When you don’t have much control over your day-to-day budget — or at least haven’t given it much thought — having leftover money at the end of each month can feel impossible. But in almost every situation, finding an extra $100 in your monthly budget is highly doable, and despite being a relatively small sum (just a few dollars a day!), it can drastically change your financial life and future.
There are obviously two simple ways to go about finding this 100 dollars: earning more and spending less. I personally find that it’s always easier to earn a little extra, but for a lot of people, 100 dollars could simply be one less unnecessary shopping trip, or a few meals more at home (instead of at a restaurant with tax, tips, and two drinks). If you have gone over your budget with a fine-toothed comb (apps like Mint are hugely helpful to see exactly where and how you’re spending), and you see places that you could be a little more conservative, do that. Find that $100 either all in one place, or scattered throughout your budget, and transfer it automatically at the start of every month so that you cannot spend it, and just get used to going through your month without it.
And if you, like me, find it easier to earn that money (and then automatically transfer it, of course), $100 can be earned in a ton of easy ways. For most of us, it could be something as doable as two nights of babysitting per month, or doing a little tutoring, or even an odd job you can find anywhere from Craigslist to Facebook groups (I’m part of one called Broke List, where I sold some furniture, and they are constantly advertising temp or one-day jobs).
Either way, once you have this extra $100, it’s up to you to do something smart with it before you can waste it on impulse buys or drinks that you’ll end up regretting. We wanted to break down some of the smartest things you can do with an extra sum each month that is totally attainable, and these are six things that are sure to put it towards a better you, financially and personally, instead of letting that money disappear in a chaotic month of spending.
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