Struggling with debt and bills can often be a full-time job by itself. Many families struggle with making ends meet, even with a regular paycheck. What do you do when your wages don’t cover your bills – or leave nothing left over for emergencies and incidentals? How can you pay down your debt and still have some money left over? Here are a few tips to help you reduce your debts and make a little extra money.
The first step in boosting your income is finding out exactly where you stand. Get out your bank statements and the checkbook and determine how much money you have coming in and out of your account. Accounting for every bit of your cash flow is an important part of the process— many families have a number of small recurring expenses that can add up over time, so include everything. Once you have some hard numbers in front of you, you’ll be in a better position to determine how much more money you need to meet your financial requirements.
Clear Your Clutter
While pawning your goods might be seen by some as a sign of desperation, it can actually be very therapeutic and productive — and make you some extra cash at the same time. Take stock of your material possessions and get rid of everything you don’t need anymore — old books, CDs, DVDs, video games, even furniture and jewelry. If something is just taking up space and doesn’t have sentimental or practical value, consider listing it on eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, or just having a good old-fashioned yard sale.
Old electronic devices can also be a source of income. Many websites will trade old cell phones, tablets, laptops, video game systems, and other devices for cash. That old cell phone or computer could be money in the bank instead of collecting dust on a shelf.
Mystery Shopping and Other Side Jobs
While a second part-time or even full-time job is not a viable option for many busy families, there are ways to make a little extra money on the side without committing to the grueling schedule of multiple jobs. Being a mystery shopper or secret shopper, for instance, can be a lucrative part-time endeavor. Mystery shoppers are paid to “go undercover” at stores, markets, and retail outlets, sometimes to look for shoplifters or other criminal activity, sometimes to evaluate a company’s customer service and organization from the inside.
Other possible side jobs include taking online surveys (many survey companies pay cash for customer opinions), child care services, and more. The website Fiverr features thousands of people selling simple services like voice-over work, advertising services, and more, limited only by the seller’s inventiveness and imagination. Many Fiverr gigs involve only a few minutes of work for a small payment, making it a viable option for people looking to make cash on the side.
Wrap Your Car
Many companies are now paying to make motorists into moving advertisements. Chances are you’ve seen vehicles on the road bearing advertisements for food, beverages, wireless providers, or other consumer goods.
The owners of these cars are paid to have their cars “wrapped” in advertisements to act as a billboard for these companies. The promotions are temporary, and may require a waiting list, but if you’re on a long commute to work every day, why not get paid to drive?
Making extra money doesn’t have to be a struggle. With a little inventiveness and willingness to think creatively, you can turn your skills, your clutter, or even your car into money for paying down that troublesome debt and getting your life back on track.
About the author: Kirsten works for top money saving site vouchercloud. They offer customers methods to save money through their voucher deals such as Cafe Rouge Discounts for those seeking a cheap evening out. Kirsten loves anything to do with saving money and tackling debt. There is more pressure to survive in the current economic climate, and it seems everyone is feeling the pinch.