There are sometimes when just a few extra bucks could really make your day, right? I know I get excited when I’m doing laundry and a few dollars are in the pocket of your pants… or even someone else’s pants… If you’re the one doing the laundry, you might as well keep it (and think of it as a tip for being so good at separating the darks from the whites)! If you want that feeling more often in your life, use some of these tips to help you accumulate a little extra “surprise” money, because that’s the best kind!
- Save up your coins!
If you fill up a standard water bottle with only dimes, it comes out to be around $100… so if that doesn’t make you want to check your car and couch cushions for spare change, then I don’t know what will! You can then cash this in at a CoinStar kiosk; however, they take a percentage of what you are cashing out. Your best best is probably going to be rolling them up and going to your bank to cash it in. Or see if a friend’s bank has a coin counter and see if they’d do it for you and give you the cash for it!
- Clean out your closet
Use the 90/90 rule and go through your closet… If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, take a piece of clothing out of your closet and look at it. Have you worn it in the past 90 days, and do you plan to wear/use it in the next 90 days? If the answer to both of those is “no”, then get rid of it. This helps you visualize the items that you are actually using, and puts in perspective the items that you have and love. The idea of this is also to encourage you to think twice when you buy new items. If you are going to wear/use it in the next 90 days, preferably more than once? Then sure, go ahead, but try to remove something that you currently have when you bring something in!
If you’re spending money on clothing because you “have nothing to wear”, have a friend come over and create outfits out of the pieces that you already own! They may see something in a completely new and different way, so that it feels like a brand new outfit that you can put into your circulating wardrobe. Take pictures of the outfits so that you don’t forget what pieces went with it, and invite multiple friends to form outfits so that you have more ideas to work with!
- Have a monthly savings goal
Make it a personal goal to stash away money not only in your savings, but in some kind of emergency fund. Technically, that’s what your savings is for, but it doesn’t hurt to have another place to save money. As long as you don’t touch it once it’s in there, then you’re okay. Try to make it a goal to save like $50-$100 a month… this stash can be like an “everyday emergency” type of fund. Let’s say that your friend is over and you owe them money for something, but you don’t have any cash on you at that very moment, this could be where this stash comes into play. Because you won’t use it on a particularly regular basis, you may forget that you even have it. But when you stumble across it again, it’ll be like finding free money!
- Get a side hustle, and save the extra cash
Whether it’s doing freelance work, working a part time job a few days a week, or babysitting, have some kind of side hustle, and stash away 80-90% of the money that you make from it. That 10-20% will be your “whatever” money, that you can use it how you please, and the rest will be saved. This is a great incentive to work more hours, earn more tips, etc. This way, the more you earn, the more “whatever” money you’ll have!
- Get rid of things that you don’t use
This isn’t like selling your clothes like earlier, this is the other non-material stuff that we spend money on, that we really shouldn’t sometimes. Getting coffee at a cafe instead of making it at home, paying for TV and movie streaming websites when you don’t use them that much, gym memberships you keep telling yourself you’ll eventually use, etc. These are the things that are sucking away at your bank account, because most (if not all) of them are on an auto-payment plan, and some don’t even tell you when they have taken money out of your account.
Go through your past month or two of spending, and see if there are any recurring purchases that you could live without. One of the best things that I ever did was get rid of my cable plan (around $80 a month), and just use Netflix and Hulu (altogether is about $20 a month). That gives me around $60 per month that’s not being wasted!
- Find something in town
Finding entertainment, like going to a movie, is now more expensive than ever before. So instead of spending an arm and a leg on tickets, soda, and popcorn, pick up a local newspaper and find out what’s going on in your community. Often enough there are free shows and events, coupons to activities around town, and sometimes even free food!
- Or make your own fun!
If you really want to watch a newer movie, make popcorn at home, and grab a movie from a Redbox kiosk. It’ll cost you about $5 total for the movie, a few bags of popcorn, and maybe a soda or two. If you really are on a tight budget, host a movie night! You provide the movie (~$2 from Redbox), and make it a bring-your-own-snack event! Friends will bring snacks, and you can snack on some stuff too, you are hosting after all!