. Charge for your services by the hour or by the session, don’t sell yourself short! Your opinion matters! Use social media platforms to promote yourself and create a strong website base.

If none of these things interest you, maybe there are other ways you can side hustle extra cash and stay legit.

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7 Easy Ways to Make Money Blogging

15 {Legit} Ways to Make an Extra $1500 a Month

5 Popular Ways to Make Money From Home With Amazon

How to Make Money Blogging

How to Start a Blog

How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home