How to Make $1000 Extra a Month: 75 Awesome Opportunities You Can Start Working on Today!

how to make $1,000 extra a month

How to Make $1,000 Extra a Month!

Are you looking for easy ways to make $1,000 extra a month? When you need extra money to supplement your household income, there are so many options available today! And the majority of them allow you to work from home if you would like to and choose your own hours so that you can work on your own schedule! That is so amazing! You will find dozens of ideas for how to make extra money is this article!

Whether you have lost your job, are attending school or are a parent looking for a part-time job, or are looking for a way to supplement your income with a second job, you can easily make $1,000 a month or more to augment your income by pursuing one of the ideas below!

In this article I discuss some of the best ways to make $1,000 extra a month!

 

Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article on how to make $1,000 extra a month later!

 

 

The beneifs of making $1,000 extra a month

What would your family be able to do with $1,000 extra a month? Could you use that money to help you get out of debt more quickly? Think of how quickly you would be able to build up your emergency fund and save up to pay cash for large purchases if you were able to find ways to make extra money! That $1,000 or more might also be the thing that will help your family finally be able to make ends meet or stop living paycheck to paycheck!

You could even use that money just to have as blow money, so that you could take vacations, splurge on dinners out, give to causes you care about, and more without pinching your budget!

There are so many ways that you can make an extra $1,000 a month or more! And many of them are really simple, many of them you can do at home, many of them you can do on a flexible schedule around school, another job, or your kids or other family obligations.

 

 

Where can you find opportunities to make $1,000 extra (or more) a month?

Many of the opportunities I will list below are great for those who want to be entrepreneurs and start a small business of their own, but you can also find opportunities for many of these jobs by checking out websites like indeed.com, monster.com, ziprecruter.com, and linkup.com,

Indeed.com is the one that I use the most (though I have used Monster as well). Another great place to find job opportunities is your local online classifieds and sites like Craigslist (just be careful of scams!).

So, like I said just above, you have to be careful of scams, but in years past I have found freelance editing and writing gigs through Craigslist, so it can be a good way to get the word out there that you are looking for work opportunities.

You can also post your gigs on websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com. I have used both Upwork and Fiverr to hire freelancers, and I have had overall good experiences with both. In the past Fiverr was initially a place to find gigs for a fairly small fee (originally, just $5), but now you can definitely post rates a lot higher than that.

All of these are great options when you are looking for legitimate ideas for how to make extra money!

 

 

How much do you need to invest in your business to make $1,000 a month?

Fortunately, for many of the jobs below, your initial investment can be very small! Many of them require very little equipment, and many of them require little to no training.

If you do not have much money at all to invest to start a business, that is OK! Many of the jobs below, like blogging, require very little money. For example, when I started my blog, I paid just $15 for my web domain (the website name) and less than $4 a month for the web hosting. The only equipment you need is a laptop and internet connection, but virtually everyone already has that.

Blogging is a great example of a job you can start with virtually no money, but there are many others, such as dog walking and pet sitting, baby sitting, house sitting, getting a job at a restaurant, working retail at the mall, and many, many other opportunities listed below.

Read on to learn more about the many job opportunities available today to make $1,000 or more a month, as your side hustle, part-time job, or even full-time job.

 

75 Jobs Where You Can Make $1,000 Extra a Month (or More!)

If you are looking to bring in part-time money to increase your household income or are looking for a second job to help make ends meet, these are great options! Many of these opportunities below also are great opportunities to make a full-time income, as well!

Read on to learn some of the very best ways that you can earn an extra $1,000 a month! 

 

1. Start a money-making blog.

I admit that I had to start with this idea for making an extra $1,000 a month because blogging is my favorite way to earn money from home! I love blogging (what I really mean to say is, I love, love, love blogging because it’s one of the best jobs ever! 🙂) because of the limitless earning potential and, even more, because I love to write and to share my thoughts about personal finance and help people win with their money!

And I love blogging because you totally work on your own schedule, from home or from anywhere you want! I started my blog a little over a year ago, and it can take some time before you are making a significant income from it. But for the last several months now I have made $1,500 to $2,000 a month consistently, and that is working part-time on top of my full-time editing job, while raising three young kiddos! 

If you think blogging might be a fun and rewarding job for you, read this article to learn how to create a profitable blog. You can also read about some amazing income reports of bloggers here. I personally know bloggers who make $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000 and more a month! It’s incredible! With blogging, the sky really is the limit as far as income potential.

There are several ways that you can earn income as a blogger, including the following: affiliate marketing, guest posts, advertising, subscription or membership fees, and selling products.

If you’re interested in creating a profitable blog, I recommend the Blog by Number course and ebook by Suzi Whitford. It’s the inexpensive (it costs less than $100) course that I took to get started as a newbie blogger. You can complete the course in less than three hours (but not all in one sitting, unless you want to! :)) and have an excellent introduction to how to start a blog and how to begin monetizing it in order to earn money.

 

Would Blogging Be a Good Fit for You?

Ae you looking for a possible change in career? Are you burned out or tired of the corporate grind or looking for a new (and awesome!) career path? Do you like to discover and try new things? Are you looking to learn and grow in new ways or looking for a new challenge?

Would you love to have more control over your earning potential and be able to make an incredible income? Do you enjoy writing or communicating with others? Have you ever thought about becoming a blogger to earn some extra income from home or even perhaps as a full-time, work-from-anywhere career? (I know bloggers who make between $10,000 and $100,000+ a month from their blogs.)

Would you like complete autonomy in your work and a more flexible work schedule? Do you long to work from home in order to be with your children or be able to help take care of your parents? Would you love to teach others about something you are completely passionate about? Do you enjoy helping others to make positive changes in their lives and really succeed? If so, then blogging could be a great career for you!

If you are interested in learning about making money as a blogger, read this article to find out how to start a profitable blog.

 

2. Do editing or proofreading.

If your day job lends itself to freelance work, then you can get additional experience and earn additional income from something you’ve already been trained to do. And also consider whether you have a hobby that you are good at that people are willing to pay for. Chances are, if you have a passion for something and you do it well, there are people who will pay for it!

One great option for freelance work is freelance writing and editing. I’m a full-time editor and I’ve been doing freelance writing and editing since before I graduated from college. In the first few years after I graduated from college and before we had children and while we were working to pay off a lot of debt, I was making close to $1,000 a month doing freelance work. Most of that work I was doing on the commuter bus (my daily commute was more than an hour each way) to and from my regular job, so it was really great to have something to be doing during that time that felt really productive.

In addition to freelance editing, you can also do freelance proofreading. If you enjoy reading and are a detail oriented, conscientious, and thorough person, proofreading could be a great option for you!

Sign up for this excellent, free 60-minute workshop by my friend Caitlyn Pyle from Proofread Anywhere to learn more about becoming a professional freelance proofreader. Discover how you can get started and begin earning money as a proofreader today!

Check out Upwork or indeed.com to see the many opportunities available. Turn your passion or hobby into extra income!

 

3. Do writing.

If you love to write, then there are so many freelance writing opportunities available these days! From writing ad copy to working in public affairs or being a communications specialist to being a blogger like I mentioned above to writing blog articles for others, you can definitely find something that you love!

Another great option is ghost writing articles or even books for others, and if you have a technical bent or background, technical writing can be a great way to earn money, as well. 

4. Become a virtual assistant (VA).

If you enjoy doing administrative work or helping to run social media setup and campaigns, for example, then being a virtual assistant (VA) may be the perfect opportunity for you. As a VA, you work remotely doing tasks such as online research, business writing, data entry, basic bookkeeping, creating or updating databases, preparing presentations, creating infographics, editing in PhotoShop, marketing, setting up or managing webinars or podcasts, and so on. To learn to be a virtual assistant, I recommend taking a course like 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, which has excellent reviews. Another good option is Introduction to Running a VA Business, available through Skillshare. And if you love Pinterest, the excellent course Become a Pinterest VA Today! by Kristin Larsen and Gina Horkey might be a great option for you.

  

5. Do graphic design.

If you have experience as a graphic designer or graphic artist and the necessary software, put your skills to use working for yourself as a freelancer or as a contract or off-site employee.

 

Check out these related articles:

11 Simple Steps to Start an Awesome Side Hustle
11 Best Ways to Increase Your Income
14 Must-Know Tips for How to Find a Job You Love
11 Amazing Benefits of Blogging
Why Blogging Is the Best Job Ever!

 

 

6. Be a virtual teacher.

If you have expertise in a particular topic and love to teach but don’t want to work in a traditional brick-and-mortar school or need more flexibility (so that you can teach as a second job, for example or teach around your schedule with your kids), look for opportunities to be a virtual teacher for an online school.

With online charter schools and completely online colleges and universities, opportunities are more available than they ever have been.

I have heard great things about VIPKid, where you teach English online to younger Chinese children. The pay is good, and you do not have to have prior teaching experience (but a bachelor’s degree is required). 

 

7. Tutor online.

Online tutoring is another option that can pay well, from $25 and up if you have the right skills and are in the right area. Share your expertise with others and get paid to do it!

Check out indeed.com, monster.com, upwork.com, or your favorite online job site for for current openings.

 

8. Be an audio transcriptionist.

As a transcriptionist, you type recorded meetings (such as conference or seminar sessions or workshops) and other audio material. If you are a fast and accurate typist, you can make good money with this career.

 

9. Be a translator.

Translators are in high demand for many languages, and skilled translators of these languages can charge great rates. Some of the most high-demand and highly compensated languages include Spanish, French, German, Arabic, and Russian. Check out Upwork and indeed.com for opportunities

 

10. Teach a foreign language.

 Another potential job, besides working as a translator, for those who speak another language is to teach that language to others. If you have this skill, teaching soming another language can be a fun and rewarding way to (virtually, or in person) meet other people and also keep your language skills sharp.

 

Check out these related articles:

11 Simple Steps to Start a Side Hustle
11 Best Ways to Increase Your Income
How to Quit a Job You Hate (to Find the One You’ll Love!)

 

11. Be a photographer.

This is another area where you can make good money as a skilled freelancer or off-site employee. Though this can be a more expensive career to get into because of the cost of the equipment, starting with entry-level or used equipment can help keep startup costs in check.

 

12. Work as an accountant or bookkeeper.

If you studied accounting, business management, finance or a related field, then this job of working to track and manage companies’ finances is a natural fit. Visit indeed.com or a similar site to find job postings in your area.

 

 

13. Work as a customer service representative or in a related job.

Some companies, such as JetBlue, have some of their employees work from home full-time. To find current job opportunities, check out my favorite job search site, indeed.com.

 

 

14. Do data entry.

If you have a good eye for detail and are a good typist, a data entry position (where you enter information, generally by using a computer, into a company’s data system) may be a good choice for you. Many job opportunities are available in this area, so check out indeed.com or your favorite job board site to see what positions are currently available.

 

15. Be a home daycare provider, babysitter, or nanny.

If you love children and love to spend time taking care of them, and if you have your own little ones that you want to be able to take care of at home as well, then doing daycare or being a nanny or babysitting in your home can work really well. There are generally state and local regulations that have to be followed depending on the number of children you want to care for, so be sure to do your research beforehand.

  

16. Clean houses.

You can make good money cleaning homes if you are efficient and know how to hustle. I know of people who charge $25 an hour and more to clean homes. You do not have to have much money to start this business and you do not have to have a degree, which makes this job a great option for virtually anyone who wants to earn some extra money or make a change in their career path.

 

17. Wash windows.

Window cleaners wash the outsides, and sometimes the insides, of commercial and residential buildings. The pay can be pretty good, ranging from $15 to $20 an hour or more, especially for really tall buildings. Of course with those tall buildings, having the right equipment to wash windows safely is key!

 

18. Be a hair stylist.

If you love talking to people and have the proper training and have adequate space to set up a salon in your home, being a work-from-home hair stylist could be a great opportunity for you. You can work around your own schedule, and you may even be able to work while your children are napping or playing.

 

 

19. Be a dog trainer.

People love their pets, and they are willing to pay good money to take care of and train them. My brother makes an amazing income as a professional (and award-winning) dog trainer. If you love working with dogs, you may want to obtain the training needed to be an effective dog trainer. It’s pretty demanding work, but it can also be very rewarding.

