This week is part 6 in the 10 Part Money Making Series and we are going to talk about making extra money by cutting back on your expenses. I love talking about the topic of making extra money with people and brainstorming ways this can be done. Oftentimes, making at least a little extra money is quite simple to do but for some reason does not come easy for people. Let’s change that!
The point of this series is to help you take small & incremental steps to start earning extra income. Earning extra income can come in many ways (some you might not expect) & some may surprise you!
It can be hard to think outside of the box in your own situation, so that is where I come in. I’m doing this 10 part series on making extra money to help you think outside the box and bring some extra money in.
Once you do that, you’ll be able to use the extra money to build up your emergency fund, pay down debt, give back more or take a vacation (or anything else that excites you). So let’s have fun with this and work together to come up with ideas to make extra money! Let’s get started!
This week’s post is a list of my top 30 tips for making extra money by cutting back on your expenses. I’m sure you will find at least one tip this week that will help you save money!
Make Extra Money by Cutting Back on Your Expenses
1. Blogging – This is one of the first questions I always get asked so I’m including this one first. How can I earn extra income with a blog? As you can probably imagine, that isn’t a question I can answer in just a few sentences! One of the ways to earn extra income through a blog is from affiliate marketing. This can be a tricky topic if you don’t know what you are doing. A fellow personal finance blogger has put together a course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing that will teach you how to earn extra income from affiliate marketing. Michelle teaches you the exact steps she has taken to earn $100,000/mo (yes per month) from her blog. I have went through this course myself and loved it, I highly recommend it!
2. Consolidate when it makes sense – I’m not always a big fan of consolidating loans but sometimes it can take the pressure off you when you have a lot of payments. (Of course – the trick to that is to stop the behavior that caused you to get all the payments in the first place!) If you are looking to consolidate your debt, I recommend Lending Club. Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lender which means you are able to bypass a traditional bank and get connected with investors who fund your loan and earn monthly returns. Normal credit checks still apply and Lending Club offers unsecured personal loans of up to $35,000 to borrowers with good-to-excellent credit at very competitive rates. I have used Lending Club twice for loans and have been happy with the products and services both times. I highly recommend Lending Club if you are looking for an alternative to a traditional bank.
3. Cut the Cable – Years ago I decided to get rid of cable and was able to stream content through my Roku device. I still love my Roku as an alternative to cable and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in saving money. I wrote a detailed guide on how to get rid of cable and use a Roku device. In addition to my Roku device (where I stream Netflix & Amazon Prime) I also purchased a $6 antenna to watch local channels live. It’s a great set up and has saved me over $1,200 a year!
4. Inexpensive Fun – Looking for a night out but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Yelp Deals, Living Social & Groupon all offer inexpensive ways to go out and have fun without spending a lot of money.
5. Bring in More Money – In some instances, you may not be able to cut back anymore so in addition to cutting back, earning extra income can help you to bridge the gap in your income. Sites like Flexjobs and Moonlighting let you earn extra or full time income from home. I particularly like Flexjobs (more detail in my Flexjobs review) and have used their services in the past when I was looking for a IT Consulting job where I could work from home. The service is exactly as described as they are able to aggregate legitimate work from home professional positions in one place. You can even set up alerts to be notified when positions you are interested in become available.
6. Land line – If you still have a land line phone, my first question is why, and my second question is do you use it? Cancel it! If you do use it and you have features ‘bundled’ together? do you use them? It might be cheaper to remove some features you don’t use.
7. Haircuts – Do you have a beauty school in your area? Beauty schools are a great way to get haircuts, colors, manicures, pedicures and facials at a reduced price. You get a reduced price ass students are learning how to perform these services. Beauty schools in my area charged anywhere from $10-$15 for a haircut (which beats $50+ that some salons charge. If you are a little worried about going to go to a beauty school, read my beauty school tips article and listen to the secret weapon to staying beautiful and paying less.
8. Home & Auto Insurance – Have you shopped rates lately? Looked at your current coverage? Doesn’t hurt to call around and ask! Just don’t sacrifice coverage to save yourself a few bucks.
