20 Ways To Save For a Little Something Extra

save for somethingWe all love to have a little special treat every now and then. Maybe you love Starbucks. Maybe you enjoy going out to see a movie with your spouse. Perhaps you want a new phone or you want to save for a trip. I personally love to get a coke every day at work. (Seriously, I know that’s sad, but it’s a special little treat I look forward to every day.) However, I also love to take big trips to see the world, and I definitely want to travel more before my husband and I decide to start trying for kids.

Of course, these goals and little extras don’t always coincide with our monthly budget, so I have to come up with creative ways to make some side cash so that I don’t feel guilty about going overboard. After all, ┬áthese little life pick me ups can often cost us a buck or two, and when you spread them out and add them over a year, the prices can be a bit astonishing. So, here’s what I propose: find a way to fund your extras through a means other than your current job. That way, you can continue to use your pay check for your monthly expenses, and you’ll have extra to put towards something you’ve been wanting for months but haven’t purchased yet.

Still not sure how to do it? Below are 20 ways to save for life’s little extras.

1. Tutor a high school or middle school student.

2. Sell crafts you make at a craft fair or online.

3. Deliver the newspaper in your town.

4. Become a contributing writer for a blog.

5. Walk other people’s dogs or simply take them to a dog park.

6. Pick up a weekend shift at a restaurant or become a bartender.

7. Become someone’s virtual assistant.

8. Have a lemonade stand (or at least encourage your kids to try it out.)

9. Become a high school sports coach.

10. Work overtime.

11. Grow your own produce. (This can work in a tiny apartment or with an expansive backyard.)

12. ┬áCut someone else’s grass. You’ll save money and get a great workout.

13. Give up your smart phone or try a pre-paid plan.

14. Bake bread, and sell it at work.

15. Put your savings into a high yield savings account.

16. Babysit a few times every month.

17. Cancel your gym membership and watch a workout DVD instead.

18. Go a month without buying clothes.

19. Commute to work with a friend.

20. Hang your clothes out to dry.

While I know that not everyone will be interested in or even able to do what I listed above, even one of these things can save you tens if not hundreds of dollars every year. For example, I know that most people wouldn’t dream of giving up their smart phone, but I’ve survived over a year without mine and was able to paid off my credit card debt in the process. That’s not to say that everyone should do what I did. It’s just an example to show that with a little change in habits, you can absolutely meet and exceed many of your goals.

If you’re struggling to cut down on your expenses, try to visualize your end goal. Do you want to step on a plane and go to Paris? Or, do you want to walk into a store and purchase a new TV with cash? Envisioning yourself actually achieving your goal can help you to push past those immediate wants to remind you of how amazing it will be when you get to your end goal.

If you know of any other side gigs that people can do to help support their monthly income, please add to the list in the comment section below. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

photo by DC Atty