 

 

20. Be a pet groomer.

If you love animals, this can be another fun way to earn an extra $1,000 a month or more. You do need some basic equipment and supplies, but you do not have to run a pet salon where you rent out space in a building or lease a building space. You can work out of your home or even offer a mobile service that you run out of your van or minivan.

You will need to spend a little bit of money on equipment to be a pet groomer, such as buying shampoos and conditioners, scissors and shears, clippers, nail clippers, and bows and bandanas. But none of the supplies have to be overly expensive.

 

21. Walk dogs.

Walking dogs is an even easier way to earn $1,000 or more a month. You do not have to have any equipment at all, as virtually all pet owners will have leashes for their pets. And, as with many of the jobs listed in this article, you can set flexible hours that work with your schedule.

 

 

22. Offer pet sitting services.

If you love pets but are not in a position in your life where you want to make the long-term commitment of owning a pet yourself, then pet sitting is a great way to both earn extra income and get your furry fix, as well! A great place to find pet sitting opportunities are Rover, PetSitters.org, Fetch, and Care.com.

 

23. Scoop dog poop.

Though this is definitely not a glamorous job, there are people who are willing to pay to have others scoop their pet poop.

 

24. Do house sitting.

Another opportunity where you can make good money (or save good money) is to offer house sitting services. When I was in college my husband and I house sat for my grandparents, and we were able to have free rent for over a year because of it. Pretty sweet! If you are interested in this opportunity, you can check out housitter.com and trustedhousitters.com, for example.

 

 

25. Do yardwork or landscaping.

Doing yardwork or landscaping does require a little bit of equipment, but if you are a homeowner or rent a home, you likely already have much of this equipment. Of course you will need a lawn mower, as well as possibly an edger, pruning shears, shovels and rakes, and so on.

None of this equipment has to be too expensive, though, and if you enjoy working out in the sunshine rather than being inside a building, then this might be a great option for you!

 

26. Shovel snow.

If you are just looking for seasonal work during the winter months, or if you have a seasonal job already lined up for the summer and need something for the winter, then snow removal could be a great opportunity for you to make an extra $1,000 a month or more. You can get by with a snow shovel, but you will probably want to invest in a snow blower, as well. But other than that, the equipment needs are minimal.

 

27. Offer a moving service.

If you have a van or truck, or if you are willing to rent one, then offering a moving service is another option to make extra money every month. Many people do not want the hassle of of having to rent a moving truck that they load and drive themselves, so if you are able and willing to do the physical labor, you can make good money serving others in this way.

 

28. Do junk removal.

If you have a truck or van and are willing to do some physical labor and possibly get a little dirty, you can make good money hauling away trash. One of the benefits of this job, like many of the others in this list of ways to make an extra $1,000 a month, is that you can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.

 

29. Do computer tech work.

If you have the skills to repair computers, then this can be a great way to make a good part-time or full-time income. As a computer technician, you might service and repair hardware, install software, or service computer and related equipment. You can receive training and certifications quickly (such as Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate), so this is a great way to start earning a good income quickly. And the job growth for computer technicians is projected to be faster than average in the next 5+ years at least, as well.

 

30. Be a computer programmer.

Another job that can be performed online remotely is to work as a  computer programmer. If you enjoy coding, you can make good money (and often really good money) as a software engineer. Software engineers build software products, develop computer games, and run computer network systems.

 

31. Build websites.

Virtually every business now has a website, so if you know how to create websites, this is a great opportunity to help businesses (and to make a lot of money!). And the pay is good, as well. The average web developer makes $45,000 to $100,000 a year.

 

32. Design websites.

Related to building websites (and in some cases the same thing) is to design websites. Many people initially bootstrap their business by building their website themselves, and then when they are making a little bit of money they are able to go back and hire someone to redisgn it for them. If you enjoy being creative and working with people, then this can a great job for you!

 

33. Write resumes.

Writing resumes is a specialized area of copywriting. Because the resume is the first look an employer has into a job candidate’s skills, getting the resume right is important. And for that reason, many people in professional careers are willing to pay to have their resumes written or refined.

 

34. Manage vending machines.

Managing vending machines can be another great (largely passive) part-time or full-time income stream. Though you do have to take the time to restock the machines once or twice a week (or more, depending on how much traffic they get), this is a great way to make some mostly hands-off income. And you do not need any particular skills to run a vending machine business. My brother does this as a side hustle, and they are able to make a good side income from it.

 

35. Rent wedding furniture and decorations.

This business requires more up-front expenses to get started than many of the other opportunities listed here, but it is another good way to make an extra $1,o00 a month or more in income. And it is something that you could do primarily on weekends if you have a full-time job. But you will need to foot the initial cost of buying the furniture and decorations and you will need a truck or van to haul the furniture and decorations, so this is a business I would not recommend starting unless you have some money saved that you can put into buying the needed equipment.

 

36. Rent out your car, or rent out ad space on your car.

Another way to earn extra income as a side job from home is to rent out your car. Especially if you have a vehicle that doesn’t get used very much, this could be an option for putting it to good use through car-renting services such as Turo.

And if you don’t want to rent out your car but don’t mind turning your car into a portable billboard, you can use a service such as Carvertise to earn some extra cash.

 

37. Rent out space in your home.

If you have extra space in your home, you have a couple of great options for earning extra income.

Rent out spare bedrooms for guests to stay in. If you have one or more extra bedrooms in your home (or have a second or vacation home), renting them out on Airbnb, Booking.com, and similar sites can be a great way to earn extra income.

We’ve been using Airbnb for the last couple of years for virtually all of our travel accommodations (when we’re not camping), and they’re awesome. The hosts have been so great, and we’ve really felt welcomed and at home. And of course the savings can be substantial! Sign up for Airbnb here and receive $40 off your first stay with them! And I just have to include a shameless plug for my angel mother, who has been renting out spare rooms in their beautiful southern Utah home (not an affiliate link :D) for the last couple of years. If you’re in the area to play at Lake Powell or hike in one of the beautiful national parks or other scenic areas nearby and need a place to stay, look them up!

Rent out storage space. Referred to as the “Airbnb of storage,” places like Neighbor, Store with Me, and Store at My House can be another great way for you to earn extra income from your home. If you don’t want to have to worry about being a host for guests but have empty bedrooms in your home, you should look into this peer-to-peer storage option.

Get a roommate. You could also do a more long-term rental arrangement by getting roommates. Depending on where you live and the rental situation in your area, this might not earn you as much as renting your bedrooms out to Airbnb guests, but you might like the lower-maintenance, more passive income better. So why not get some help paying that rent or mortgage payment and potentially gain a close friend (or more than one) at the same time?

 

38. Work at a hotel.

There are many different jobs that you can do at a hotel, from the hotel manager to the housekeeping manager to the concierge to the front desk receptionist. Then there are also the general housekeeping staff, the maintenance crew, the night auditor, the sales manager, and more. Check sites like indeed.com, Monster, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, and SimplyHired for opportunities.

 

39. Drive for Uber or Lyft.

Driving for Uber or Lyft is another great gig when you want to set your own hours. This is a great way to be your own boss, meet lots of new people, and see new places.

 

40. Be a delivery driver.

There are many opportunities for being a delivery driver these days. You can drive for Amazon, DoorDash, Instacart, Shipt, Dominoes or Pizza Hut, and many, many small local businesses, including furniture and electronic stores, hospitals and medical facilities, restaurants, and more.

 

41. Detail cars.

If you love to make cars look nice and clean, then detailing cars is a great job option for you. Detailing cars includes washing and waxig the car, vacuuming, cleaning the windows, and washing and polishing interior surfaces.

42. Paint rooms or houses.

Painting the interior or exterior of homes can be a great job option, especially when the housing market is booming.

 

43. Be a substitute teacher.

If you love working with children or youth, being a substitute teacher can be a fun, flexible, and very rewarding job option.

44. Be a teachers assistant.

Being a teachers assistant is another great option for those who love to work with children.

45. Coach or referee sporting events.

If you are a sports enthusiast, why not make a little extra cash enjoying something that you love?

 

46. Work as a lifeguard.

Opportunities to work as a lifeguard are available at rec centers in cities throughout the country, at water parks and beaches during the warmer months, and sometimes at resorts or fun destinations like hot springs.

 

47. Sell handmade items on Etsy.

If you are crafty and can make beautiful handmade items, you can make a good living selling them on online stores like Etsy.  

48. Sell printables on Shopify or SendOwl.

Maybe sewing and crafting aren’t your thing, but maybe you can make beautiful printables that you could sell, instead. The great thing is that some design sites like Canva and PicMonkey offer either free or very inexpensive design platforms.

 

49. Write ebooks.

If you are an expert in or passionate and knowledgable about a subject, you can make money by self-publishing and selling ebooks, workbooks, planners, and the like. Again, tools like Canva and PicMonkey make doing the page layout affordable, or you can even create books in Word and convert them to PDF from there.

 

50. Do multiple smaller side hustles.

Another way to earn an extra $1,000 a month is to do multiple side hustles like those listed below. You might not be able to earn an extra $1,000 by doing any of these items only, but by combining them, the money can add up quickly and could definitely become $1,000 or more a month.

Take online surveys.

If you’re looking for ways to earn a little extra money online and also like to voice your opinion about products and services and potentially influence future products, you might want to try doing online surveys as a side hustle you can do from home. I’m a member of MySurvey, an online survey site where you can earn cash and gift cards for taking short surveys and doing product testing. InboxDollars is another good, reputable survey site. And I have heard good things about SurveyJunkie, as well. Other option that I have seen good review for are Prize Rebel and Vindale Research.

I have to admit, though, that even though I’ve done a few surveys, since there are ways that I can make more money for the time spent (like blogging), I decided pretty quickly to turn to other options.

However, if you like that kind of thing and can do it while you’re watching TV or something like that and you don’t want to spend the time finding ways to earn more income for the time spent, it could be a good option for you.

Swagbucks is another similar option. With Swagbucks, you earn gift cards or cash when you shop online, watch videos, answer surveys, search the web, and find great deals.

Again, as with taking online surveys, I have to give the caveat that you can make more money doing freelance work or doing one of the many other side hustles suggested above. However, if you like taking surveys and doing that kind of thing and you can do it while you’re doing something else such as watching TV and you don’t feel like trying the other options listed above (or you do it in addition to trying one or more of them), then it might be a good option for you.

 

Charge electric scooters.

If you city has the electric scooters that people can rent and ride around, then you can actually make money by gathering them up and recharging them overnight. You will need to check in your own city, but you can likely make $3 to $5 or more per scooter per night.

 

Donate plasma.

As a recent college graduate while we were working on getting out of a lot of debt, I would regularly donate plasma a couple of days a week. This is an easy way to make pretty good money; in our area you could make about $200 a month. You can watch a movie or listen to a podcast or do other things while you donate, too.

 

 Mystery shop.

I have never mystery shopped, but I have heard from others who have, and they say it can be pretty fun. But know that, as far as I understand, you will be paying the money up front to do the shopping, and then you are reimbursed when you are paid after the fact. So if you do not have the cash to spare to do the shopping, this probably is not the right opportunity for you. You can check out volition.com or jobslinger.com to find a list of opportunities. Individual mystery shopping companies with a good reputation (as of this writing) inclulde BestMark, SecondtoNone, and Market Force.

 

51. Be a personal trainer.

If you love physical fitness and love working one on one with other people and would enjoy helping them to reach their physical fitness goals, then working as a personal trainer could be a great opportunity for you. Most gyms likely will require you to have a certification to become a personal trainer, but many can be earned in just a few months.

 

52. Be a life coach.

If you love helping people and enjoy helping others to look at and work through challenges or obstacles, then being a life coach could be a great fit for you. Life coaches encourage and counsel clients on a variety of personal and professional matters. Life coaches help others work toward goals and make changes in their lives.

Similar to other coaching positions, you will also generally need a certificate to become a life coach, which you can obtain through organizations like the International Coach Federation. There are different levels of certification available. Depending on the certification program you choose, it could take from 16 to 100 hours or more to earn a certificate.

