How do you Know Which you Should Focus on More, Finding ways to cut Back, or Finding ways to Make Money?
Given the high cost of living, there is a lot of pressure to make your money stretch as far as possible.
Looking for ways to reduce your expenses, spending time comparing prices, shopping around and being frugal is important.
So is finding ways to make money and increase your income.
How do you know which is more important and where to focus?
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Why Cut Expenses?
If you are spending more than you earn, you need to look at all the ways you can cut back.
It can take a little time if you do it properly by reviewing your bank statements, bills, receipts, all of it.
Often we think we are spending less than we really are, especially on things such as groceries, snacks and little things when out and about.
When you go over your finances thoroughly, you’ll probably find areas you can cut back in such as comparing insurance/phone/electricity and other bills as well.
Use my annual financial review as a guide on how to do this.
What if you Can’t cut Back?
There is a limit as to how much you can reduce your expenses by.
Once you have assessed all your spending, your bills and basic living expenses, it is time to focus more on a budget and look to increase your income.
In my view, you can only cut back so much but there are loads of ways you can make more money.
Why Have A Budget?
You can call it a spending plan if you prefer, but basically, you need to tell your money what to do.
Having all your income land in your bank account and then frantically paying bills as they come in will not see you achieve your financial goals.
A budget is a way of directing your money and ensuring you are successful.
A budget doesn’t need to be difficult, I have shared how to create and stick to a budget to make it easy for you.
It can be as simple as using percentages e.g. many recommend 60% for living expenses, 10% for savings, 10% to invest and 10% for you to do whatever you want with.
Or if you are paying off a debt you might want to do 60% living expenses, 30% debt and 10% do whatever you want.
How you set it up is your choice since you’re the one who needs to use it.
How to Cut Back on Expenses
Knowing where to cut back and what to do can be difficult if you’ve never really looked at your finances before.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed, take it a step at a time.
Review your expenses as mentioned above, compare your bills to see if you can get a better rate and look at each area of your spending, one at a time.
Here are a few to get you started.
Pay Off Debt
Read how this couple paid off $90,000 in 12 months, starting off unemployed.
And these 6 tips to easily reduce debt which includes tips to deal with debt collectors.
Read these 20+ ways to reduce the cost of groceries, along with these 13 tips to reduce the cost of meat and this list of ways to turn leftovers into something new to reduce waste.
Food is one of the easiest ways to save money but be sure to continue to eat as healthily as possible because your health matters.
Whether you rent or own, housing takes a significant chunk of the budget now.
Owning a car, using public transport and car share all cost money, so how can you reduce that?
23 ways to save money in 2023 has tips on everything in the budget.
30 days of money has things you can check or do every day to improve your finances too.
Making More Money
In my opinion, your finances need to be in order otherwise you will never earn enough.
Reduce expenses as much as you can, set up a budget then focus on ways to make more money.
I’ve done it this way because by having my budget sorted first I know how much more I need to make to achieve my goals.
Think about it, if you don’t know how much money you need each week to live, how can you know how much more you need to pay off your credit card, personal loan or save for a house?
Knowing how much you need gives you a goal and an amount to focus on.
How can you Make More Money?
We live in a time where making money in various ways on the side or from home has never been easier.
1. Online Surveys
Most readers who do them make between $2,000 and $5,000 a year doing online surveys.
How much you make will vary depending on where you live, your age and other variables companies are interested in.
My favourite one is Octopus Group, the highest paying online survey company in Australia.
Swagbucks is great because you can earn points called Swagbucks which you can convert to gift certificates or USD via PayPal in so many ways.
Watch videos, do surveys, use their search instead of Google, shop at stores and activate Swagbucks, participate in team challenges and do Swago.
All these things see you earn money quicker. Join Swagbucks for free here.
If you choose to do them, have a separate email address specifically for online survey sites.
2. Share Economy
Renting out your stuff or space is what the share economy is all about.
Airbnb, Uber Carshare and Spacer are just a few options.
With Airbnb, I made $1,300 in 5 days at Christmas, another $600 for a few days in August and I only rent my place when I go away.
The amount I make usually covers my holiday too.
For drivers who rent out their cars, you can make an average of $300 a month (more in busy areas).
If you want to drive, you can use Uber, Ola, Taxify and similar to drive people or Ubereats, Menulog, Doordash and similar to deliver food.
Spacer allows you to rent out your space and when I was living in Carlton I made $191 a month for no effort renting my car space.
Read this post about how to make money renting out your space.
Camplify allows you to rent out your camper van.
Look at the options available in your area and get creative.
3. Your own services e.g. writing, admin, cleaning
The options for selling things you can do are quite varied.
Check out how to set up a business for under $100 here.
There are so many options to make more money.
Find some you think you’ll like, give them a go and focus on the ones making you the most money!