Save and Earn More in the New Year: 6 Simple Money Moves

by Melanie Lockert · 4 comments

In personal finance, there are two key tenets to building wealth: spending less and earning more. In theory these concepts may seem rudimentary but in reality they can be complex things to maneuver. If they were easy, many of us would be in a better position financially and there would be less problems related to money.

So how can you implement these concepts into your life and save and earn more money? Use these six money moves to get started.

Move to a Cheaper Area

As a city girl who grew up in Southern California, it seemed blasphemous to consider living anywhere else. While the Los Angeles area is quite expensive, I didn’t mind paying $1,000 for a studio apartment. Now that I live in Portland, Oregon, I can understand the benefits of moving to a cheaper area.

Housing is one of the largest expenses in anyone’s budget. If you can cut back on housing costs, you’ll be able to save a lot of money over time, which can be spent elsewhere.

If you don’t want to move to another geographic area, consider moving to a cheaper neighborhood in the same area. Even moving a few blocks could save you a hundred dollars or more.

You can also downsize your space to something more cozy — think about the Tiny House movement. When thinking about where to live, truly consider what you need and what you are willing to give up. Lowering your housing costs is one of the best ways to bring in more money — without working harder for it.

Slash Costs on Transportation

Transportation is another huge expense that can eat up a chunk of your budget. From having a car note, insurance, gas, and repairs, being a car owner is costly. If you live in a big city, or somewhere with good public transportation, consider going carless.

Going carless can mean a variety of things: using public transportation, biking, and walking to run errands and work. I have lived car-free since leaving Los Angeles and it has saved me a lot of money.

I know this approach won’t work for everyone — like places in LA, it’s ideal to have a car. But there are ways to cut back.You can adopt a one-car policy in your family and share a car, you can use a hybrid approach of public transportation and driving, thus lowering your costs, and use sites like GasBuddy.com to find the cheapest gas.

Saving money isn’t necessarily about cutting everything out — it’s about being smart and creative, and looking for the best price.

Ask for a Raise

When thinking about making more money, asking for a raise is often left out of the conversation. But doing this is a great way to make more money by doing something you’re already putting out the effort to do.

Yes, asking for a raise is difficult and can be scary, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Start by compiling a list of all the things you bring to the table and truly understand what value you bring to the company.

To get started, you can use expertly crafted negotiation techniques from Ramit Sethi, who has a proven record of increasing income through negotiation.

Sell Your Items and Adopt Minimalism

When looking for ways to make extra money, start with what you already have. Look around the house. Are there things you no longer use, or simple don’t need? Have things been sitting on the shelf for years, just collecting dust?

Getting rid of items you no longer use isn’t just great for mental clarity, and getting more space in your living quarters, it can also make you more money. I recently sold old CDs and made $100. I still have all the music too, after I downloaded it to my computer.

For me, doing this was an easy way to make money. By getting rid of clutter, and adopting a more minimalism way of life, you can make money on your old items and save money by not “needing” anything that doesn’t serve you, or isn’t part of your values.

Negotiate Your Bills

Negotiating a bill can be a great way to save money almost instantly. If you’re an existing customer, companies don’t want to lose your business, so they are more willing to negotiate. Call up your cable company, internet provider, or phone company and ask for any promotions or deals.

You can even say that you’re considering switching to another company to enforce a cheaper price. Oftentimes, companies will offer a deal to keep your business. It’s much easier for them to keep you, than to obtain a new customer.

In other words, know that you have leverage and use it to your advantage with your monthly bills.

Spend on Your Values

In life we often succumb to mindless spending. At the end of the month, we’re left wondering, where did my money go? To save money, start tracking your expenses to see where your money is actually going.

Then take a look at each and every expense. Do those purchases serve you? Make your life better or easier? If not, kick them to the curb. By spending mindfully and only on your values, you’ll eliminate the need to buy more, just for the sake of convention.

While some of these money moves may seem unconventional, sometimes you have to do things differently to have a different result. By using these money moves, you can strengthen your financial foundation by saving and earning more money.

What’s another way you can save and earn more this year? Which tip are you planning to put into action this week?

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  • Mike says:

    Regarding your comment about moving somewhere cheaper……I really think you should make an effort to live as close to work as possible. Cuts down gas cost as well as “stress cost”. If you save yourself a 30 minute drive (x2!!) you can have an extra hour to sleep, be with family, etc.

  • Great tips as always Melanie! I’ve wondered about putting my CDs on my computer and then getting rid of them, but I wondered about the ethics of it. Is it stealing to keep a copy of the music on my computer and then sell the CD?

    • Melanie says:

      Very interesting point! I personally don’t think of it as stealing. You purchased the CD, so it’s your music. You re-sell the CDs to a music shop and make a little money, and they re-sell it at a profit.

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