 

53. Be a health and wellness coach.

Health and wellness coaches work with people to help them make positive and lasting changes to their health. This might include helping them to eat better, exercise more, lose weight, develop a healthy mindset and habits, and more. Health and wellness coaches work side by side with their clients to help them achieve their goals.

 

54. Be a personal finance coach or counselor.

This is a role that is near and dear to my heart. 🙂 I very seriously considered becoming a personal finance coach at one point. Personal finance coaches help people to learn sound financial principles on topics like saving money, paying off debt, investing, and more. They teach clients how to manage their money well so that they can build wealth over time. Depending on your time frame, your interests, and the amount of money you want to spend, there are different certifications available that take varying amounts of time to complete.

 

55. Be a job coach. 

As a job coach, you help other people to find a career path that they will love and excel at. Depending on your interests, becoming a job coach may require certification or a license. For example, if you want to work as a job coach at a school, you will have to complete requirements determined by the state where you live.

 

56. Do maintenance work.

If you have a knack for fixing things, then doing maintenance work could be a great fit for you. Depending on your interests, you could work for yourself and do repair jobs in people’s homes, or you might work for one or more companies and do repair work at office buildings or apartment complexes.

  

57. Be a car mechanic.

Another good option if you are mechanically inclined is to work as a car mechanic. There are classes you can take at school to earn certifications, or you could learn on the job or from working on your own vehicles (and I have heard YouTube is a great resource!). You could work for a shop, set up your own shop (though there are of course a lot of costs that would go along with doing so), or have people bring their vehicles to your home if you have a way to do your work there.

 

58. Do catering.

If you enjoying cooking or baking (or both!), catering may be a fun option for you. If you are just getting started and do not have a ton of money, you can work out of your home (as long as you meet local requirements for doing so with food handler’s permits and so forth), or you could get hired working for someone else. If you want to start your own catering business, you will need money for a vehicle, the supplies, and more, so this is another opportunity where it is best to have money saved up beforehand before starting your business.

 

 

59. Sell baked goods.

If you enjoy baking and do not want to have a full-fledged catering business or bakery, you could make baked goods and sell them to local stores, or you could sell them from your home (as long as you met local requrements for preparing food and such as mentioned above, of course).

If you enjoy making birthday cakes and wedding cakes and have an eye for good design, then this could be a fun way to make good money selling baked items, for example.

 

60. Be a personal chef.

Another option if you enjoy cooking is to work as a personal chef. Personal chefs are responsible for planning, purchasing ingredients for, preparing, and cleaning up after meals for their clients. They have to consider the food preferences and dietary needs of their clients.

Depending on the opportunities you pursue you may not need a special certification, but degrees, certifications, and apprenticeships in culinary arts are available. You can also get experience by working at restaurants or in similar work.

61. Get a job at the mall.

If you enjoy working in retail and meeting a variety of people every day, then you might enjoy getting a job at the mall. Many shops do offer employee discounts, so if there is a store that you really love, then this might be a good option for you.

 

62. Get a job at your favorite restaruant.

Similarly, many restaurants offer their employees a discount, and some even let you take leftover food home after your shift at the end of the day. So if there is a restaurant that you love, then this might be a good opportunity for you. And many restaurants hire frequently, so if there aren’t opportunities immediately available, there likely will be within a few months, so check back.

 

63. Get a job doing fast food.

Working fast food is a common first job. It can be a fun way to make friends and earn money. And it is almost like a rite of passage into adulthood! 🙂

 

64. Drive an ice cream truck or other food truck.

If you enjoy driving, another option for making money is to drive an ice cream truck.

And if you enjoy cooking (and are good at it) and want to own your own gig, then driving a food truck might be a good option for you. For this one, though, you have to have (or purchase) a truck, get licensing from the city, and meet other requirements. I would not pursue this opportunity unless you have the cash up front to fund it and get it going.

 

 

65. Get a job at your favorite store or business.

If there is a store or business that you just love because of what they sell or how they run their business, consider applying for a position with them. If you love shopping there, you may love working there, as well, and you might really enjoy some of the potential employee perks, like discounts or even free merchandise or products.

66. Be a search engine optimization (SEO) evaluator.

 A search engine evaluator is someone who reviews search engine results to determine if they are relevant to a particular search term that a person types into a search engine. You can read this article about how to become a search engine evaluator to find out more.

 

67. Do consulting.

If you work or worked in a job that lends itself to doing so, becoming a consultant or coach in the same field is an excellent fit and can be very lucrative. It’s another great possibility for a side job you can do from home. Put all of that experience and knowledge you gained to good use! Or turn one of your hobbies or passions into a side job by offering consulting related to that topic. Check out indeed.com for opportunities.

 

68. Work as a social media manager.

Working as a social media manager could be another great option for one of the best jobs for stay-at-home moms. If you are good at social media, this could be the perfect job for you. As a social media manager, you manage social media accounts for one or more clients. You might publish (and even write) content for various social media platforms, as well as work in other ways (such as through advertising) to increase social media reach and followers. Check out indeed.com and Upwork for opportunities.

 

69. Be a virtual job recruiter.

Virtual job recruiters work remotely online to find and screen job applicants and perform job candidate interviews in order to help companies find the best new hires. They often post jobs, review resumes, negotiate salaries, check references and do background checks, and do other related tasks. If you have a background in human resource or business, you may want to explore this career.

 

70. Be a custodian.

Working as a custodian may be a great option for you if you need (or want) a job where you work in the evenings, where you do not have to work with a lot of people, where you might be able to have a somewhat flexible schedule where you can come and go when you need to, or where you just really enjoy helping to keep things clean and orderly.

 

71. Be a vlogger.

If you love to be in front of a camera, consider becoming a vlogger. This is not something you will generally make money at right away, but if you stick with it and consistently make good helpful or educational or entertaining content, you can make really good money with it as you build up a following.

 

72. Be a podcaster.

Similarly, you can make great money as a podcaster if you would rather use an audio platform rather than video. Podcasting is another one where you probably will not make a ton of money at the beginning, but your income can grow substantially as you build up a base of loyal listeners and as you work with brands in sponsorship and other advertising opportunities. Doing a podcast can also be a good way to help build brand awareness for a company or blog or the like that you already have.

 

73. Do illustration.

If you love to draw and are good at it, you can make good money as an illustrator for books or movie production or the like. Most illustrators do have a degree or certification.

 

74. Do videography.

If you would rather be behind the camera than in front of it, videography might be a fun career path for you. You can make a good living recording documentaries, trainings, commercials, short films, seminars and workshops, weddings, birthday parties, sports events, and similar events.

75. Buy and resell stuff.

A great way to make some quick cash, where you can make good money especially if you have a good eye for deals, is to buy and resell stuff. You can even start with much of your own stuff around the house that you no longer use!

Some great places where you can buy and sell stuff online include the following (and of course there are many others, as well):

  • Local online classifieds
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Facebook Market
  • Etsy

 

 

Conclusion

As you can see, the opportunities for making an extra $1,000 a month are extensive (and I really probably just scratched the surface here!).

There has likely never been a time when there have been so many great options for being able to earn extra income. So try one of these jobs or side hustles today to help you reach your financial dreams, such as paying off your debt, saving an emergency fund, or beginning to invest for retirement.

For more information related to finding side hustles or side jobs you can do from home, check out these articles on the best online jobs, the best ways to increase your income, and the best work-from-home jobs. And for a very informative and entertaining podcast on this topic, I recommend Nick Roper’s Side Hustle Nation.

 

What opportunities have you pursued to make an extra $1,000 a month? What would you recommend that others to to make $1,000 extra a month to help make ends meet or as they work to reach their financial goals? I would love to hear your ideas, so leave a comment below and let me know!

  

Would Blogging Be a Good Fit for You?

Are you looking for a possible change in career? Are you burned out or tired of the corporate grind or looking for a new (and awesome!) career path? Do you like to discover and try new things? Are you looking to learn and grow in new ways or looking for a new challenge?

Would you love to have more control over your earning potential and be able to make an incredible income? Do you enjoy writing or communicating with others? Have you ever thought about becoming a blogger to earn some extra income from home or even perhaps as a full-time, work-from-anywhere career? (I know bloggers who make between $10,000 and $100,000+ a month from their blogs.)

Would you like complete autonomy in your work and a more flexible work schedule? Do you long to work from home in order to be with your children or be able to help take care of your parents? Would you love to teach others about something you are completely passionate about? Do you enjoy helping others to make positive changes in their lives and really succeed? If so, then blogging could be a great career for you!

If you are interested in learning about making money as a blogger, read this article to find out how to start a profitable blog.

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

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Not Enough Money: How to Budget when You Can’t Pay All Your Bills

not enough money

 

Not Enough Money

It is scary when you are in a position where you feel you have not enough money. I have been in that situation before, with a small income and a lot of debt, and it is stressful. It is uncomfortable. It is not a good place to be. And it is no way to live.

If you are in a position where you do not have enough money and you cannot pay all of your bills, then this article will help you know what to do to manage your current financial situation and budget your money as best you can.

These 11 tips will help you to make decisions about your money and get your financial feet back under you so that you can manage your bills and get back to a better financial situation fast! 

To learn how to make a budget so you can manage your money well, also read this complete Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting!

Tip: Pin the image above so that you can easily refer to this article about what to do when there is not enough money later.

 

 

Not Enough Money: 11 Must-Know Tips when You Can’t Pay All of Your Bills

Not having enough money and not being able to pay all of your bills can be terrifying. When you’re in the situation and have to make tough choices about what to pay and what not to, it’s hard to know where to start or what to do to get back control of your money.

But even if you’ve hit rock bottom financially, you can dig yourself out of this mess! Where you are today does not define who you are or even how you are with money. With patience and dedicated effort, your whole financial world can be drastically different if you’ll just systematically follow the steps below in order to improve your financial situation.

 

1. Get a clear picture of all of the money you owe and when each bill is due.

When you feel that there is not enough money to pay all of your bills, it is crucial to figure out where things really stand financially.

No matter how bad you fear the reality of your financial situation might be, decide to just own the mess from today on, and start to dig into the numbers. Not knowing the full extent of the problem won’t make it go away, so determine to roll up your sleeves and just deal with the numbers, no matter how bad they might be.

Sit down, with your spouse if you’re married, and go through you bills to determine what bills need to be paid and when. If you have old, bad debt that you haven’t been paying on, include that at the bottom of the list. We’ll deal with it too—eventually.

Plan to spend 30 to 60 minutes to figure out how much money you owe and to whom. Make a list with all of this information. Then take a deep breath. You may have just finished the hardest part, so things can start to get better from here.

 

2. Figure out (or estimate) your monthly income.

Next, figure out your total monthly income, or estimate an average monthly income if you have a variable income.

If  you don’t know your monthly income, spend a few minutes to figure it out. Look at your pay statements, for both you and your spouse if applicable, and add up the total. Be sure to include income from sources such as side hustles or freelance jobs, child support, and so on.

 

3. Create a prioritized spending plan or budget when there is not enough money.

The next thing to do when you are in a situation where there is not enough money is to create a modified spending plan or budget.

Once you have a rough idea of your income, start getting a rough idea of your expenses, as well. And then create a prioritized spending plan, which is just a slightly different type of budget where you list the most important items you spend money on down to the least important items, and you pay the most important items first.

Once you know how much you owe each month and when and how much you bring in each month, you can create a plan to pay your bills. If you’re not living already on a written financial game plan, called a budget or spending plan, start doing it now. I walk you through exactly how to create a monthly budget here.

I know it might seem hopeless or pointless to have a budget when you can’t make financial ends meet right now, but you’ve got to start from somewhere, and that somewhere is a written budget. When creating that budget (you can download a simple prioritized budget here or create a budget on your computer with a program like Excel), I recommend you list your expenses in this order:

  • Pay your tithing or give to charity first. If you are a person of faith in God or a higher power, then pay your tithing first. I have seen the hand of God bless my life so abundantly when I have put my faith to the test and paid my tithing even when I was completely freaked out about being able to pay all of our bills because of a big pile of debt.

