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Tightening the Proverbial Belt

Are you experiencing financial hardships? Because even during a booming economy, you could potentially face economic difficulties. Through such trying times, it’s essential to stay positive and take full advantage of any opportunities to earn additional income or reduce your overall expenditures—particularly if you’re unemployed or facing a potential layoff. Hence, you may need to tighten your proverbial belt.

Moreover, even if you’re financially stable at the moment, it never hurts to prepare for leaner times. Putting cash away for a rainy day is just plain smart. For example, your savings account provides the luxury of extra time to search for a job while still paying your bills, should disaster strike; furthermore, you’ll have some resources available in case your automobile, refrigerator, or air conditioner break.

Here are ten ideas for earning extra cash:

1. Sell unnecessary items on Craigslist, eBay, or have a yard sale.

2. Get a part-time job (perhaps with the bonus of a store discount).

3. Rent out a spare room in your house or apartment (use extreme caution).

4. Start babysitting for a friend or neighbor.

5. Begin walking dogs or become a pet sitter.

6. Organize a car wash or bake sale with your church or child’s school (split the profits).

7. Sell your blood or plasma to the American Red Cross.

8. Deliver phone books or newspapers.

9. Sell cosmetics or Tupperware.

10. Mow the grass or perform other landscaping tasks for elderly individuals in your community.

The aforementioned suggestions will unquestionably earn you extra cash, but you can also look for opportunities to save money. After all, saving money is akin to making money. And if you don’t believe me, you might be convinced by the famous Benjamin Franklin: “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

So, here are ten easy ways to curtail your expenses:

1. Contact your cell phone provider and inquire about saving money on your monthly bill.

2. Remove superfluous features/channels from your cable or satellite service.

3. Instead of dining out, fix meals at home.

4. Have a grocery list and meal plan before you go shopping, thus limiting impulse purchases.

5. Cancel your magazine or newspaper subscriptions.

6. Limit your children to one extracurricular activity (basketball or soccer—make them choose).

7. Bring beverages and snacks along on trips, instead of stopping at the convenience store.

8. Prepare your taxes by yourself.

9. Decide on a monetary limit on birthday presents and Christmas gifts.

10. Create holiday cards instead of purchasing them.

Nobody has a crystal ball, and nobody can foretell the future. Nevertheless, you can prepare yourself for unfortunate circumstances. Sure, making some of these adjustments might seem problematic at first, but once you observe the results, your enthusiasm will strengthen.

Controlling your expenses and putting aside funds for emergency use is paramount, but it doesn’t have to be a horrible sacrifice. Just follow the advice outlined in this article, and get your entire household involved in the undertaking. You’ll sleep better at night knowing you’re doing something of great significance for you and your family.

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.