With the economy back on track, most companies (about 98%) are planning to offer raises this year. That means most of us will see a little bump in pay. But unless you’re the CEO or a corporate bigwig, you won’t need to open your wallet much wider. So what can you do if you need a little more money in the bank every month? Give yourself a raise! Here’s how.
1. Stick to a Budget
You need to create a monthly budget. It lets you tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. But you have to stick to your budget! Creating one but not following it is like asking Siri how to get somewhere and ignoring the directions—you’ll never get to the destination. In this case, you won’t ever have more money in your pocket.
Related: If you need help creating a monthly budget, check out EveryDollar.
2. Compare Your Insurance Rates
At least once a year, you need to compare the costs you’re currently paying for car insurance, homeowners’ insurance and life insurance. Be sure to compare apples to apples. You may get a lower premium with a different company, but that lower cost may come with a higher deductible or less coverage.
3. Go Generic
You can give yourself a big raise by ditching name-brand products for their generic cousins. This is especially true of over-the-counter medications. Since the government regulates drugs, you can buy the generic version and pay less for them. You can also save big bucks by buying generic staple items like flour, sugar, napkins, paper plates, and plastic ware. Some people draw the line at toilet paper, so that choice is up to you!
4. Upgrade Your Hobby to a Side Business
Lots of businesses began in somebody’s garage or spare room. Photography, woodworking, jewelry making, graphic design; the possibilities are endless. You can sell on sites like Etsy, but don’t limit yourself. You can sell directly to customers at local shops, craft shows, or even conferences. You get to keep doing something you enjoy, and other people pay for it!
Related: Want to turn your hobbies into a source for extra income? Check out Business Boutique for practical information and tools to help you get started right away.
5. Switch to Streaming Services
Chromecast. Hulu. Sling TV. And those are just the major players. With most costing less than $10 a month, you can put some serious cash in your wallet by cutting cable or satellite and going with one of these services. You can watch what you want when you want, without the hassle of commercials (mostly). Keep in mind that you’ll need to buy the device (Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV) that gets those precious shows onto your TV, unless you have a smart TV.
6. Get a Roommate
If you’re single or newly single, you may have extra room for someone to rent from you. I get it. Sharing space with someone can seem scary and intrusive. Don’t let that fear rob you of the benefits of having a roommate. Not only is someone else looking out for you, but you may also develop a rich friendship! You don’t have to say yes to the first person who wants to be a roomie, so take your time and find the right person. The payoff could be worth the risk.
7. Cancel Auto-Renewals
One major way companies make money is through auto-renewals. You sign up for a subscription or membership, and the business automatically renews your participation every month or year unless you take the time and effort to cancel it. This can apply to anything from online magazines to fitness clubs. If you’re not using them consistently, cancel them!
You work hard for your money, so you don’t want to waste it on anything you can do without. With a little time and research, you can find areas where your money could be better spent—like on a nice meal out, paying down debt, or saving for your retirement dream!