    But my loving Father has never let me down, and I promise that He won’t let you down, either. The Lord has promised, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). Put God to the test, and He will bless you both temporally and spiritually in amazing ways. He has done so for us, and I know He will for you too if you will put your trust in Him.

  • Cover your food expenses next. Your most important expense (after tithing) is food. List that next in your budget, and take care of food before anything else. That being said, there’s a good chance you can drastically reduce your food spending. I teach you how to slash your food budget here.

    A few of my favorite ways to save money on food are to follow a meal plan, to shop at discount food stores, to shop the sales, to reduce your number of grocery shopping trips, to buy less meat and less expensive meat (we eat a lot of chicken 😊), and to buy produce only in season. You can also reduce your food spending by using money-saving apps like Ibotta, Ebates, Walmart Savings Catcher, and Checkout 51.

  • Pay your transportation costs third. Then, because you probably need your vehicle to get to work, pay your transportation costs next (gas, insurance, and car payment(s), if applicable). Again, cover only necessary spending here. Save money on gas. Don’t drive more than you need to. See if you can lower your insurance premium. If you have a car you rarely drive, now might be the time to sell it. And if you are in the rare situation where you don’t actually need your car to get to work, then move this step to come after paying your utilities. Find more than 30 ideas for how to save money on transportation-related costs here.
  • Then make your house payment or rent. If you recognize that you’re spending too much money on housing (more than 25 percent of your take-home pay, including subtracting tithing or charitable giving if that’s a substantial amount, for your mortgage and about 30 to 35 percent for rent), see what you can do to reduce your spending in this area. If you own a home, you might be able to refinance your loan for a lower interest rate (but don’t extend the term of the loan!).

    Or you might be able to take in a roommate or two for a time. Or rent out some rooms on Airbnb or com. If you rent and your lease is up soon, look for a cheaper place. In extreme cases, you may need to sell your home and rent or buy a cheaper one, or you could look into moving in with family. Check out this article for more than 30 ideas on how to slash your housing costs.

  • Next, cover your utilities. Make sure you pay your utility bills so that you can keep your lights and water and furnace on. But do what you can to reduce your utility expenses, as well. Turn off the air conditioner, open some windows, and turn on a fan. Turn down the furnace, put on a sweater, and grab a blanket. These two things can save you over a $100 a month depending on the time of year. Find ideas for how to save money on winter utility costs here and ideas for how to save money on summer utility costs here.

 

Check out these related articles:
Complete Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting
Must-Know Tips to Rock Your First Budget!
Budgeting fail? Try This Simple Alternative to Budgeting
13 Surefire Steps to Help You Stick to Your Budget
9 Must-Know Tips to Help You Finally Start Saving!

 

 

4. Next, look at your prioritized budget or spending plan, and pay your other expenses in order of most important to least important.

Now, take a breather. You probably have enough money in your budget to pay those first five things listed above, so now you can relax just a little bit, knowing that if nothing else, your food and housing and transportation costs are covered. You’re not going to lose your home or your car. After you’ve met these most basic needs mentioned above, look at reducing your spending in the following areas:

  • Purchase only (truly) needed clothing. You probably have enough clothing in your closet to last a long time, so go on a clothes-buying moratorium. If you do need to buy clothing, you can find ways to save money on buying clothes here.
  • Buy only necessary home furnishings and appliances. Unless you have something essential break or get ruined, don’t spend any money on this category until you can pay all of your bills, you have an emergency fund, and your finances are in better shape. If something does break, look at getting it repaired rather than replaced, or buy a used replacement rather than new.
  • Stop going out to eat and getting takeout. If you’re like the average American household, you spent over $3,000 last year on eating out and takeout! To me, that feels like an astronomical amount. We spend only about $300 a year on restaurant food, which I know seems crazy to some, but we don’t feel deprived at all, and it helps us accomplish our financial priorities and goals.

    If you turn eating out back into the rare treat that it used to be (see if you can reduce restaurant and even fast-food eating to once a month or less), your current and perhaps especially your future financial self with thank you! While you’re working to be able to pay all of your bills, cut eating out from your budget completely.

  • Reduce your internet and cell phone bills if you can. If you can’t pay even a small amount in this budget category without being  pinched, consider cutting either your internet or cell phone service for now, or both. Or look at at least reducing your cell phone and internet bills to help make ends meet.

    If you’re paying a lot for internet (more than about $40 per month), look at less-expensive options. You can go to the library and many other places for free internet.

    And even though cell phones are extremely convenient, they are not a necessity (even if they sometimes feel like it).

    For example, with an awesome service like ObiTalk, you can have a super cheap home phone option, and when you’re out and about, you’ll almost always be surrounded by plenty of people who have cell phones. We’ve been using ObiTalk for over three years now, and I’m so glad we made this switch.

    With ObiTalk you pay a one-time fee of $50 or less for the Obi device to connect to your internet, and then you use your phone over the internet. No monthly or yearly fees, and their phone service has been completely reliable. If you can get rid of even one basic cell phone line and instead get ObiTalk, you’ll probably save a minimum of $200 a year, and depending on how much you’re spending on your cell phone line or if you still have a landline, you could save quite a bit more than that.

    Especially if you’re going to need some time to fix your financial situation, then look into ways to save money on your cell phones. You can get rid of your smartphones and go back to a basic cell phone (my husband has a very basic cell phone), or you can switch to a cheaper smartphone plan. Republic Wireless or Mint Mobile are excellent options for a cheap smartphone plan.

    I’ve used Republic Wireless for the past two years, and I love them. I pay on average about $13 a month, though I am a very light data user; I’ve always used less (far less) than the 512 MB my plan gives me. But I can do this easily because, except for when I’m driving or in the car, I’m almost always in an area with free Wi-Fi service (at home, work, church, and almost everywhere else), and I bet you are, too!

    But if you want a cheap unlimited data plan, Mint Mobile offers one for less than $20 a month. If I get to the point where I want to use more data or if my husband’s basic cell phone plan gets much more expensive, we will definitely consider switching to Mint Mobile.

    Also, if there is not enough money to make ends meet, look seriously at cutting the kids’ cell phones plans altogether if they have them; the kids can share a phone with you or your spouse in the few cases when they really might need one (but generally they’ll be with friends or a teacher or other adult who will have a cell phone).

    *UPDATE*: As of September 2018, we’ve switched to Xfinity Mobile! If you’re in an area with Xfinity high-speed internet and mobile, you’ve got to check them out! We’re paying an introductory price of $40 per month for our internet for the first year (same price as the much slower internet that we used to have from a different provider), and the cell phone plan is potentially virtually free. (After this year our monthly internet bill will be $65, but you can bet that I’m going to call before the year is up to see if we can lower that—but even if we can’t, I think it will still be worth the cost, because of the virtually free cell phone service!)

    Since we’re such light data users (especially given the fact that Xfinity Mobile has free hotspots it seems almost everywhere), we pay only about $3 a month for taxes and fees for each line. (That’s the price if you use less than 100 MB of data per month, which we do; then it’s $12 per GB per month, or $45 per month for unlimited data.) It’s such an awesome deal!

    And Xfinity Mobile has the same coverage as Verizon, which reportedly has the best cell phone coverage in the U.S. You do need to sign up for Xfinity internet in order to use Xfinity Mobile, at least initially. You can then drop the internet service if you want, but then you’ll pay an extra $10 per month per line for the mobile service. (That’s still very reasonable, though!) And when we signed up they had $300 and $150 rebates available on their phones (depending on the phone you bought)—so my phone cost only $40 (including taxes) after the rebate! And it’s a great phone. Interested in signing up? Use this referral code to receive a sign-up reward of up to $100: 1RQ4SP

  • Pay only the minimums on your credit card bills. If you can’t pay all of your bills, there’s a good chance you’ve been getting harassing calls from your credit card company. See if you can work out a deal with them to reduce your minimum payment. If you can’t, pay what you can when you can, and then don’t worry about it anymore. You can clean that up later when you’re in a stronger financial position.

    Remember this: no matter how frequently they call or how belligerent they might get, do not get pressured to pay your credit card bills when you have other bills you can’t pay. The only power they have is the power of intimidation, but don’t let yourself be intimidated. Yes, you owe the money, and yes, you need to pay them. But only when you reasonably can.

    And if that means that you don’t pay them for a few months or even several months while you get your finances in order, so be it. You can work out a repayment plan later, and if you have to negotiate to have them write off some of the bill so that you can right your financial ship, you can do that too.

  • Stop retirement contributions and other investing. Until you can balance your budget and have an adequate emergency fund of at least three to six months’ worth of expenses, stop contributing to your retirement accounts and other investment accounts. Believe me—I want you to save as much toward retirement as you possibly can and to build long-term wealth through additional investing, but first you need to get back on firm financial footing. Learn how to create an emergency fund here.
  • Consider temporarily cutting music lessons and sports teams and so on. You might need to temporarily cancel financial commitments for the kids, such as music lessons and sports teams.
  • Cut out all money spent on recreation, vacations, gifts, and so forth (or cut out as much as possible) until you can comfortably pay all of your bills again. If you have the wedding or birthday of a loved one coming up, buy a card and write a heartfelt note. Explain that you’re in a difficult financial situation if you want to. But don’t feel pressured to spend money you don’t have.

    And even when you can pay all of your bills, determine if you might need to continue to spend less in this area than you were previously so that you can put more money toward long-term financial goals such as building an emergency fund, saving for retirement and kids’ college, or purchasing a (new-to-you) home or a rental property. (If you’re like most people, it probably is a good idea for you to spend less in these areas to fund other crucial long-term financial goals.)

At whatever point that you run out of money as you work your way down your prioritized spending plan, then you simply don’t pay any of the bills or expenses beyond that point until you receive your next paycheck. In the meantime, continue to work to reduce your spending and increase your income.

 

Budgeting Tip: When you are new to budgeting, I recommend that you use a simple paper and pencil to write out all the numbers. Once you get the hang of budgeting and have done it for a few months, go ahead and switch to a digital system. Or if you really can’t stand paper and you prefer to do everything electronically, you can build a budget in Excel or use a program such as You Need a Budget (YNAB.com). It’s a great, user-friendly budgeting tool with a lot of awesome features.

 

 

5. Address the underlying financial issue or issues.

Take a hard look at your financial situation, and be really honest with yourself. What is it that is making it so that you can’t pay all of your bills? Is it a one-time, temporary setback such as the loss of a job, a large but one-time medical bill, a divorce, or similar situation?

Or is it an income problem? Do you need to get additional schooling or training to be able to get a higher-paying job? Do you need to update outdated skills to make yourself more marketable and move up in your career? Do you need to look at better-paying jobs in your career field? Learn more about increasing your income here.

Or is it something deeper than that? Are you living a lifestyle that you simply can’t afford, and the numbers are finally forcing you to acknowledge that? Do you have a problem overspending or constantly living paycheck to paycheck? Whatever the reason for the gap between your income and expenses, the following steps give ideas for some things you can do to make things right.

 

6. Differentiate honestly between wants and needs.

When you’re struggling to pay your bills, appropriately and honestly distinguishing between wants and needs is crucial. If you have a hard time telling yourself no, then work first on being honest with yourself about what is truly a need versus what is a want. A need is something that you literally cannot live without—it’s not just a matter of convenience.

Transportation may be a need, but a car is not. Housing is generally a need, but your particular home or apartment is not. Basic clothes are a need, but having 20 (or 40) outfits or having designer clothes or shoes is not. Having running water and power is a need; having high-speed internet (unless it’s a requirement because you work from home) is not.

 

7. Negotiate with your creditors to lower your bills and potentially even forgive some of your debt.

If you have to go for a few months without being able to pay all of your bills, call your creditors (especially those that you aren’t able to pay) and see if you can work out a plan to pay a reduced amount toward your debt in exchange for them writing off the rest of the loan. The longer you have gone without being able to pay your bills, the more likely creditors will be to accept such an offer.

Just remember to get everything that they agree to in writing, and don’t give them access to your checking account—they might empty it! Instead, use a money order or cashiers check if needed to pay these creditors.

