4 Realistic Ways to Create Extra Money in Your Budget
It’s not an unusual feeling to look at the budget that you’ve created for yourself and feel as though you have little maneuverability in terms of how much you spend. While this is arguably the point of such a budget in the first place – to redirect the money that you might have spent on yourself in the short term towards your long-term savings – it can still be distressing, and you don’t want to make this period of saving unenjoyable by not being able to treat yourself at all.
Therefore, examining some realistic ways of giving yourself a bit of extra wiggle room might be what you need to still enjoy yourself while you save towards your goals.
The most obvious path forward for many will be one that involves them simply having more money to work with, to begin with. Unfortunately, this will often feel like an ‘easier said than done’ type of scenario, and so it’s up to you to find a method of practically implementing this into your life that makes sense to you. In a lot of instances, extra work will seem like the most logical way forward. However, if you’re already working, this might prove to be more difficult than it sounds, as forcing yourself to work as many hours of the day as possible might be something that ends up simply exhausting you and giving rise to the associated health problems that can come with that.
Therefore, if you are insistent on taking the route of taking on extra work, you might find that more scheduled hour jobs on top of what you’re already working on might not be the most beneficial approach. Instead, then, you could consider freelance work that allows you to customize your hours to a certain extent, giving you an amount of control over how you incorporate this work into your life. This might also be beneficial, as it can allow you to take work when the money is needed, instead of committing to it regularly.
The only question that remains is what kind of work you end up looking for. The option of shipping work, taking on the right loads for truckers as and when they suit you, might be the kind of work that suits you perfectly, but it might also be that you’re more interested in something like content writing or video editing that won’t take you out of the house if you’ve had other work to contend with that day already.
The other way to go about this is to look long and hard at the kind of spending that you already find yourself doing in your budget. Of course, you want to be generous with the amount that you allow yourself, as restricting yourself just to put more money into savings could be something that comes back to bite you. However, when it comes to something like food shopping, it’s a good idea to look at how you approach your grocery shopping, as there might be a more cost-efficient way of going about it. For example, if you find that you stick to the brand names only, then deviating from that and trialing a shopping trip where you buy the store-own alternatives instead might show you that it isn’t too big of a difference. This doesn’t have to be a blanket rule but applying it to areas where you’re using what you buy as ingredients might be best, as the small differences in quality might not be perceptible once they are a part of the grander meal that they end up making.
This isn’t all, though, and if you like going out with your friends for drinks, you might find that altering the activities to include a larger amount of time spent at each other’s homes – such as dinner parties or just social gatherings there with more people – can mean that you save money on alcohol due to how much cheaper it is to buy from shops, rather than pubs or bars. Again, this doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach but practicing this mentality can help you to save enough money here or there to accumulate into something significant.
This is an idea that you could take even further, however, and while the thought of quiet weekends after your long weeks of work might not seem especially fun when you could be out socializing, but if you’re serious about saving money, you might turn your attention to the appeal of quieter weekends.
This could be a good opportunity to expand your definition of ‘de-stressing’, and it can allow you to focus your attention on your hobbies that may have gone neglected over the years. Arts and crafts can be incredibly successful at allowing you an opportunity to relax, and combining this with gentle exercise in the form of exploratory natural walks or cycling, or something like yoga, can begin to benefit your mental health in a way that prepares you for the coming week. That being said, you can also use this time to simply relax, watch movies or play video games. You can even still socialize, so long as you work out ways to do so that don’t involve as much spending.
It might also be a good idea, before you get started with any of the other suggestions, to simply look at the wider picture of your spending habits and ask what you need to spend money on. Things like bills will likely have their own section within your budget and those are static, outside of things like using less water and electricity. However, perhaps there are subscriptions that you pay for monthly that you don’t even use or don’t use that much, where you could save money by simply removing them from your transactions. Alternatively, if you find that you regularly get food out for lunch or dinner, focusing on making your own meals at these times instead might add a bit to your weekly shop, but could help you to save substantial amounts of money in the long term.