11 Guaranteed Ways To Fix Your Financial Situation That You Probably Aren't Willing To Consider
How many times have you said, “I’d give anything to fix my money situation”?
Would you really give anything? Do anything? Change anything?
Are you all in of it means keeping your dream alive?
That's a hard question to answer honestly.
It's when you decide that you are willing to consider any idea as long as it gets you closer to where you want to be that you open yourself up to the magic of breakthrough.
Here are some of those radical ideas that may seem extreme, but work in the end:
- Sell your car and ride the bus - If you could get rid of your car payment, your car insurance payment, your maintenance payment, and your gas payment, how much money would you save each month? Multiply that by 12. That’s how much money you could save in a year. Minus the $50 a month for a bus pass that you will have to pay. But that’s probably less than what you spend on gas. Sure, you will have to plan your route and be prepared for the weather -- but you will also have the peace of mind knowing you are saving tons of money. And you’ll have plenty of time to get work done while you’re not driving.
- Cut the data on your phone - Even if you use your phone for work, you don’t need to have all the bells and whistles and that expensive unlimited data plan. Downgrade your service. Change to a pay-as-you-go provider. Their rates are usually lower and if you decide you want to change your plan or your phone, you don’t have to buy out of it like contract carriers. Wifi is everywhere. Use it instead.
- Live in your car - You don’t actually have to live in your car -- although people have. People just like you, looking to save money, have lived in vans, lived in tents on a campground. Lived in the parking lot of their office. Lived in their office. The key is to downsize. Do you really need all the space you have now? Could you rent something smaller? Could you sell and buy something smaller? Do the math. See how much per year you would save if you cut back on the size of where you live.
- Get a roommate (or 4) - If you don’t want to give up your house or apartment, consider renting out the rooms and/or the couch. Permanently. Or do something temporary like Airbnb. Just keep in mind that extra people in your house means extra expenses (more water and electricity being used) so charge accordingly. And different personalities don’t always click together, so you may end up spending more time refereeing and you’ll wish you just went with number 3 and lived in your car in peace.
- Kill all the bundles - Most cable and internet providers offer you a bundle of cable, internet, and phone for one low price that slowly goes up every single month. Get rid of it all. Unless you work at home, you can use the internet at the library for free. Even if you only do it for a year, think how much you could save. And when the year is up, if you are still missing your favorite cable shows, you can always binge watch them after you get everything turned back on. Plus, do you even know the number to your home phone?
- Work for free - It seems counterintuitive, but that dream job you are dying for, the one you know would take you where you want to go and give you the life you want, but for some reason, they just won’t hire you -- tell them you will give them a week’s worth of your time. For free. Maybe even a month. Or a summer. And then wow the pants off them. After a week, they won’t want to let you go. Sometimes you have to gamble on yourself.
- Eliminate any new purchases - Unless your shoes have holes, you’ve used all the duct tape and your feet are still getting wet, stop buying things. Most of the time you shop because you want, not because you need. If you absolutely need something, buy it, otherwise, don't make any new purchases for an entire year. Consider yourself on a shopping freeze. Seriously, lock it down.
- Call everyone and ask for a discount - There are some things you just can’t get rid of right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a cheaper version or downgrade like you did with your internet, cable, and phone. Call every service provider you have and then call their competition. See who has the lowest prices and switch. Then call your credit card companies and ask them about lowering your interest rate. If you aren’t going to move out of your house and into your car, try refinancing and getting a lower rate on your home or car loan too. Call every place you can think of to get lower rates or better prices. It will be an afternoon well spent.
- Adopt extreme couponing and thrifting habits - Don’t get carried away buying things you absolutely don’t need (unless you are going to have a huge yard sale soon). But if you buy the things you actually use with coupons, you can stock up and save yourself a lot of money over time. And if there’s not a coupon for it and you need it, don’t buy it unless it’s on sale. Or buy the store brand cheaper version. Downgrade from always buying name brand food and clothes. Most times they are just as good and nobody but you knows where you got it. Shop at thrift stores if you must have something. And do your grocery shopping at stores like Aldi and other discount grocers.
- Stop eating out completely- And while you are cutting down on food purchases, stop eating out so much. If you go to a restaurant, you are paying for one soda what it would cost to buy a two liter at the grocery store. Maybe more. Same with getting drinks at the bar. By the time you’ve had two drinks, you could have stopped at the store and bought a whole bottle that will last you three times as long. Not to mention the tip you have to leave when dining in. You could likely shop for a week's worth of discount groceries with the money you would spend on one meal at a mediocre restaurant.
- Start using cash only - It’s easy to get carried away spending when you have that little piece of plastic in your wallet. Try giving yourself a set amount of cash each week for spending on food and other non-essential items and only spend what you’ve allowed yourself. When you physically hand over cash, you have a better sense of how much you have left and you are more likely to think about it a little harder when you can literally see yourself giving the money away.
Think about the things you really want. Think about the goals you really want to accomplish.
If you are truly dedicated to your cause, you won’t mind being uncomfortable.
The truth is that you don’t have to do extreme things forever.
Set a deadline. Make a plan. Stick to it. Look for progress.
You don’t win a race just by entering. You practice. You make mistakes. You see what works for you. And you keep trying.
If your goal really means something to you, you'll be willing to do whatever it takes.