Last year, I started a small experiment. I wanted to find it if an extra $200/month would jump start your debt free journey. Seeing as how nearly 100% of the people I worked with 1-on-1 were able to identify at least $200 extra in their budget, let’s keep it going.
This year, I’m expanding the challenge.
I even gave it a formal name: The Hidden Money Challenge.
Reclaiming at least $200/month or $1200/year can make a significant dent in your outstanding debt. Of course, this is just the starting point. If you can make small adjustments and find this much money on paper, imagine what happens when you buckle down and start attacking debt with fever.
This FREE 6-day challenge will help you uncover money that you already have. The money that you should have, but can’t seem to put your finger one at the end of the month. You will:
Again, the major culprits to review first when trying to reclaim money in your monthly budget include:
1. Living Expenses – especially rent. Paying for a roof is likely your biggest expense. Is your rent more than 25-30% of your monthly take-home pay? The beauty in renting is that you are more flexible and can make changes relatively quickly. No, moving is not fun. Neither is remaining in debt. Pick your poison! Are roommates an option? Responsible roommates, but think about roommates.
2. Groceries & Dining Out. Most Americans say food is what blows their budgets. I get it. Meal planning, switching to cheaper grocery stores, and cooking meals at home are your greatest tools for managing your food budget. Shopping for groceries with cash is another really good strategy to stay within your food budget.
If you are interested in coupons, we have a great primer for newbies: How To Get Started With Coupons.
3. Reach out and touch – for less. Have you compared your communication plans lately? As families add phone lines for younger and younger members, cell phone plans can creep up if you’re not careful. Because you can take your number with you, there’s no need to be loyal to any one phone company. Republic Wireless offers affordable smart phone plans beginning at $5/month.
4. Memberships & Subscriptions. Review every subscription that is attached to your bank account to make sure that 1) you are still using the service and 2) the service is something that you need to pay for right now. Up to 55% of Americans have fitness memberships and do not use them. Magazines, websites, credit monitoring…they are all fair game and should be directed to the chopping block if not absolutely necessary.
5. Sling TV. I will be honest, this suggestion came from a free consult session. I’ve never used this service before and a quick check of their Facebook page shows more than a couple unhappy customers. This might be something to put in your pocket as they work out the growing pains. However, $20/month to replace cable (plus a free 7-day trial) really caught my attention!
There are situations where you’ve cut back and you can cut back no more. If you’ve done this and still have no wiggle room, then an increase in income is in order.
Thankfully, we live in a time where flexible employment options are readily available. However, to avoid the plethora of scams rampant in the work-from-home arena, use trusted services such as FlexJobs.com to locate part-time, telecommute, or flexible employment opportunities for all educational and skill levels. Sign up with the code: NEWSLETTER to get 30% off your first month.
Finding $200/month on paper is one thing. Practically redirecting those funds to impact your debt free journey is another thing entirely.
Sign up for the Hidden Money Challenge and uncover your hidden money hiding in plain sight!
This post contains affiliate links. No worries, I only affiliate with products or services that will enhance the debt free journey. All opinions are 100% my own.