I love perusing Pinterest looking for nuggets of gold in the form of pins that boast new-and-improved ideas on how to pinch a penny until it screams.
Sometimes I find good stuff, most are simply repeats of what I already know. BUT, sometimes being reminded of the things “you already know” is a great way to light a fire under your tail so you actually DO said “tips and ideas.” But we all know life gets in the way and our income trickles away before we even have a chance to “save for a rainy day” or that nest egg you’ve been swearing we are going to “start soon.” Here are a handful of Ninja Tricks for Saving Money (Even when you Feel Like You Can’t).
Use “Found Money”- It’s the time of year where we are often blessed enough to get unexpected gifts of money in the form of bonuses, gifts from rellies and even winnings from contests. These “found money” opps are what I squirrel away to use as I need supplies, advertising or marketing expenses. Oh, if you are still lucky enough to get money in your birthday card from Gramma…tuck that away too 🙂
Sell So Much Stuff, The Kids Think They are Next– There is nothing wrong with downsizing. I read something once that stated the average family has $1500 worth of un-used and sellable items in their home. I think it’s more. I took some of my clothes into a consignment boutique and sold them. We had multiple garage sales, sold items on eBay, reduced monthly bills and got creative with gift buying. I’ve also had great luck with Facebook Garage Sale Groups for selling unwanted items from around the house. If you want my thoughts on clutter and to experience my Simplicity Project, check out this article that I wrote on Up North Parent.
Diversify Your Income Efforts– Multiple streams of income is a beautiful thing. Besides client work and freelance sales, I have a trickle of income coming in from other places. Fiverr is one of my favorite “honey holes” and Zazzle has been a source of income as well. I dabble in affiliate sales too, but I have to admit it’s hard to find a good one that pays out consistently. BUT, I am determined to find some! The nice thing about affiliate income is that it is considered “passive” income. Now, by passive I don’t mean all “chillax” and lazy, I mean income that comes to you that doesn’t actually require your time. I also want to expand my consulting offerings and was inspired by this amazing article from one of my mentors; Jeni at the BizMavens.
So, if you need some help on monetizing your blog, marketing your book, working from home or freelance writing…I’m your gal.
DIY When Ever Possible-I needed business cards not too long ago. I didn’t need many, just enough for an event. Typically business cards aren’t even in my wheelhouse since so much of the work I do is online as opposed to face-to-face. Not wanting to invest $20+ in something I may never use again, I dug around in my office products stash until I found a sample pack of some Avery business card blanks that I had gotten free at a conference once. Using this freebie, I printed off my own (they weren’t half bad either). There are many workarounds when it comes to fulfilling your business needs and don’t rule out trade or barter.
Dust off the Piggy Bank- Yes, piggy banks are for kids but I am, in fact, a big kid at heart…so THERE. My smiling pink piggy bank was picked up at a thrift shop for a buck and I have tried to be more diligent about “feeding” her every time I find loose change. Even nickles and dimes add up over time and its money we don’t miss if we tuck it away. I’ll bet, if you feed your piggy consistently, you will be shocked how fast the money total adds up!
Pay Yourself First: I about fell off my chair when I read that tactic in Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book…but he’s right. The “Pay Yourself First” method is a top-down approach and basically, that means, when the paycheck comes in, take some money from it and immediately tuck it away in a savings account or emergency fund. Now I don’t mean that you should cease paying your bills, obviously, that needs to still happen. What I am saying is, before anything else, tuck $20, $30, $50 into a special fund. Trust me, if you pay your bills and theirs still that $20, $30, $50 is still in your checkbook, your brain will think, “PARTY TIME!” and the money will be gone before you know it.
What are some of your favorite money-saving workarounds?