 

8. Make a plan to further decrease your spending when there is not enough money.

Once you’ve honestly distinguished between needs and wants, reevaluate your budget, and find additional areas where you can reduce your spending (<<click the link for 21 great ideas on how to spend less). If you are still not able to pay all of your bills after cutting all unnecessary expenses, look (again) at ways to increase your income, both short term and long term (see the next step and this article on ways to make more money).

After you are able to pay all of your bills again, start putting something each month toward savings, even if you start small.

 

9. Make a plan to increase your income.

In addition to decreasing your spending when you do not have enough money to meet your needs, it is also important to look at increasing your income.

The awesome thing about looking to increase your income is that the possibilities for doing so are virtually endless! And truthfully, even though decreasing your spending to the point where you live within your means (spend less than you earn) will always trump increasing your income—because you can always outspend your income, no matter how high you get it—finding ways to increase your income has overall greater potential to change your life because of the limitless possibilities.

There’s only so far you can cut your spending, but there is no cap on how much you can grow your income. That’s why, even if you are able to pay all of your bills by reducing your spending, you should still always be working actively to increase your income.

Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Always be learning and growing and increasing your value and marketability in the workforce. Keep up with trends in your career field, and not only don’t let yourself become obsolete, but try to stay on the cutting edge of what’s going on so you can command top dollar and help to make yourself invaluable.
  • Look seriously at starting a side hustle, getting a second job or taking on freelance work, or starting your own business. Check out this article that has 19 ideas for side hustles you can do from home. And learn how to start a side hustle here.
    If you like to write and would love to help other people and work on your own schedule, consider starting a blog.
    Or if you enjoy reading, consider being a professional proofreader. I have been doing freelance editing and proofreading (and writing) since before I graduated from college, and it is a fun, rewarding way to earn extra money.
  • Ask for a raise or promotion. It took me a long time to figure this out (maybe largely because my first manager was very on top of this kind of thing and actively sought promotions for high performers), but generally speaking, the only person that’s really going to be worried about your advancement in your career is you. So you need to be continually actively working to advance in your career if you don’t want your salary to stagnate. I discuss the steps to take to get a raise or promotion in another article, but here’s a summary:
    • Be prepared by doing your research. Before you ask for a raise or promotion, you need to be prepared for the discussion. Do your research to find out if your salary is on par for your area, career field, and amount of education and experience.
    • List your accomplishments and the reasons you feel you deserve a raise or promotion.
    • Make sure to show how you have helped your company make money or reduce costs.
    • Choose the right time to make your request. Before you request a raise, be sure you’re aware of the current climate. Have you had layoffs recently? Or have you been able to hire more people? Is upper management working to cut expenses, or is HR spending pretty freely? If there are signs that times are tight, be patient. You’re more likely to have success if you wait till the situation improves.

 Find more ideas for ways to increase your income here.

 

 

10. Set up an emergency fund so that you can cover larger unexpected expenses in the future.

If you want to be able to have lasting financial well-being and avoid being back in the situation where you can’t pay all of your bills, then having a three- to six-month emergency fund is an essential part of your financial plan.

Your emergency fund should be in a separate savings account (and maybe even a different bank or credit union) than your normal checking account so that it’s not too easy to get your hands on. We’ve had our emergency fund with Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct, when we first set up our account) for almost 15 years now.

And though I’m not a fan generally of big banks, Capital One has been great. I love them because we can transfer money easily online between our checking account and our savings accounts—yes, accounts. I know this might sound crazy, but we have more than 10 different savings accounts for our various savings goals.

Not to mention the fact that their savings rates are way better than even our local credit union, and their customer service has been excellent. I’ve only needed to call them a few times (always for some minor thing I did wrong—oops!—like paying someone twice on accident through bill pay), but they’ve always been very professional and competent and solved the problem within a couple of minutes (no sitting on hold forever).

Learn how to build an emergency fund here.

 

11. Start saving for irregular but expected expenses so that they don’t become an emergency.

Once you have a fully funded emergency fund, begin saving for other irregular but expected larger expenses. This includes saving for car maintenance and replacement, house maintenance and repairs, replacing of furniture, repair or replacement of appliances and electronics, and even gift giving for things such as Christmas, weddings, and birthdays.

As I mention just above, we’ve found our various savings accounts with Capital One 360 to be an excellent place to save for these expenses. But any bank where you can open multiple savings accounts and you get a pretty good rate will work

Learn how to save for large purchases and expenses here.

Want even more budgeting inspiration? Find more information about how to succeed at budgeting here.

 

Conclusion

I know how stressful it is when you feel that there is not enough money to pay all your bills. It’s an awful place to be. But where you are today is not where you will be in the future. You can do this; you can! You can improve your financial situation by taking simple, continual steps in the right direction. You can turn things around.

And I’m here to help. Your whole financial world can be completely different in as little as a few months if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and follow the steps outlined above.

 

Ready to roll up your sleeves and win at budgeting? Find information on how to stick to your budget here. And you can find the complete  Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting here.

What questions do you have about how to pay your bills when there is not enough money? What ideas have you tried in the past? What are your biggest budgeting challenges or hurdles? Leave a comment below and let me know! Or leave a comment in the Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group. I would love to help!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

Cut Your Budget: 5 Ways to Drastically Cut Your Monthly Expenses

cut budget

 

How to Cut Your Budget

Would you like to know how to cut your budget drastically to save money?

Learn 5 simple ideas for how to cut budget expenses in order to pay off debt or start to save! With these 5 easy tips, you can save $500 to $1,000 or more every month!

 

Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article on how to cut a budget later!

 

    Tired of tiny interest rates on your savings?

    Are you tired of tiny interest rates? Do you want a solid bank with a long history (one that has been around for over 100 years) who is focused on their customers and not just their bottom line?

    Then you should check out CIT Bank. We love our CIT Bank savings account, which offers the highest savings rate that we know of. With the CIT Bank Savings Builder, you can earn up to 1.75% on your savings account (which is really good in today’s market)!

    And right now you can get up to $300 when you open a Savings Builder account! Click here to learn more and open your savings account today!

    5 Simple Steps to Cut Budget Expenses

    If you are looking for ways to cut your budget, then this article is for you!

    There are many, many things you can do to cut budget costs each month, but these are 5 of the easiest and best ways for a family or individual to save more money. Follow these simple tips  to easily save $500 or more each month!

     

    1. Cut your food budget.

    One of the very best tips for how to save money from your budget is to reduce the amount you spend each month on groceries and eating out.

    The average American family spends close to $800 a month on food. But you really can spend significantly less than that, especially if you nix eating out so much.

    If you will cut $100 to $200 from your grocery budget for the month and $100 from your restaurant budget, you will have $200 to $300 (or more!) to go toward reaching your awesome financial goals!

    Here are my two best money-saving hacks to help you get the most bang for your grocery-spending buck:

    • First, make a plan. As with anything, you are more likely to succeed at saving money on your groceries when you start with a great plan! Get this awesome free weekly meal planning worksheet to get organized and plan your week’s worth of meals to help you save a ton of money on your groceries! As part of the meal planner worksheets you’ll get helpful meal planning tips and a place for writing alternative meal options for when things don’t go according to your original plan (because life happens!).
      • Second, shop with a grocery list and use a grocery price comparison sheet. Make a list, check it twice, and then don’t deviate from it! 😊
        Use this awesome, super handy grocery list and price comparison cheat sheet to help you spot great deals and pass over items that are overpriced.

      And here are some of my other favorite ways to save money on groceries:

      • Use the food you already have. Clear out your fridge, cupboards, freezer, and pantry. There’s a good chance you have a week’s worth or more of food in your home, and using it up periodically is a good idea to make sure nothing goes bad. (But if you find things that have expired, don’t automatically toss them out. The dates are just guidelines, and you can eat most things months past the best by date.)
      • Shop at discount grocery stores if you have them in your area. We regularly shop at one in our area, and the savings can be amazing. Read this article about discount grocery stores to learn more.
      • Cut down on the sweets, snacks, juice, beer, and so on. You can save a ton of money by just sticking to the main food groups. Leave the rest of the junk (food) on the grocery store shelf.
      • Plan to have a few meatless meals each week. Meat is one of the most expensive food items, so by omitting meat from your meals you can save a ton of money. Consider going meatless for a few dinner meals a week, or even plan a whole week or two week’s worth of meatless meals if you want to save even more money.
      • Buy only items that are in season. Blueberries may sound divine in January, but pass them up for fruits, vegetables, and other items that are in season.
      • Buy what’s on sale. Check the week’s grocery ads, and then plan that week’s meals around that.
      • Be OK with unconventional dinner and other meals sometimes. If you really want to save more money, give yourself permission to plan super simple meals sometimes like cereal with milk, egg omelets, waffles, fried eggs with toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fried eggs with rice, chicken with rice, spaghetti, and so on.

      Want more ideas for how to save on your grocery shopping? Read this article for more than 70 suggestions for how to slash your grocery bill without needing to use coupons!

      By using many of the tips included in the article linked to just above, we are able to keep our grocery budget to $300 or less a month for our family of five.

      And dont forget to save money on eating out! The best way to save money on eating out is to eat out less! 🙂 But there are lots of other ways that you can save money, as well. Find 19 ideas to save money when eating out here.

      Savings = $200-$300+

       

      2. Spend less on entertainment to cut budget expenses and save more money.

      Saving money on entertainment is another great way to cut your budget.

      The average family in the U.S. spends close to $300 a month on entertainment. So here, too, you can save a ton of money and cut your monthly budget substantially if you will reduce your monthly entertainment spending.

      My favorite money-saving hack to spend less on entertainment (and the area where we save the most money) is to save on vacations and traveling! For that, I love to travel with Airbnb. If you have not tried them yet, you need to!

      We saved about half the price of a hotel just on our last vacation alone by using Airbnb for our accommodations. And we stayed in a three-bedroom home in a beautiful gated community with a pool and hot tub (which we had to ourselves most of the time), a playground, and more!

      You can sign up to become a member of Airbnb here and save $40 on your first stay!

      To save even more money on entertainment, also try spending less money on the following things (or even give some of them up completely, if you really want to save money!):

      • Paying for cable or satellite. You could easily save $60 to $100 a month (or more!) by doing that alone
      • Paying for expensive smartphone data plans; learn about awesome, inexpensive smartphone data plan options here (including the plan we use; we spend $18 per month total for smartphones for me and my husband!).
      • Going to the movies.
      • Going to music concerts.
      • Going to sports events.
      • Video gaming.
      • Purchasing gadgets (electronic devices).
      • Paying for subscriptions to magazines and other paid TV services (Netflix, Sling, and so on—videos from the library are free!)
      • Paying for memberships to the gym, rec center, museums or zoos, and the like.
      • Participating in recreational activities like skiing, bowling, miniature golf, playing arcades, and so on.
      • Going on vacation. In addition to saving money with Airbnb, you can save a ton of money by doing staycations.
      • Christmas shopping.
      • Your personal monthly spending money (some people call it fun money or blow money).

      And just because you decide to spend less money on or even give up some paid activities completely, that doesn’t mean you have to give up fun! Check out this article with 90+ ideas for fun, free activities you can do with the kids!

      Savings = $200+

       

      Check out these related articles:

      12 Best Tips to Save Money on Entertainment
      151 Easy Ways to Save Money: Your Ultimate Guide to Saving Money!
      5 Super Simple Steps to Save $1,000 for a Debt-Free Christmas
      11 Ways to Save Big on Your Christmas Shopping
      4 Powerful Principles of Gratitude to Change Your Financial Life
      Contentment: 9 Powerful Principles That Will Help You Save More Money and Reach Financial Success

       

      3. Trim your transportation costs to cut your budget.

      Another great tip for how to cut your budget is to reduce your transportation expenses. Especially since you’ll be cutting back on (paid) entertainment and shopping (you will, right? :)), you can find ways to save money on transportation as well.

      My favorite hack for saving money on transportation is to own a cheaper, paid-for car.

      If you have car loans (and statistically, you do ☹), consider selling the car and buying a less expensive car for cash. The average car payment in America is over $400 a month, so if you will get rid of your car payments, you will be well on your way to saving $500 or more per monthjust by doing that alone!

