Big steps? Baby steps? You’ve got extra cash lying around. Here’s how to find it.
Get ready for an advice column!
Really, like I’ve got all the answers? If I did, why would I be trying to find that extra $10,000 this year?
Well, we could ALL put that sort of money to work, right? RIGHT. Here, in the interest of finding money in the couch cushions, are some ideas.
Give up soda
Not only is it bad for you, it’s expensive.
Actually, let’s talk about which is more expensive – the cost of soda, or the cost of extra medical care. Ah, heck with it, you don’t want to be weighed down by either.
I still relish the look on the face from the guy at Subway when he asks if I want the combo with my $5 foot long. No, I’ll just take the sandwich.
(Fact: the margin on soda is huge.)
Don’t drink bottled water
Unless you’re in a foreign country and are trying to avoid water-borne illnesses, bottled water is the biggest financial racket in the history of the world.
Once again: “bottled water is the biggest financial racket in the history of the world.”
You can have fun with math here: my city, just north of Chicago, has fine tap water. It does all that filtration stuff you expect – and the cost is 7 gallons per penny.
Compare that to the $1.39 bottle you might get at the convenience store. Start calculating…if it’s a 16 ounce bottle…and there are 128 ounces in a gallon…and there are 7 gallons of tap water to a penny…and…
Okay, I’m not all that good with math, but you see the point.
Keep the change (in a piggy bank)
This rule is similar to the one about using just whole dollars, not cents, when you balance your checkbook. (If it’s $23.50, write down $24.00.)
But if you do pay cash and it’s $8.23 for that lunch and you hand them a $10, keep the dollar bill, but throw the $0.77 into a piggy bank. Or a jar. Or whatever.
Don’t just eat in – coffee in, smoothie in
The math on premium coffee is not in your favor.
We get our beans from Sam’s Club – the nearest Costco is a little too far away – and it’s about $15 for 2-1/2 pounds. (And that’s for the Fair Trade stuff.) At $2.50 for a regular coffee at Starbucks (give or take), your $15 gets you six cups of joe.
The math on premium smoothies is not in your favor, either.
I don’t even want to know what Jamba Juice is charging these days – I know that you can make enough smoothie for a family of five and your ingredients – TOTAL – might cost you $3.
Editor’s Note: I may or may not be addicted to both products mentioned above.
All right, this could be a post unto itself (NOTE TO SELF: write a post on bartering) – but there certainly has to be something you are good at or like to do that you can trade out with someone else. Doesn’t have to be huge, either: you can sew, someone else can change oil.
This can be creative, and you can think beyond just the typical. Need Legal Services? Offer to do some SEO Consulting for a lawyer friend – sometimes that random stuff like “link building” is as foreign to them as “living trust” is to you.
Use Cash Only
Can’t be done in every instance, but follow along for a second:
Let’s say you’re going to the grocery store and you just got paid. You know you need about $100 in groceries, but you brought your debit card (or, worse, your credit card). As you walk down the aisles, cost is, suddenly, not an issue. Random purchases are okay, since you just got paid. More Hamburger Helper! More Candy Bars! More Everything!
However, a quick trip to the bank machine and a withdrawal of $100 right before you go to the grocery store…now you’re quite a bit more prepared for your trip. Especially because you know it will be embarrassing to have to send items back because you can’t afford them.
SIDEBAR: We love Aldi for groceries. Here’s more from the New Frugality site.
Big steps AND baby steps…on your way to the extra 10K!