What if you could escape your debt and start saving money with a simple four step plan? Continue reading to to learn how you can take control of your finances.
A few months ago, I was like so many… I had no savings in my account whatsoever. Then in a span of a week or so I followed just 4 steps and now I have over $1,200 in savings…
I didn’t change my job. And I definitely didn’t have time for a second job. Instead, I focused a few minutes of my day on changing my finances –making sure that I never put in more than 20 minutes of effort in a day.
I’m not here to preach, instead I’m hoping that by telling you how I changed my finances, I can help you break the paycheck to paycheck cycle…
Step 1: Open a new bank account and make an initial deposit
Why a new account? Momentum is so essential to this process…I’ve learned after so many failed attempts.
Having a separate account helps you track your positive progress and builds that crucial momentum.
Quick metaphor: when you’re on a diet, if you step on a scale and see that you’ve lost some weight, you feel reinvigorated and you keep pushing on right? I learned it’s the same thing with your finances.
So choose a new account—preferably one that’s harder for you to withdraw from, think an online bank—and then make an initial deposit.
I know, I know… it doesn’t seem worth it to deposit a small amount, but getting started is an extremely important first step! Just trust me.
Step 2: Analyze your bills – Here are the problem spots I found with my bills (hopefully these help you too):
1. Car Insurance – I saved $36 per month for just 10 minutes of work
Yes, I know you already know this… But, what you may not know is that car insurance companies make all of their money off of people that have been with them the longest. Don’t believe me? Have you had a clean driving record? Have your premiums stayed the same or even gone up over the past few years?
They think you won’t leave once you’re with them, so they charge whatever premium they want. Personally I used QuoteWizard to compare rates and switched from Geico to AllState, but insurers charge different premiums for every state, you can click here to compare the best offers in your state.
2. Credit Cards – I cut my interest payment by $80 per month for just 5 minutes of work
Here is the problem so many of us run into: We have a lot of credit card debt, but even when we make a payment, we just end up spending on the credit card again! This cycle is just never-ending.
The solution (or at least what worked for me) was to get a loan at a lower interest rate and pay off all of my credit card debt; and then cut up my credit cards. Now I’m just paying one monthly fee and it’s far lower my credit card bills of old – plus the cycle is now over and improving.
One catch: You need a good enough credit score (640+) to qualify for a good rate. If you’re not sure what your score is, you can check your credit score for free here.
Personally, I used LendingTree to get my loan. LendingTree isn’t a lender, it’s a site with a cool tool that lets you compare the best rates available so you don’t have to waste time checking a bunch of different sites.
I ended up with a loan from Sofi, but they may not be the best option for you. So that’s why I recommend using LendingTree .
3. Napkins, Utensils, Ketchup and other condiments — $20 per month for 10 seconds every time I ate fast food
This may seem a little unusual and may not apply to you, but for me I enjoy hot sauce, ketchup, and any other condiments especially on leftover food. So I’d ask the fast food employees for as much condiments as they could possible give me and I’d stock up. I never ransacked the place, but if the employee gave me 10 packets of ketchup, I’d thank him/her and walk out a happy guy! Yes, you are allowed to laugh at this, but $20 every month definitely adds up over time. If this doesn’t apply to you, think of something similar that would, maybe plastic spoons that you can reuse?
4. Final Saving Tip – Always ask (nicely) for fees to be waived, no matter what the fee is.
You’d be shocked… I had a late rent payment fee waived, a late water payment fee waived, and even a parking ticket waived by calling my city traffic department… yes I swear!
Once you’ve figured out how much you are saving from some of these new changes, set up an automatic transfer for that amount to your new savings account to make sure this new money actually gets put away.
Step 3: Create a new income stream of $30+ per month
The most important part here is that your quality of life and free time is minimally interrupted so that you don’t even notice. Sure you could get a side job, but who wants to work all day?
Try Inbox Dollars – $5 just for signing up, then ~$10 for every 30 minutes of video watching, surveys, etc.
This is my favorite survey site because they actually pay you via check. Not to mention, a lot of the things I did for the cash were actually pretty fun… And all of them can be done while catching up on your favorite TV show.
Need more ideas? Check the links below for even more ways to make extra money:
Step 4: Keep this going…
If you’ve done everything that I did, and didn’t spend the extra money, in a few months or so you should have saved and earned a total of at least $1,000. $1,000 is great, but what’s better? $5,000. You’re really not that far away if you can keep this going
There is no timeline here because ultimately the quicker you perform all of these, the more you’ll save this year. I don’t know about you, but everyday stressing about finances was a wasted day. I’m not rich and I’m not telling you that you will be. I’m just hoping that you can maybe go to the movies every once in a while, or take that special someone out to dinner.
One final thing I’ve learned: The biggest mistake I made for years was never really getting started. So don’t let that happen to you… Take the following steps listed below and get started today!