      You can literally become a millionaire simply by deciding to live your life without car payments! (So please give it a try—the financial benefits are amazing! 😊 Learn how to buy a car for cash.)

      Here are some awesome additional ideas for ways to reduce your transportation costs (they really will save you tons of money if you will put them into practice, especially the first one!):

      • Enjoy staying home rather than spending money going places for entertainment. Pick up reading, playing family games, doing crafts, watching (free) movies, and doing other activities at home to save money on transportation costs.
      • If weather allows, ride a bike or walk to your destinations when possible.
      • Drive less. Combine errands and find other ways to drive less.
      • Carpool to work and school, or take the bus.
      • Telecommute!
      • Drive the speed limit. 😊
      • Use apps like GasBuddy to save money when purchasing fuel.
      • Look around for a cheaper mechanic. Shop around when you need car repairs so that you know you are getting the best deal for the work needed.
      • Save money on auto parts by shopping at places like RockAuto (which truly has amazing prices!). If you possibly can, buy the car part yourself, even if you have a friend, family member, or trusted mechanic do the actual labor. You will save a ton of money that way! In my experience (and I have looked into this in virtually all of the auto mechanic shops in my area), the markup on car parts, even by reputable auto mechanic shops (unfortunately), is huge!

      Looking for more inspiration for ways to save money on transportation costs? You can find here more than 30 ideas for how to save on transportation costs.

      Savings = $50-$200+

       

      Pro tip:  If you would like to earn a better rate on your savings, check out CIT Bank. I love our CIT Bank savings account, which offers the highest savings rate that I know of. With the CIT Bank Savings Builder, you can earn up to 1.75% on your savings account (which is really good in today’s market)! Click here to learn more and open your savings account.

       

      4. Spend less on housing and related expenses (like utilities) to cut budget costs.

      Another idea for how to cut a budget is to reduce your housing expenses.

      For most families, housing is their largest expense. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that you can do to save money on housing, even if you own your home and so your mortgage is fixed.

      My favorite hack for saving money on housing is to rent out your spare bedrooms on sites like Airbnb and Booking.com. If you are able to do this, you could earn well over the cost of your monthly mortgage or rent payment. And you can meet some amazing people in the process.

      Pro tip: If you haven’t used Airbnb yet to save money when you travel, you should! They are a great way to save money on your accommodations away from home! Sign up for a free Airbnb account today, and get up to $55 off your first stay!

      To save even more money on housing expenses, look at these options:

      • Rent a cheaper place.
      • Consider moving in with family or friends.
      • Sell your home and purchase a smaller, less expensive home if your mortgage payments really pinch your budget or if you no longer need as much space as you once did.
      • Consider refinancing your home if interest rates have dropped significantly. (But don’t lengthen the term of your loan! Keep it the same or, even better, shorten it! :))
      • Work to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible so that you can invest the money in your own wealth instead of the bank’s.
      • Save a larger down payment before you purchase a home so that your mortgage payment is smaller. (Consider the 100% down plan!)
      • Simplify your landscaping (this saves money spent on watering it, too!).
      • Get a roommate (or roommates).
      • Talk to your insurance agent and find ways to lower your homeowners or renters insurance.
      • Save money on your utilities and specifically on your winter utilities bill and summer utilities bill.

      For even more ideas on how to save money on housing, read this article with 30+ simple ways to save money on housing and related expenses.

      Savings = $50-200+

      5. Spend less money on clothing to cut budget expenses.

      And one additional tip for how to save money by cutting your budget is to not spend so much on clothing and shoes.

      The average American family spends over $100 a month on clothes, so if you will spend say half of that, then you can add that amount to the money that you save from cutting your budget each month!

      My favorite hack for saving money on clothing is to set up a clothing co-op of sorts. If you have children, see if you can swap children’s clothes with your nieces and nephews or with children from your neighborhood or church.

      My sisters and I share clothes for our kiddos, and it is an awesome way to save money (and help out the environment just a little)! Plus, I just love seeing my nieces and nephews in clothes that my kiddos wore! It brings back such fun memories!

      You can also save money on clothes by buying from second-hand stores, buying from sites like eBay and Craigslist, and shopping discount clothing stores. 

      Check out this article with 13 must-know ideas to help you save money on your clothes buying.

      Savings = $50+

       

      For even more ideas for cut your budget, check out this article with 21 must-know tips to spend less money!

       

      Conclusion

      There are really tons of things that you can spend less money on in order to cut the budget. The possibilities are endless! But these 5 simple ways to cut your budget are a great place to start and can help you easily save $500 to $1,000 or more per month!

      And while you’re at it, in order to put yourself and your family on wonderfully solid financial ground, check out these cool things to save up money for to run your financial house smoothly.

       

      How do you save money by cutting your budget? Or what do you intend to do this year to save money from your budget? Leave a comment below and let me know—I would love to hear your ideas!

       

      Invitation to Share

      Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help a family member or friend or people in general? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being with others. Thank you!

      Join Our Facebook Group!

      Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

      Frugal Dinner Ideas: Make 2 Weeks of Dinners for under $50!

      frugal dinner ideas

       

      Frugal Dinner Ideas

      In this article I am going to share ideas for frugal dinner ideas that will save your family tons of money! Find 2 weeks’ worth of easy and super cheap meals that you can make in 15 minutes or less for your family! If you are looking for super quick, easy, frugal dinner ideas, then this is the article for you!

      And what is more, you can make all of these frugal dinner ideas for $50 for a family of five! That is two weeks of frugal dinners for under 50 bucks!

      These quick, easy, and frugal dinner recipes and ideas are perfect for when money is really tight and you need super cheap meals!

      And if you have a game night party or other large gathering where you need frugal meals for a crowd, then these recipes will help you to prepare food for a big group of people without breaking the bank!

       

      Caveat: These are just examples of frugal dinners you can eat when money is tight. These are not all super balanced meals, and I would not recommend eating only these things long term! However, as your budget allows, you can make some of these meals more nutritious by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats, for example.

      If you want help to eat healthy on a tight budget, check out my best ideas for eating healthy on a budget, including my list of nearly 50 of the cheapest healthy foods you can buy! 

      Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily find these frugal dinner ideas later!

       

      Make Frugal Meals Even Cheaper!

      One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries so that you can frugal meals is to use money-saving apps! My favorite FREE grocery money-saving app is Ibotta.

      I’ve been a member of Ibotta for years, and they are a fun and easy way to save money whenever you shop! With the free Ibotta app, you earn cash back on purchases you make every day from your favorite grocery and other stores such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Dollar Tree, Sam’s Club, Amazon, and many, many more! With the easy-to-use Ibotta app you can get cash back when you shop not only for groceries but also for clothing, home improvement supplies, travel services, and more!

      I can even use Ibotta at several of our smaller, local grocery stores, which I love!

      Signing up takes just a minute, and then you can start to save money whenever and wherever you shop, at physical stores and online! Sign up for your free Ibotta account here!

       

      A Huge Benefit of Frugal Meals

      When you are broke or need to save money fast, these meals are a great way to stretch your food dollar till payday or to help you save money to reach an important financial goal (like paying a bill, paying off a debt, saving for something important, and so on).

      Are You Looking for Mealtime Inspiration?

      cheap recipes cheap meals

      Are you in a dinner rut? Do you want inspiration for quick and easy recipes you can make for your family on busy nights?

      Then you need this cookbook! Find more than 125 recipes for delicious quick and cheap family meals you can prepare in 30 minutes or less for $5 or less!

      Click here to get your digital copy of the recipe book today for just $5! (Buy now and get access to your recipe book for immediate digital download!)

      What to Make for Dinner When You’re Poor?

      When you are poor, or broke, then one of the easiest ways to save money is to prepare meatless meals. Meat is generally one of the most expensive items in the grocery store, so by eating a few meatless dinners a week, you can save a lot of money over time. Find ideas for 25 meatless dinner recipes here.

      When you do include meat in your meals, choose less expensive meats like chicken and turkey for most of your recipes to help you stretch your food budget.

      Produce can also be very expensive, so use produce that is frozen, canned, or fresh but in season when you make your dinner meals. And organic produce is often much more expensive than nonorganic, so be choosy about what organic produce that you buy. If you are worried about it, look up the foods that nutritionists feel are most important, and then eat nonorganic for the rest.

      Cooking from scratch is often also cheaper than buying boxed foods, and it is definitely cheaper than buying already made frozen meals, for example.

      Find items to create a super cheap groceries list here.

       

      What Can I Make for Dinner That’s Cheap?

      All of the recipes listed below are great ideas for what to make for dinner that is cheap. Like I mention above, to help you make ends meet when money is scarce, make meals that use inexpensive meats (or no meat at all) and that use less expensive produce.

      Another way to keep your dinner costs low is to make meals that have a lot of pasta, rice, or beans. Those are food staples that really help you to stretch your food budget in lean times.

      You can find a big list of 65 cheap dinner recipes here for even more ideas for frugal dinners.

       

      How to Make a Frugal Meal?

      One very important part of making frugal meals and frugal dinners in particular is to meal plan! Without a plan, you will likely always spend more money than you would if you sit down and create a meal plan for the week. When you are intentional (in any area of your life), you get better results! 🙂

      Above I mention how you can save money on your meal preparation using less meat and less expensive meat, less expensive produce, and inexpensive staples like pasta, russet potatoes, rice, and beans.

      Make those less expensive fillers the stars of your frugal dinners (meaning, make the pasta or the rice or the beans the main ingredient in the recipes you prepare), and you can make frugal meals for super cheap.

      Cooking from scratch as much as possible will help you to keep costs low, and buy items that are on sale! Look at the weekly grocery ads as you make your meal plan, and build your meals around the items that you can buy for the best deal.

      And then when you are at the grocery store, if you see items that your family loves and that are marked down to a great price, stock up on them! Get this handy grocery price comparison cheat sheet so that you can learn what good prices are for the items that you typically buy when you grocery shop.

       

      What Do You Eat When You’re Broke?

      To save money on food when you’re broke, stick with the basics. That includes:

      • Preparing meatless meals.
      • Preparing meals that use inexpensive lean meats like chicken, turkey, and pork.
      • Using inexpensive filler-type foods in your meals like beans, pasta, russet potatoes, and rice. (To make these items more healthy and to keep you satisfied for longer, you can buy the whole grain varieties of pasta and brown rice. They will cost a little more, but they are better for you.) To buy beans for really cheap, buy the dry beans, and soak them yourself to use in your recipes.
      • Buying the less expensive varieties of produce that are virtually always in season, like apples, bananas, lettuce, potatoes, and so forth.
      • Making meal from scratch rather than already prepared meals or meals in a box, unless those packaged items are on sale or are super cheap themselves, like boxed macaroni and cheese (the generic kind, especially).
      • Sticking with generic brands as much as possible when you do your grocery shopping.
      • Leaving junk food, soda, fruit juice, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, and other items that provide little to no nutritional value on the shelf. You will be amazed at what a huge difference just doing that will make!

       

      Why Prepare Frugal Dinners and Frugal Meals in General?

      Sometimes you are in a financial situation, as I mention briefly above, where money is very tight. At these times, rather than go into debt and put myself and my family in an even more precarious situation financially, I personally would much rather cut my grocery budget in order to save money.

      Even if you are not in a particularly bad financial situation, you may want to eat frugal meals for a time in order to save money to make a large purchase with cash or to get your grocery spending under control. You may also want to eat dirt cheap meals as part of a no spend challenge.

      Find more tips to slash your grocery budget spending here.

      Frugal Meal Planning Made Easy: Consider Using an Inexpensive Meal Planning Service

      If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to create an inexpensive meal plan and add one more thing to your to-do list, then an inexpensive solution such as a service like $5 Meal Plans could be a great option for you. $5 Meal Plans costs just $5 per month, and they do all of the planning for you!

      They plan the meals you will eat and include the ingredients you will need to buy and the recipes you will need to follow to prepare them. Pretty cool! With $5 Meal Plans, the dinners themselves also cost less than $5 per meal to make! And the service comes with a 14-day free trial, so you have nothing to lose! If this sounds like a good option for your family, you can check out $5 Meal Plans here.

