It’s that time of the month again. For all who know what it's like living paycheck to paycheck: payday comes around, but before you even get a chance to see your money, all your bills are due.
Rent, utilities, phone, and credit card payments hit your account before you even have a chance to blink.
It seems like you’ll never be able to make enough money to catch up and build savings.
If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. In fact, 80% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The good news is that there are inventive new ways to cut costs and recoup some of your lost earnings.
Here are 5 easy steps you can take TODAY to make extra money and cut expenses.
When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? De-clutter your life and make some money in the process by selling some of your clothes online. Apps like Swaggle, ThredUp, and Poshmark have simplified the process of selling your clothes and accessories so you put in minimal effort and receive a quick payout.
2. Cancel subscriptions you don’t need.
That $14.99/month for Spotify, $11.99/month for Netflix, and $9.99/month or more for Amazon Prime sure adds up! Cutting some of your favorite subscription products may seem like a negligible amount of savings at first, but cutting even just one $9.99/month subscription can save you up to $120/year. Can you wait 2–3 extra days for a package if it saves you money?
3. Cut the expensive cable bill and switch to a streaming device.
70% of Americans say they pay too much for their cable subscriptions. By 2030, as many as 40 percent of Americans will have gotten rid of cable, in favor of streaming services like Hulu or Netflix. Is there anything you can’t do on a streaming site nowadays? If you’re willing to wait 24 hours to see your favorite show, you could cut approximately $30/month from your bill.
4. Use coupon apps to save
Make the most out of your grocery store trip by using a coupon app like Ibotta or Checkout 51. These two apps allow you to select coupons and then, once you buy the items, you can scan your receipt and receive cash back for those purchases. It takes almost no time at all and the apps can be used at any store where the receipt prints out a description.
5. Negotiate your bank fees and interest rates with the bank
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, there’s a good chance you may have missed a credit card payment, incurred late fees or paid overdraft or insufficient funds fees for not having enough money in your account.
What you may not know, is that many of these fees are negotiable.
With the right tactics, you can even convince the bank to REFUND you some of these fees and get your money back. Harvest is a web application that automates the negotiation of bank fees to give you the best chance of getting your money back. Just sign up, choose your bank, click “Start Refund”, and wait for the money to show back up in your account.
It will lower your anxiety and stress, and make you feel more confident. However, it takes practice and you need to be intentional about getting out of this vicious cycle. Control temptations along the way, and stay focused.