If you’re noticing your financial situation getting a little tighter, or you’re finding that you typically run out of money before all of your expenses are paid for the month, you need to take a close look at your budget.
Chances are good you can add extra money to your budget by simply finding areas to reduce spending and paying off some debts. You may also add income to your budget through a side job or freelance work. It’s even possible to save money on a low income.
Here are some tips for adding extra money to your budget:
Reduce Expenses and Spending
The easiest way to add extra money into your budget is to reduce your spending and unnecessary expenses. Before you say there is no room in your budget to reduce spending, take a closer look.
For three months, keep a notebook where you jot down every single expense, bill or coin spent (or start using a zero based budget to give each dollar in your budget a specific job). You will probably find areas where you spend more than you need to.
Some people find they’re buying coffee or lunch on the road every day – making your own really does save money even if it takes a few minutes to do so. Maybe you’ll realize you’re spending a fortune in cigarettes and alcohol – both areas that can be reduced or eliminated completely for big savings.
You might be able to make changes to your cellular phone plan or cable television subscription to reduce expenses, too.
Pay Down Debts
Another way to free up money each month is to pay off some of your debts. Most people will concentrate on the higher interest debts first to save money, but it’s also possible to use the Debt Snowball method to pay off debts with the smallest balances first in order to free up some more of your income each month. When you pay off debts, you have the money you were previously sending to those accounts as extra income.
If you receive unexpected money as gifts or for other reasons, you might consider using it to pay off debts. The less debt you have, the less money you have to send to accounts each month, which gives you more money in your monthly budget to work with.
Earn Extra Income
If things are still tight after reducing your expenses and spending, your next option to add money to your budget is to increase your income. Some people find getting a part time job in addition to their regular job helps make ends meet. Once you’ve paid off a few debts, you can probably go back to having just one job.
If you have talents and skills that can be sold on a freelance basis, you might find working on side jobs from home is a good way to earn extra income. Writing, graphic design, administrative work or web design are all skills that translate well into freelance businesses.
Used together, these tips can help you put money back into your budget and get you back on the right financial path. You may even find that you are able to save money when you don’t think you can.