Do you have big dreams to go on travel next year? Maybe you want to buy a new car, put a down payment on a home, or enroll in some courses that will catapult your career.
All of these are worthy goals; the problem is finding the extra money to be able to pay for it. Families are often strapped for cash and are using every penny they earn to go towards their current needs for food, clothing, and shelter. So how do you plan for those big budget items when it feels like every dollar you make is spent before you get it in your hands?
Tip #1: Create a second or third stream of income.
If you only have one job, then you only have one stream of income. Creating a second stream of income can mean going to get a second job, or starting a small side business. Getting a second job doesn’t need to be as horrible as it may sound. A second job can mean working from home as a customer service agent, or doing things that you do anyway like working at the gym or your favorite grocery store. You can also start a small business using any of your talents and skills that can be monetized. Try writing resumes for other people, babysitting, or preparing healthy meals for busy families. There are literally thousands of ideas out there that can help you earn more money in a fairly short period of time.
Tip #2: Analyze your spending plan.
Rather than talk about restricting your spending, try to look at budgeting as prioritizing your spending. Where are you spending money that can be reverted to other areas? If you are spending a large portion of your budget on eating out or shoes you haven’t worn yet, think about how that money can move you towards your large spending goal. How much happier will you be once you have attained your goal? Once you focus your thoughts on household budgeting so you can save for big ticket items, you will be less interested in spending your money on frivolous items.
Tip #3: Create a savings account for your big budget purchase.
Mixing your general savings with the money you save for your big budget purchases can make you confused. If you have direct deposit, you may be able to allot a certain percentage of your paycheck to your savings account. Having this done automatically will keep you from forgetting to do it on your own.
Tip #4: Sell your valuables.
Selling your personal items may be more difficult for some than for others. Many of our personal items have such sentimental value that no amount of money can replace them. However, you have to decide if the stuff you have is adding to the quality of your life, or if it’s keeping you from the life you really want. If your answer is the latter, go through your home and start creating a pile of items that you are ready to let go. You can sell items like your old wedding dress, jewelry, gently used electronics, books, and a whole host of other objects in places like Ebay, CraigsList, or Amazon. You can also hold a garage sale on the weekend if you believe your home will receive enough foot traffic to make it worth it.
Tip #5: Downgrade your living expenses.
No one wants to have to move in with their parents. It can be embarrassing. However, the reality is that living with your parents or other relatives — temporarily — can help you to meet your big budget purchase goals a lot faster. If you don’t want to live with family, try bringing a roommate into your home or apartment to share part of the bills. Doing so will not only help you, but it can also help the person seeking housing as well.