      If you’re regularly spending several hundred dollars on groceries or hundreds of dollars eating out per month, one of these meal planning services could really help you get on the right track and really save your food budget! track and save your food budget.

      Two Weeks of Frugal Dinner Ideas

      One of the best ways to plan frugal dinners for your family is to keep things simple! You can make all of these super cheap and easy dinner meals in about 15 minutes or less, for five dollars or less!

      Find 2 weeks of cheap meals that you can make for less than $50! Now, that is a great deal!

       

      A Quick Note about These Frugal Dinner Ideas

      As you do your meal planning, feel free to reorganize and substitute meals below as needed. You can find a list of more than 60 cheap and easy 30-minute (or less) dinner meals here.

      Also, if meal planning is very new to you and you are just completely overwhelmed by it, start super simple with your dinner meal planning! Simply pick 7 meals that you like that are quick and easy, and repeat them each week of the month. Meal planning = done!

      Recipes for meals that are made entirely from scratch are included below.

       

      Check out these related articles:
      31 Cheapest Foods to Eat When Money Is Tight
      Two Weeks of Dirt Cheap Meals (40+ Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Recipes!)
      31 Cheap Dinner Recipes for under $5!
      42 Cheap and Easy Budget-Friendly Meals for under $5!
      25 Cheap Slow Cooker Meals for under $5
      5 Cheap Instant Pot Meals Your Family Will Love (for under $5!)
      65 Must-Know Tips to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half!
      7 Simple Steps to Use a Meal Plan to Save Money on Groceries
      19 Top Tips to Save Money Eating Out
      How to Use a Grocery Item Price Comparison Cheat Sheet to Save a Ton of Money!
      Eat Free for Your Birthday!
      12 Best Tips to Save Money on Entertainment

       

       

      Week 1

       

      Sunday: More better mac and cheese

      This is a family favorite of ours where you add chopped up broccoli, carrots, onions, peppers, and other vegetables of your choice to a box of macaroni and cheese. Add the vegetables to the pasta as it is boiling; save broccoli and peppers and the softer vegetables for the last five minutes or so so that they will not become overcooked.

       

      Monday: Homemade refried beans and rice burritos

      Of course I had to include a beans and rice recipe. 🙂 These burritos are tasty and filling and can be on your table in less than 30 minutes.

      Ingredients
      1 1/2 cups water
      1 1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
      1 medium green pepper, diced
      1/2 cup chopped onion
      1 tablespoon cooking oil
      1 teaspoon minced garlic
      1 tablespoon chili powder
      1 teaspoon ground cumin
      1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
      8 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
      1 cup salsa

      Optional toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream

      Directions

      1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add rice. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
      2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute green pepper and onion in oil until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the chili powder and cumin until combined. Add beans and rice; cook and stir until heated through, about 4-6 minutes.
      3. Spoon about 1/2 cup of filling off-center on each tortilla; top with 2 tablespoons salsa. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.
      4. Serve with cheese and sour cream if desired.

       

      Tuesday: Baked potatoes with cheese, sour cream, salsa, barbecue sauce, or other favorite toppings

      You can make baked potatoes quickly and easily in the microwave in about 15 minutes for a simple dirt cheap dinner (or lunch) meal.

      We pierce the potatoes in several places with a fork and put a little bit of water on the plate to help them cook more quickly. We also sometimes cover them with plastic wrap to help keep the heat in so that they cook a little more quickly, but normally I omit this step.

      If you want to save time baking your potatoes, get one of these awesome microwave potato pouches for just a few bucks! (Click the link below to learn more!) They are great!

       

      Wednesday: Chili

      You can make chili super cheap from a can by choosing an inexpensive brand of canned chili that you like and then adding an extra can or two of kidney or other favorite canned beans to make it go further and to make this dish even less expensive. Serve with corn bread, saltine crackers (this is my 7-year-old daughter’s favorite), or round butter crackers.

       

      Thursday: Leftovers

      An important part of preparing frugal dinners is to not let food go to waste! 🙂 Make sure you use your leftovers. And the best way to make sure that you use them is to plan for a night of leftovers.

      That may mean that you end up with kind of a hodge podge of foods for different people. If Johnny loves spaghetti most and Julie loves mac and cheese and you do not have enough of either of those leftovers to feed everyone, then let people choose the leftovers that they eat based on their preference that night. (And if you know how finicky kids can be, then you know that that can change from day to day! ;))

       

      Friday: Quesadillas

       Quesadillas are such a cheap and easy (and tasty!) frugal dinner idea. For this meal, you can use just your favorite tortilla shells and type of cheese, or you can add sliced lunch meat, spinach, hot dogs (kind of weird, but my younger brothers love it), beans, mushrooms, or favorite cooked vegetables. Yum! 

       

      Saturday: Hot dogs and fries or potato chips

      Hot dogs are one of the cheapest frugal dinner ideas, and they are a favorite of kids everywhere. Add your favorite fries (make them homemade to make them even cheaper!) or your favorite store-brand potato chips, and you have a tasty (though I admit not totally healthy :)) meal.

      Since I don’t like to have to keep hot dog buns on hand, we generally eat our brats and hot dogs with bread rather than buns. To me they taste just as good, and they are also cheaper that way! (We do the same thing with bread instead of hamburger buns, for the same reasons.)

      We cook our fries over the stove instead of frying them in oil to make this (not healthy but tasty!) dish a little bit healthier.

      Week 2

      Sunday: Meatless spaghetti

      Spaghetti is one of our favorite quick and easy go-to meals!

      We most often make spaghetti the way my mother did. We usually eat it with a pound of ground beef, but for the meatless version, just use a can of tomato sauce with maybe half a can of water, a packet of spaghetti seasoning (though we have made our own, which is cheap and easy!), and a small can of cream of mushroom soup. You could also add mushrooms (fresh or canned) and peppers (such green peppers, since they are the least expensive), as well.

       

      Monday: Ramen noodles with vegetables

      This is another one of our go-to super easy dirt cheap meals. To make this simple meal, first cook your favorite fresh or frozen or canned vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, carrots, and onions all work really well) in a pot, and then for the last few minutes, add your favorite flavor of ramen noodles.

      You can also add chopped chicken for protein to add more nutrition and make this a heartier meal.

       

      Tuesday: Inexpensive frozen pizza

      Totino’s is one of the cheapest brands, or check store brands; per ounce, our local store brand is sometimes cheaper, and also better tasting, than the Totino’s), or backpacker’s pizza (tortillas, pepperoni, and shredded cheese)

       

      Wednesday: Meatless taco soup

      Combine a can or two of diced tomatoes, a can of red kidney beans, a can of chili beans or other beans, a can or two of corn, and a package of taco seasoning,  (Do not drain any of the cans before you add them to the pot.) Cook until warmed through.

      If you want to include more protein but still save money on meat, use chicken instead of ground beef. You can buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts for usually $2 a pound or less (at least in our area), and boneless, skinless chicken thighs for even less than that.

       

      Thursday: Leftovers

      Again, to help ensure that you do not leave food to waste away in your fridge, make leftovers a regular part of your frugal meal planning!

      Even if you do not have enough of any one leftover to feed your whole family, you can serve one leftover item to some family members and another to other family members, and this is a great way to use up those small portions of leftovers from earlier in the week!

       

      Friday: Grilled cheese sandwiches (with tomato or mushroom soup, if desired)

      The easiest way to make several grilled cheese sandwiches at a time is with a griddle. (We have an inexpensive one like this one.)

      But even without a griddle, you can make four at a time with this flat frying pan, which is similar to the one we have.

      To make grilled cheese sandwiches even cheaper, you can omit using butter or cooking spray on the pan. I generally make grilled cheese sandwiches without any kind of anti-stick agent because you do not actually need it and it saves calories 🙂 (but it does make the grilled cheese sandwiches a nicer golden brown to use non-stick agent). If you want to save money but do want some kind of additional anti-sticking agent, use margarine.

       

      Saturday: Egg fried rice

      Ingredients

      4 large eggs, divided
      2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
      1 cup diced red onion (about 1 small onion)
      4 cups cooked rice|
      2 tablespoons soy sauce

      Directions

      1. Crack eggs into a small bowl, and beat them together.
      2. Heat a large frying pan or a wok with 1/2 tablespoon of the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the beaten eggs and scramble them for about a minute. Transfer the eggs to a dish, and turn off the heat. Wipe off the pan or wok with a paper towel.
      3. Pour the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in the pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and cook them for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
      4. Add the cooked rice into the pan or wok, and cook for a few minutes, until the rice is heated through. If you have large clumps of rice, break them apart with the back of your spatula.
      5. Add the soy sauce, and stir. Add the scrambled eggs, and stir to mix again. Serve immediately.

       

      Note: Again, these are just examples of dirt cheap dinner ideas (some recipes are included below). You can switch out any of the meals with other dinner options that you like better. See this article for more than 65 cheap family dinner recipes that you can make for $5 or less in 30 minutes or less!

       

      Get the Grocery Money Saving Bundle!

      Grocery Money Saving BundleAre you ready to really slash your food budget? The Grocery Money Saving Bundle includes 9 must-have resources to help you save money on groceries, eating out, healthy eating, produce, meat, and more! Also learn how to meal plan effectively—and efficiently!—to help you save time and money! Discover the foods that give you the most bang for your grocery-spending buck! And learn how to use my secret weapon to save big time on your monthly grocery budget! 

      Learn the tips and tricks our family of five uses to spend less than an average of $300 a month on food! Learn more about or purchase the Grocery Money Saving Bundle today!

      Conclusion

      These quick, easy, and frugal dinner ideas are perfect for a super tight budget! They will let you get food on the table fast to feed your family! All ready in 15 minutes or less, these budget-friendly meals are great for busy families!

      For more ways to save money on cheap meals, see this article for more than 100 cheap recipes that you can make for $5 or less in 30 minutes or less.

       

      What are your favorite quick, easy, frugal dinner ideas? Do you have quick and inexpensive go-to dishes that you just love and use in your meal planning? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below!

       

      Invitation to Share

      Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

      Join Our Facebook Group!

      Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

      19 Great Side Jobs You Can Do from Home (Side Hustles)

      side jobs or side hustles you can do from home

      Side Jobs You Can Do from Home (Side Hustles You Can Do from Home)

      Are you looking for side jobs you can do from home (side hustles you can do from home)? Would you love a side hustle or extra job to supplement your household income? If so, there are many options available!

      And the majority of these jobs allow you to choose your own hours so that you can work on your own schedule. Here are 19 of the best side hustles and second jobs available in today’s job market.

       

      1. Earn income from blogging.

      I had to start with this side job you can do from home because it’s my favorite way to earn money from home! (No surprise there, right?) I love blogging (what I really mean to say is, I love, love, love blogging because it’s one of the best jobs ever!) because of the limitless earning potential and, even more, because I love to write and to share my thoughts about personal finance and help people win with their money!

      And I love it because you totally work on your own schedule, from home or from anywhere you want! Read this article to learn how to create a profitable blog. You can also read about some amazing income reports of bloggers here. I know of bloggers who make $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000 and more a month! It’s incredible!

      There are several ways that you can earn income as a blogger, including the following: affiliate marketing (see below), guest posts, advertising, subscription or membership fees, and selling products.

      If you’re interested in creating a profitable blog, I recommend the Blog by Number course and ebook by Suzi Whitford. It’s the course that I took to get started as a newbie blogger. You can complete the course in less than three hours (but not all in one sitting, unless you want to! :)) and have an excellent introduction to how to start a blog and how to begin monetizing it in order to earn money.

       

      Would Blogging Be a Good Fit for You?

      Are you looking for a possible change in career? Are you burned out or tired of the corporate grind or looking for a new (and awesome!) career path? Do you like to discover and try new things? Are you looking to learn and grow in new ways or looking for a new challenge?

      Would you love to have more control over your earning potential and be able to make an incredible income? Do you enjoy writing or communicating with others? Have you ever thought about becoming a blogger to earn some extra income from home or even perhaps as a full-time, work-from-anywhere career? (I know bloggers who make between $10,000 and $100,000+ a month from their blogs.)