9. Limit eating out – Cook from scratch and eat meals at home. You can check out some of my recipes and listen to how I got my grocery bill to $100 a month to get some more tips. I also wrote a detailed post on how to cook once and eat all week.
10. Take Your Lunch – We’ve all heard this one before but it really is true. Making your own food will save you a lot of money. When you make meals at home, make extra to take to work the next day. It saves money and is faster than having to run through a drive through the next day.
11. Coupons (when it makes sense) – I honestly hardly ever use coupons anymore. I don’t find the savings vs. the time it takes to actually find, cut & print the coupons (not to mention the cost of printing, printer ink and buying papers to get coupons) to be worth it for me. Instead, I do nearly all of my grocery shopping at Aldi where I know they will have the lowest price. I tend to cook a lot at home with my Instant Pot and try to make as much food as I can from scratch. (I have a ton of recipes posted on Pinterest and my Instant Pot board is pretty popular). I utilize dollar stores as much as possible to buy other things inexpensively. I will from time to time use department store coupons (like Kohl’s or Macy’s) if I know I am going to need something and I’m sure I’ll use it. That’s another thing I’ve found with coupons, I was buying things I didn’t want or need and so I just stopped doing it.
12. Utilities – Does your electric company offer budget billing? Why not give it a shot? Budget billing (as it’s called in my area) allows you to pay an average of your utilities each month so you don’t experience high utility bills during the peak season. This allows you to estimate the same amount each month. Disclaimer: If you your average amount is too low, you will have to pay the difference. If the average you pay is too high, you will get a credit. It’s important to monitor this each month so you don’t get a big surprise.
13. Get Rid of Your Junk (and stop buying more) – Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up or Craigslist are all ways to quickly unload unwanted items. I recently sold $250 worth of things on Facebook in 24 hours! I helped my dad sell his 4-wheeler for $1,000 and helped my mom sell her couch and chair quickly for $100. I wrote about this in detail in this post. Be sure to use common sense and keep yourself safe when selling online. For example, I never have people come to my house, I always meet them in a common area (like a busy store parking lot).
14. Yard sale – If it works in your area, you can also have a yard sale, Yes they are a lot of work but you get rid of your junk and make a little extra cash. Consider having one with other neighbors to attract more people.
15. Rent movies – With all the streaming that is available right now, this one might seem outdated. But if you are not able to stream content at home, rent at Redbox instead of going to the movies. Just be sure to return them on time to avoid a fee.
16. Grocery Shopping – Shop at the grocery store once a week instead of running in when you need one thing. When I went more than once a week, I would always walk out with much more than I anticipated on buying. You will too! Plan ahead and shop for what you need once a week.
17. Daily Spending – Watch how you spend your money every day. Cut out daily trips to the gas station/vending machine etc.. Its the little things, when added up, that make the biggest impact on your spending plan. Don’t believe me? Count how many times you say “it’s only” when you spend money. Then see my article “Two Words That Can Cause The Most Damage To Your Budget – It’s Only..” (Side note: If you want a painless way to invest, use an app like Acorns to round up your daily spending & invest it!)
18. Carpool – Going the same general direction as your neighbor or a friend? Try carpooling, even a couple of days a week can make a difference.
19. Memberships – Do you have gym memberships or other miscellaneous memberships? And if you do, do you use them? If not, cancel them immediately so you stop wasting money on something you are no longer using.
20. Negotiate rates – Call your credit card companies & ask to get your interest rates reduced. If they don’t oblige, threaten to go to the competition and then see what they can do for you.The worst they can do is say no.
21. Swap Clothes – Have a clothing swap with friends. Trading clothes with friends can be just like getting a new wardrobe! Assuming your friends are the same size as you of course.
22. Dinner Club – In addition to swapping clothes with friends, what about swapping food? This is where everyone brings something and then you can ‘swap’ and take leftovers home. My friends and I used to do this and it was a lot of fun and a good way to get everyone together.
