No matter what your situation is in life, there is a good chance that right now, you are struggling to make money (and hang onto it). Salaries have been dropping in numerous professions, even in traditionally high-paying jobs. Automation is taking over other jobs. There simply is not enough work to go around.
That being the case, you are probably behind on your retirement savings. That does not mean though that there is not a chance you could still retire early. You simply need to take some steps now to try and get some extra cash.
What many people do not realize is that getting extra cash is not just about finding ways to make money—it is also about finding ways to save money. The old saying “a penny saved is a penny earned” has stuck around for a reason. For every penny you spend, you have to make up that penny before you can earn another. So you are constantly battling uphill. If you can hold onto more of your money, you have less to make up for before you start putting money away in your savings account.
Following are four suggestions to help you save and earn more money. All of these ideas can help you to get some extra cash now!
1. Start using financial management software.
Do you use financial management software? If not, why not? Many financial management software programs are free, and they can help you to save a ton of money by providing you with visualizations of your cash flow and expenditures. Tracking your net worth is the first step to increasing it. Plus, through a financial management program, you can invest, which is yet another way to make some extra cash.
What program should you use? While there are a lot of different software suites which can help you out, one of the most popular right now is Personal Capital.
2. Switch to a better credit card.
How high is the interest on your current credit card? What is the annual fee? Are there maintenance fees? What kinds of savings do you get through the card’s rewards program?
Dealing with credit cards is always a pain, so it is easy to be tempted into complacency. But it is possible your credit card is costing you more money than it should, and not putting enough cash back in your wallet. If you suspect that may be the case, it is well worth your time to check into other credit cards.
3. Reduce bills and expenses.
One great way to get some extra cash back in your account is to stop spending it unnecessarily on your bills and expenses.
How much a month do you spend on groceries? Do you really need to spend that much, or could you save by cooking differently? What about your auto insurance and your car payments? How many thousands of dollars a year could you save by either downgrading your vehicle to an older model or switching to a different insurance carrier?
While it can be time-consuming to make major changes to your life, they can pay off within the same month you make them. Learning how to cook more soups and stews may take a lot of effort, but imagine spending $100 less on groceries this month. Switching to a new insurance carrier may entail hours on the phone, but picture saving another $100 or more there. That is all money that could go into your savings account!
4. Start an extra gig on the side.
If your day job is not paying you enough, it might be time to think about other ways you can earn. There are many different ideas for making extra money right now. Some are easy to get started with (e.g. signing up to watch videos and fill out surveys with a company like Swagbucks) while others take a significant investment of time, effort and luck. Taking this step may pay off in ways you cannot even predict, because it will make you an entrepreneur. The entrepreneurial mindset can open numerous doors of possibility.
We live in a world now where it is difficult to get by, much less thrive, even if you are highly motivated and have a traditionally high-paying career. Because that is true, you need to commit to doing everything you can to generate extra cash, whether that means taking on more work or cutting back on expenses you take for granted. That way you can make it to retirement on time, or maybe even early!