10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to Put Money in Your Pocket

Money can’t buy you happiness but it can give you the opportunity to make certain choices over others, creating a more peaceful and idyllic world for yourself. Most people would choose to have a little bit more money than they do now (okay, let’s face it, they would choose to have a lot more!) but they don’t know how to go about getting it. Below are 10 super easy things you can do right now to put money in your pocket, where it belongs.

  1. Go back to cash only. Credit and even debit cards make it easy to spend money on things we just don’t need. When you have cash in your wallet and you know that’s all you can spend for the day or week, you are less likely to spend it on frivolities. The physicality of seeing the money, retrieving it, and handing it over creates a sense of finality and helps you keep to a budget. Using credit and debit cards creates a financial fantasy of being able to spend more than you actually have.
  2. Renegotiate everyday bills. Are you certain you’re paying the lowest amount possible on things like internet and cable? What about your car insurance? It is commonplace for consumers to call and get the best price they possibly can for their cable and internet. Research auto insurance quotes online as well to make sure you are getting the most coverage for the best price available. 
  3. Get creative with food. Chances are good you have a lot of food in your pantry and freezer that just isn’t getting used. Take stock of what you already have before trekking to the store for more. Plan out your next week’s meals with these items and consider keeping a running tally of your food inventory so there is less food and money waste in the future.
  4. Take a spending break. Do you know what you spend the most money on from day to day, month to month? Check your credit card and bank statements to determine where your money is going. Then, choose to take a month hiatus from a category that hits you the hardest. It might be clothes shopping, fast food, drinking, smoking or even crafts that you aren’t using.
  5. Offer up your skills. Do you have marketable skills you just aren’t using? Maybe you’re good at computer repair, consulting or you’d like to work with the public. Consider freelancing via your own website or one of the many that pair freelancers with consumers. Uber, Instacart, dog walking, and Lyft are also easy ways to make productive use of your time and people skills.
  6. Sell your junk. As they say, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure! Before you toss your unwanted stuff, throw it on eBay and see if you get any bites. If you have a lot of items you’re selling, you could make a small bundle.
  7. Monetize your hobby. What do you do in your free time? If you’re into jewelry making, candle making or even genealogy, there are easy ways to make money at things you enjoy doing. Get started on Etsy or other selling websites, take some pictures, and sell your wares.
  8. Skip the salon. For some people, salon visits are a necessity. Getting hair and nails done may be directly related to their careers. Salespeople, celebrities, real estate agents, and news anchors may have a hard time skipping the salon. However, for everyone else, reconsider how necessary it is and skip a month or two during the year to save anywhere from $200-$400.
  9. Collect your spare change. If you’re like most people, you’ve got spare change coming out of your ears. There is some in the junk drawer, some in the car, and some on the nightstand. Gather it all and when you have enough, cash it in at the grocery store with Coinstar or roll it to turn it in at the bank. 
  10. Reduce energy costs. We don’t often think of how energy usage equates to spending money. Keeping lights on, washing clothes in hot water, running the dishwasher when it’s not full – all of these things and more waste energy and ultimately, your money. Think critically about your own energy usage and cut down on costs by:
  • Fixing leaky pipes
  • Installing dimmer switches
  • Changing to LED light bulbs
  • Taking shorter showers
  • Turning down the heat (or the AC up)
  • Setting a schedule for the thermostat

Your dream car or vacation doesn’t have to stay a dream. Even when your general income stays the same, there are ways you can pocket money and save toward the things you really want in life.