23. Focus Groups – If you would like to participate in live focus groups, I suggest doing a search online in your area to see what companies are available. In St. Louis, we have the following companies available: Peters Marketing Research, Focus Point Global, L&E Research. In addition, we also have a few medical research facilities in St. Louis at local universities. Check in your area to see if there are marketing agencies that conduct focus groups- they pay cash! When I was laid off, I made a boatload of cash doing these. Read more about how to make extra money with focus groups here.
24. Start a Side Gig – Do you have a hobby you enjoy? Have you ever thought of making income from it? The opportunities for having a side gig (something you work on in your free time) and earning income are endless these days! I wrote an article on how I’m earning multiple streams of income. What do you enjoy doing that can help you bring in extra income?
25. Cell phone –change your plan, remove unused lines or ask for a corporate discount. Don’t work at a corporation? Sprint gives a discount for being a credit union member. I personally like Sprint because of the unlimited data, but you may not need that. If not, try Republic Wireless. I know a lot of people who use Republic Wireless and are really happy with the service and the low prices! If your not familiar with the company, Republic Wireless is an innovative new mobile provider, spearheading a wireless freedom movement to return value and control of the smartphone experience to its members. Leveraging the power of the Internet and an engaged community of users, Republic Wireless offers unlimited talk, text, & data starting as low as $5 per month, with no contract required.
26. Survey Sites – Depending on the survey site, you can get paid cash and or have the opportunity to try free products. I have done many of these over the years and always enjoyed earning the extra money. I’ve also been able to try new beauty products, food items and many other things I wouldn’t normally try, for free! Note: you should never pay for information for these types of sites.There are tons of survey sites out there, here are few trusted ones that I recommend: American Consumer Opinion Panel, InboxDollars , Swagbucks (be sure to read the full write up I did about Swagbucks in Part 2), Harris Poll, Epoll Market Research, VIP Voice, Your Surveys, Nielsen Digital Voice, Earning Station, Vindale Research, Panda Research, 20/20 Panel, Shop Tracker, Survey Voices, Survey Club. Read more about how to make extra money with surveys here.
27. Ebates – Using Ebates can help you earn cash back. By shopping through Ebates at your favorite stores, you earn cash back on your purchases. I wrote a detailed post on how Ebates will pay you via check or Paypal. Check it out, it’s a great way to earn extra money for things you are already buying (just make sure you really need what you are buying!).
28. Rent out Your Space – Have an extra room to rent out & want to earn some extra cash? Sites like Homestay.com connect guests to local hosts in over 150 countries. Hosts offer their guests the chance to live and breathe the local culture, to make friends as well as memories and to explore destinations in a truly authentic way. Homestay hosts can enjoy the fulfillment of being a part of their guest’s new adventures and make some money by renting out their extra space! Airbnb is another great site to use to find places to stay or rent your space out. If you use this link to sign up, we both get a $35 travel credit! And, you can earn another $75 in travel credit when you welcome your first guest! I’ve explained how this works more in this making extra money post.
29. Save Money on Shaving – Shaving is a fact of life and unfortunately buying expensive shaving cream and razors can add up and quick. Years ago I read a tip to use conditioner in the place of shaving cream. I’ve been doing that for many years and it is amazing. I buy a bottle of conditioner from the dollar store and I’m set with shaving cream for quite awhile! Additionally, I discovered a site called Dorco to order razors in bulk at an extremely discounted price. I love this site and use them anytime I need to buy razors. They have mens and women’s razors & razor sets and you can’t beat the price & the quality! Try the Dorco Frugal Gal’s pack and let me know what you think!
30. Use Zaycon Foods to Buy Meat – If you’ve never heard of Zaycon Foods, let me tell you about this amazing company. I’ve been using them for the past 4 years to buy my meat in bulk and purchasing this way is a great way to save! The owners of this company have taken the middle man out of the meat buying process and getting food from the farm right to consumers like you and me. They’ve been around since 2009 and the service has been so popular, it’s grown tremendously over the past few years. The way it works is you go online, set up an account, place your order and on the day of your Zaycon sales event, you drive to the location and pick up your food. It’s simple and easy!
Did you find this list helpful? What is one thing you will do today to make extra money by cutting back on your expenses?
In case you missed it, here’s part 5 of the series where I talk about making extra money with affiliate income.