Tuesday, September 25, 2012

4 Ways To Squeeze Extra Cash From Your Budget

Americans everywhere are living more frequently from paycheck to paycheck. With the economy still stagnant and job growth still anemic, finding that extra cash in your budget becomes is a difficult task.
If you are living hand-to-mouth, it's time to review your own household finances and bills to check your spending levels. Here are some ways that you can cut your overall budget and give yourself some breathing room each month.

Build a better budget:

According to money expert Dave Ramsey, a budget is the most important part of your financial picture and allows you to track where every single dollar will go. Lose track of your cash, Dave says, and you'll never be able to win financially. A good budget includes all of your income and a list of how you'll spend that income. Creating a plan and following it is the key to spotting where adjustments can be made that will help you to save.

Slash your bills:

Can you cut your electricity, gas or water bills by consuming less? Setting your thermostat a few degrees lower in winter or higher in summer can help you lower your bills. Double check your internet and cell phones and make sure you're not overpaying for technology in the home. Look at both your plan and usage -- you may be paying for features you don't need, so simple options may end up more cost effective.

Sell valuables for cash:

You have money sitting in your drawers! Books, movies, collectibles, coins and more can bring you extra needed cash without a lot of effort. Have you finished your childbearing? Consider selling that designer maternity wardrobe on Ebay. Have a stash of gold coins sitting in a drawer? You can use a service like US Money Reserve to assess and sell your hoard of coins. Ready to pass on your collection of Wizard of Oz books? You may be able to sell these individually online, or through an auction house. Even a garage sale can help turn your unwanted items into needed cash.

Buy on sale -- or secondhand:

Let someone else pay full price for an item, then scoop it up at a garage sale or online auction. Many household items are resold when they are still in perfectly good used condition. Need a new crockpot? Check online sales listings in your neighborhood, or check local garage sales and thrift stores.
Combine coupons with sales to maximize your savings when shopping for groceries and more. Spending less on groceries, toiletries and household items can help you save money each month.
Examine these five areas and you'll likely spot some ways to save each month and improve your financial health for good. What will you give up to improve your financial outlook?

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