How to Get Money
Everyone is searching for how to get money. Even when we have money, we are looking for ways to make more. Keeping in mind the old, but very true adage—money does not buy happiness—solid financial footing does give us peace of mind. Peace of mind gives us better health. Done for the right reasons, the hunt for how to get money can be a very positive activity.
Reaching our Financial Goals
In today’s economic environment, the vast majority of Americans are barely able to meet their financial obligations. This includes those who have set realistic budgets and who try to be careful about spending. If you have debt, such as credit cards, student loans, automobile, and so forth, the amount of money coming in must be sufficient to cover these obligations, as well as to funnel money toward savings, healthcare, vacations, and your long-term goals. Not easy to do.
Stopping the Money Leaks
One way to get money going to your financial goals and not out the window is to identify all the places where your money is leaking out. This is similar to what we do in the winter when we conduct an energy audit. A financial audit will help us catch the leaks and get more money flowing toward achieving our financial goals.
Let’s look at some of those leaks.
A credit card comes in handy for those times when you don’t have cash and you have a great opportunity to make a purchase. You might do the math and conclude that you can afford that expensive item that is on sale, by paying only the minimum each month. Perhaps the minimum is as low as $50 dollars. Not so difficult, right? The problem with this rationale is that if you pay only the minimum, it will take you years to pay off just this one purchase. The interest you pay will mushroom your original purchase price. Ultimately you will be paying only the interest and doing nothing to bring down the balance. Here is an example of what happens. If you continue to use the credit card, increasing the balance, still paying only the minimum, you will find yourself falling into the black hole of chronic debt. This is not the way to get money going to your financial goals.
The way to get more money going to your financial goals is to prioritize. At the top of your list of priorities should be getting rid of credit card debt. If this task is overwhelming, apply for a credit card consolidation loan. All your credit card debt will be rolled into one automatically paid bill, getting you out of debt sooner. One leak fixed. More money going to your financial goals.
Out of Network ATMs
With the advancement of P2P payment apps, a lot of people are transferring money digitally. If you are utilizing Fintech—financial apps—that sync to your bank accounts, then you can pay your bills, move money to savings and investment accounts, and even pay your share of the restaurant tab.
But, there will still be times when you need cash in your hand. For this, everyone heads to the ATM. Many ATMs charge fees. Out-of-network ATMs charge even higher fees. If you use an out-of-network ATM, your bank will also charge a transaction fee. The two together add up to a major money leak leaving less money going to your financial goals. Make the extra effort to get to your own bank when you need cash.
The Way to Get Money is not by Paying Bank Fees
Many checking and saving accounts require a minimum balance. If you fall below the threshold, you will be charged a fee. Even your savings account may have a minimum balance requirement. You may not even know that you have fallen below the required minimum and could be paying fees every month without your knowledge. It is important to keep a careful eye on your accounts. While the monthly fee may not be so much, if you are paying it every month, it adds up. Definitely not the way to get money going to your financial goals.
Remember when our parents were always telling us to turn off the lights? It was for good reason. They didn’t want hard-earned money flowing to the utility companies.
- Do you leave all the lights on or run the AC all day and night, even when you are not home?
- use the highest setting on the dryer?
- have the TV playing 24 hours a day?
- never unplug a single electronic device, even when not in use?
If your answer is “Yes” to these questions, then congratulations you are the utility company’s dream customer!
Take advantage of smart home technology. You do not need to be a home owner to utilize these trending smart devices and apps. There is even a smart device to feed your cat! Smart home devices and apps can control the thermostat, turn on appliances in advance of your arrival, even begin your supper. If you prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, try to get in the habit of unplugging devices, removing appliances from electrical outlets when not in use, checking that lights, heaters or air conditioners are turned off when leaving the home and use solar as much as possible.
Sneaky Price Increases
Keep an eye on those automatically renewing services and accounts. For instance, your cable or internet bills tend to automatically roll over. It is not unusual for providers to tack on fees that were not part of the original package when you first subscribed. Many times cell phone and internet providers offer you great introductory packages. When the introductory period expires, they bump up the monthly fee to “market” rates. Keep track of what your service providers are doing. It might be time to switch carriers or go in and negotiate a better deal.
Minimize Food Waste to Get Money Going to your Financial Goals
This is a big one and we are all guilty on some level. First of all, restaurants—everything is oversized. How often do you find that you cannot finish the meal? Do you take it home or leave it on the table? Try sharing meals. It reduces the amount of food left to go to waste, and it makes the entire experience much more fun.
Spoiled food in the refrigerator—this is the next major source of money leakage. We discard a tremendous amount of food. According to a Business Insider article, Americans throw away billions of pounds of food every year, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars. Not only does this run counter to your goal to get money going to your financial goals, but this level of money could feed millions of people around the globe. What to do?
- Avoid binge grocery shopping
- Conduct an inventory before heading to the grocery store
- Check expiration dates
- Make sure you are going to eat all those delicious fruits and vegetables you are buying
- Plan meals in advance and capitalize on your food purchases so that as little as possible is wasted