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Achieving financial freedom should be a long-term ambition, but that’s not to say that you can’t make small improvements in a short period, too. There are things you can do that’ll nudge your bank balance in the right direction within just a few weeks. If you’re looking to quickly raise some money for a trip or purchase, or just want to know that financial security is possible, then take a look at our tips below.
Make a Promise
You can’t have everything in this world. We’re forever making choices that take us down one path, rather than another. If you’re going to give your finances a boost, then you’ll need to make a promise to yourself that that’s what you’re going to do. It’s easy to get sidetracked and blown off course if you approach your money — or anything, for the matter — with a “let’s just see how it goes approach.” If you make a vow that this is what you’re going to do no matter what happens, then you’ll be much more likely to stick to your plan.
Ask For Extra Hours
OK, now to the act of putting more money in your bank account. While you may not like the idea of putting in more hours at your job, it’s worth asking if there’s any overtime available, and working some longer shifts for a few weeks. If you need convincing, then use an overtime calculator to see how much more money you could have in your pay packet at the end of the month. You’ll likely find that it’s more than worth the minor inconvenience of working slightly more than usual, purely because overtime pay is more than your normal hourly pay.
Limit the Unnecessary Spends
A lot of people think that they don’t have much disposable income, but that’s not really true. They do, it’s just that they’re spending it on things that they really don’t need to buy. If you’re prone to treating yourself to an expensive takeaway coffee or lunch, then look at pausing this habit for a week or so. You’ll quickly find that you’ve effortlessly saved more money than you thought. Of course, you need to buy stuff, it’s not like you can just stop spending. But the unnecessary spends? They can go, and you won’t miss them. You can make excellent coffee and lunches at home anyway, often better than what you’d buy on the streets.
If you’re a homeowner, then you’ve probably got more money than you realize — it’s just that all that cash is tied up in those many unused goods you have lying around your property. There have been studies that showed that people have around $3000 worth of unused goods just sitting around their house. For the next weeks, why not go through your property, select any goods that you really don’t need anymore, and get selling? Depending on how much stuff you have, you could find that you’ve essentially doubled your income for the month, and haven’t lost anything in the process.
Renting Your Home
People’s need to be away from other people comes at a cost. If you can tolerate another human being (and really, who can’t?) then take a look at renting out a room in your home. There are two ways you can do this. The first is to list a room on Airbnb or a similar website — if you live somewhere that receives a lot of tourists, then even taking a few bookings in the month will move your income north. The other option is to rent it out on a longer-term basis, for three months or more. You may have to follow some rules, and you’ll also want to vet your potential housemate, but you’ll find that you can bring in plenty of cash this way.
One of the problems with work is that we have to spend so much time just getting there. Take a look at how much you spend on simply driving to and from your office, and you’ll see that it’s an eye-watering amount. So why not look at reducing this figure? If you split the journey with someone else in the office, then you’ll have effectively halved the amount that you spend in an instant. Add even more people, and the costs will come down even further.
Sometimes, it’s not that work is sapping all our money — it’s that we don’t have much work in the first place. If you find yourself in this position, either because you’re not getting as many hours as you’d like, or you don’t have a job, then take a look at getting a quick, paying gig. There are always jobs being posted on sites like Craigslist. Take a look at what’s available, and find something you can do. It probably won’t be a life-changing amount of money, but it’s still cash. Alternatively, you could post your own services on the site and around town. If you’ve got a skill like playing an instrument or speaking a foreign language, then other people will likely pay you to teach them how to do it too.
Cancel Those Monthly Payments
Just how much money are you paying out each month? Once people calculate their cable, phone, and other bills, they often find that they’re spending a small fortune on things that they don’t really care about one way or another. If you find yourself in this position, then cancel those payments. It might take effect until the following month, but that way you’ll be able to reap the benefits. Oh, but keep those charitable donations going — it’s always handy to have some good karma on your side.
Keep It Going
After you’ve spent a month saving and earning money, make sure you keep your newly formed habits going. You’ll have discovered that it’s not as difficult as you previously thought to nudge your finances in the right direction, so don’t fall back into your old ways of operating.