      Would you like complete autonomy in your work and a more flexible work schedule? Do you long to work from home in order to be with your children or be able to help take care of your parents? Would you love to teach others about something you are completely passionate about? Do you enjoy helping others to make positive changes in their lives and really succeed? If so, then blogging could be a great career for you!

      If you are interested in learning about making money as a blogger, read this article to find out how to start a profitable blog.

       

      2. Do freelance work.

      If your day job lends itself to freelance work, then you can get additional experience and earn additional income from something you’ve already been trained to do. And also consider whether you have a hobby that you are good at that people are willing to pay for. Chances are, if you have a passion for something and you do it well, there are people who will pay for it!

      One great option for freelance work is freelance writing and editing. I’m a full-time editor and I’ve been doing freelance writing and editing since before I graduated from college. In the first few years after I graduated from college and before we had children and while we were working to pay off a lot of debt, I was making close to $1,000 a month doing freelance work. Most of that work I was doing on the commuter bus (my daily commute was more than an hour each way) to and from my regular job, so it was really great to have something to be doing during that time that felt really productive.

      In addition to freelance writing and editing, you can also do freelance proofreading. If you enjoy reading and are a detail oriented, conscientious, and thorough person, proofreading could be a great option for you! Sign up for this excellent, free 60-minute workshop by Caitlyn Pyle from Proofread Anywhere to learn more about becoming a professional freelance proofreader. Discover how you can get started and begin earning money as a proofreader today!

       

      Other freelance opportunities include the following:

      • Freelance teaching and tutoring
      • Freelance illustration
      • Freelance photography
      • Freelance graphic design
      • Freelance transcription work
      • Freelance translating

      Just check out Upwork or indeed.com to see the many opportunities available. Turn your passion or hobby into extra income!

       

      3. Become a virtual assistant (VA).

      If you enjoy doing administrative work or helping to run social media setup and campaigns, for example, then being a virtual assistant (VA) may be the perfect opportunity for you. As a VA, you work remotely doing tasks such as online research, business writing, data entry, basic bookkeeping, creating or updating databases, preparing presentations, creating infographics, editing in PhotoShop, marketing, setting up or managing webinars or podcasts, and so on. To learn to be a virtual assistant, I recommend taking a course like 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, which has excellent reviews. Another good option is Introduction to Running a VA Business, available through Skillshare. And if you love Pinterest, the excellent course Become a Pinterest VA Today! by Kristin Larsen and Gina Horkey might be a great option for you.

       

      4. Do data entry.

      If you have a good eye for detail and are a good typist, a data entry position (where you enter information, generally by using a computer, into a company’s data system) may be a good choice for you. Many job opportunities are available in this area, so check out indeed.com or your favorite job board site to see what positions are currently available.

       

      5. Write books or ebooks.

      Since bloggers write for a living, authoring a book or ebook is of course naturally a good fit for many of them. In fact, many bloggers create the content for their book largely from the content of their blog articles. Because I graduated with an English degree (though this is apparently true of most Americans—I read a statistic recently that 81 percent of Americans want to write a book someday), I’ve always had the idea of writing a book in the back of my mind.

      And because I love personal finance and have for almost 15 years now, I have definitely thought about writing a book about personal finance. And that’s one of the reasons that I started writing this blog, was to have a way to work to put out great content and gain an audience so that I could write personal finance books that will really help many people to change their lives.

      For a helpful resource for how to publish your first ebook, I recommend the course Ebook by Number, by Suzi Whitford. In the course, she teaches you how to write, design, and launch your first ebook! I have taken several of Suzi’s courses, and they have all been excellent. She teaches in a fun, personable way that makes the content easy to learn.

      You can also turn your ebook into an audiobook with Audible so that it is available in another format, which can broaden your reach (and your revenue) even farther.

       

      Related articles:

      11 Simple Steps to Start an Awesome Side Hustle
      11 Best Ways to Increase Your Income
      14 Must-Know Tips for How to Find a Job You Love
      11 Amazing Benefits of Blogging
      Why Blogging Is the Best Job Ever!

       

      6. Develop online courses.

      Creating online courses can be another great side job you can do from home. If you have something that you are passionate about and know a lot about, then developing a course on that subject could be a great way to monetize your know-how!

      One easy way to do that is to take your content from a book or ebook and develop it into a course. Once you have written one or more books, you can look at expanding that content into online courses using platforms such as Teachable, Udemy, and Thinkific. One great thing about these platforms is that you can build your course for free and then pay a percentage of your earnings as people actually buy the courses, so there is not a lot of up-front costs.

      To learn how to create your first course, I recommend Course by Number by Suzi Whitford. This course, like all of her courses, is an easy to understand, engaging resource that walks you through the process of creating your first course step by step.

       

      7. Be an affiliate marketer.

      You can earn an amazing income through affiliate marketing. It’s another awesome option for a side job you can do from home. It was actually through reading the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who makes more than $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing, that I first realized the incredible earning potential of blogging in general and affiliate marketing in particular.

      And when I decided that I was going to go all in and give blogging my best effort to see if I could become a full-time blogger, Michelle’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing was the first course that I bought. In the course, Michelle walks you through the basics of affiliate marketing and the best ways to make money through affiliate marketing.

      If you believe that starting a blog (or even using Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or other social media sites) to earn affiliate income is something you would enjoy and be good at, then I strongly recommend that you take Michelle’s course and incorporate affiliate marketing as one of your methods of generating income.

      For more information on what affiliate marketing is and how it can be used to earn an amazing income, read this article.

       

      8. Be a web developer or computer programmer.

      Another job that can be performed online remotely is to work as a web developer or computer programmer. If you enjoy coding, you can make good money as a software engineer.

       

      9. Be a real estate agent.

      If you love to work with people and are a good salesperson but don’t want to work in a traditional office, being a real estate agent may be a great option for you as a side job you can do from home. The income potential is great, and the job can be a lot of fun if you like getting out and being around people and keeping up on current trends in the real estate market.

      Though you obviously can’t do everything needed for this job from home, you can do the legwork at home and do most of the showing of homes in the evenings and weekends (or whenever you need to to fit your particular schedule best).

       

      10. Work as an accountant or bookkeeper.

      If you studied accounting, business management, finance or a related field, then this job of working to track and manage companies’ finances is a natural fit. Visit indeed.com or a similar site to find job postings in your area.

       

      Related articles:

      11 Simple Steps to Start a Side Hustle
      11 Best Ways to Increase Your Income
      How to Quit a Job You Hate (to Find the One You’ll Love!)

       

      11. Create an online business.

      Another great option if you have an entrepreneurial spirit is to create an online business. You can do this by creating a website and offering products or services, either those you create yourself or that you sell for other people. For example, you can create an online retail store or a website where you offer your freelance services.

       

      12. Be a search engine optimization (SEO) evaluator.

      A search engine evaluator is someone who reviews search engine results to determine if they are relevant to a particular search term that a person types into a search engine. You can read this article about how to become a search engine evaluator to find out more.

       

      13. Do freelance consulting or coaching.

      If you work or worked in a job that lends itself to doing so, becoming a consultant or coach in the same field is an excellent fit and can be very lucrative. It’s another great possibility for a side job you can do from home. Put all of that experience and knowledge you gained to good use! Or turn one of your hobbies or passions into a side job by offering consulting or coaching related to that topic. Check out indeed.com for opportunities.

       

      14. Become a vlogger.

      You can also earn extra income through creating your own YouTube channel. If you have a website or blog, a YouTube channel may be a natural complement to your site. If you have enough traffic, you can earn substantial money through YouTube. In order to monetize, you have to have a certain number of subscribers and viewed hours. Once your channel reaches the necessary threshold, your site will be reviewed, and you’ll be notified via email to know whether you qualify or not. You can learn more on YouTube’s account monetization page.

       

      15. Become a podcaster.

      Another potentially great side job you can do from home is creating a podcast. A podcast is a form of on-demand talk radio. It comes from the words pod (from the portable listening device the iPod) and broadcast. Podcasts can be about virtually anything, from personal finance to business to travel to fitness and so on.

      A podcast is often a conversation between a host and one or more other individuals, but it can be just the host sharing his or her thoughts and ideas on a particular topic. Podcasts can be used for earning income through advertising, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, promoting your own products and services, and networking. To learn more about how to create and launch a successful podcast, I recommend the book Market Domination for Podcasting, by Seth Greene.

       

      16. Develop mobile apps.

      If you have the technical knowledge (or are willing pay someone who does to build it for you), you can create a new app unlike anything in the marketplace. Or you could create an app similar to others but work to make it even better by offering more features or better functionality. Even if you don’t achieve the wild success of an app like Angry Birds, you could still make a wonderful income from your efforts.

       

      17. Rent out your car, or rent out ad space on your car.

      Another way to earn extra income as a side job from home is to rent out your car. Especially if you have a vehicle that doesn’t get used very much, this could be an option for putting it to good use through car-renting services such as Turo.

      And if you don’t want to rent out your car but don’t mind turning your car into a portable billboard, you can use a service such as Carvertise to earn some extra cash.

       

      18. Rent out space in your home.

      If you have extra space in your home, you have a couple of great options for earning extra income.

      Rent out spare bedrooms for guests to stay in. If you have one or more extra bedrooms in your home (or have a second or vacation home), renting them out on Airbnb, Booking.com, and similar sites can be a great way to earn extra income.

      We’ve been using Airbnb for the last couple of years for virtually all of our travel accommodations (when we’re not camping), and they’re awesome. The hosts have been so great, and we’ve really felt welcomed and at home. And of course the savings can be substantial! Sign up for Airbnb here and receive $40 off your first stay with them!

      Rent out storage space. Referred to as the “Airbnb of storage,” places like Neighbor, Store with Me, and Store at My House can be another great way for you to earn extra income from your home. If you don’t want to have to worry about being a host for guests but have empty bedrooms in your home, you should look into this peer-to-peer storage option.

      Get a roommate. You could also do a more long-term rental arrangement by getting roommates. Depending on where you live and the rental situation in your area, this might not earn you as much as renting your bedrooms out to Airbnb guests, but you might like the lower-maintenance, more passive income better. So why not get some help paying that rent or mortgage payment and potentially gain a close friend (or more than one) at the same time?

       

      19. Take online surveys.

      If you’re looking for ways to earn a little extra money online and also like to voice your opinion about products and services and potentially influence future products, you might want to try doing online surveys as a side hustle you can do from home. I’m a member of MySurvey, an online survey site where you can earn cash and gift cards for taking short surveys and doing product testing. InboxDollars is another good, reputable survey site.

      I have to admit, though, that even though I’ve done a few surveys, since there are ways that I can make more money for the time spent, I decided pretty quickly to turn to other options. However, if you like that kind of thing and can do it while you’re watching TV or something like that and you don’t want to spend the time finding ways to earn more income for the time spent, it could be a good option for you.

      Swagbucks is another similar option. With Swagbucks, you earn gift cards or cash when you shop online, watch videos, answer surveys, search the web, and find great deals. Again, as with taking online surveys, I have to give the caveat that you can make more money doing freelance work or doing one of the many other side hustles suggested above.

      However, if you like taking surveys and doing that kind of thing and you can do it while you’re doing something else such as watching TV and you don’t feel like trying the other options listed above (or you do it in addition to trying one or more of them), then it might be a good option for you.

       

      Conclusion

      The opportunities for side jobs you can do from home (side hustles from home) are extensive (and I didn’t really even scratch the surface here). There has likely never been a time when there have been so many great options for being able to earn extra income. So try one of these side hustles today to help you reach your financial dreams, such as paying off your debt, saving an emergency fund, or beginning to invest for retirement.

      For more information related to finding side hustles or side jobs you can do from home, check out these articles on the best online jobs, the best ways to increase your income, and the best work-from-home jobs. And for a very informative and entertaining podcast on this topic, I recommend Nick Roper’s Side Hustle Nation.

       

      Invitation to Share

      Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

      Join Our Facebook Group!

      Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.