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Finding Extra Money: 7 Easy Ways - BlackBird Finance

extra money - coins stacking up from saving money

Finding Extra Money: 7 Easy Ways

Are you struggling to find extra money to payoff debt? Or save for a new car? Living paycheck to paycheck and want build an emergency savings? It may feel like you can not get ahead with your finances so why bother. Well there is hope and ways that I have learned over the years to pocket some extra money. Lets talk about 7 different things that this financial coach and advisor has learned to do to make extra money.


1. Grocery shopping

The first thing I can say to this is you don’t really even need to work hard at this one. Start buying store brand. Store brand is always cheaper and a better value. Quality doesn’t suffer as much as you think and has come a long way. You may have to get past your stigma and the fear of judgment from friends, but you are in this for the bigger picture of saving money. Vitamins, cookies, olive oil, batteries, etc. all have a store brand version that will save you money. Look at the bottom of the shelves or at the top for store brands.

Finding extra money with store brand cereal verse name brand.

2. Ibotta

I first learned of this company as they are a Denver based company and worked out of the same building I was. In a way this is a form of coupon clipping, but for some reason I quickly attached to it and each year make an extra $125 – $150. The concept is simple, download their app, sign up, and then you will see promotions for a variety of products at the stores you shop. You make your purchases, upload a copy of the receipt, and scan the bar codes. Then Ibotta credits you. It’s not that much work and is a great way to squeeze a few extra bucks out of each grocery trip. I think there is a balance in using the app. Make sure when you are at the store you compare the price with the discount from Ibotta and a comparable price of another product. It isn’t always in my wallets benefit to use the app. By using the app I now have countered the cost of my Netflix subscription. Sign up today at Ibotta.com.


3. Driving habits

This might be a tougher one for some of you. You know if you got a heavy foot on that gas. However, if you can remember to practice good gas habits you will be thanking yourself later. It doesn’t have to be as drastic as you might think and ultimately your safety is the most important thing, but here are a few tips. One, if you see a red light up ahead there is no need to keep your foot on the gas, start coasting. Two, accelerate more slowly. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun every once in a while, but hitting the throttle hard burns gas and your wallet. You may think your going to get somewhere faster, but you it’s more likely you may only save yourself a minute. Three, build your brain skills with thinking about how you can coordinate errands. This one takes thinking further then in the moment and more or less thinking about what needs to happen over the course of a week. Can you hit the gym, grocery store, and hardware store on the same outing? Once I started combining my trips not only did I save myself the headache of dealing with traffic lights, I also saved myself miles and gas. I started saving $15 – $20 a month and that added up to over $200 a year.

Save money with your driving habits

4. Drinking

I’m a social person so this was a hard habit to break. What I learned is I can be a social person without alcohol or by social gatherings away from bars. The biggest way that you can save money is not buying booze at restaurants. Remember the days before you were of drinking age? Try going back to that. Get a coke instead of a beer. Ask for a lemon with that water.

Do you eat out a few times a month or do happy hours with co-workers? It is incredibly easy to rack up the alcohol budget even if you get just one drink each outing. I found myself saving at least $15 each week and that’s usually was two drinks with a tip each week. It feels weird sometimes when everyone around orders that craft beer, but push yourself to hold back. You will be grateful when you are no longer paying interest on your debt and able to take that vacation. Try drinking with your friends at a park, or at home. That six pack is $10 verse the $15 for the two drinks at an establishment. Yard games night or day bring a whole new fun to social drinking.

Extra Money - Don't drink at establishments. Take home a 6 pack instead.

5. Cell phones

You may want that latest iPhone or Android phone with the best features and who could blame you. If you are debt free and have saved up the money in cash for the purchase of that new phone then don’t hold back, go get it. However, the majority of us aren’t at that level. If your goal is to save money, then push your temptation to get the latest phone. According to one article an average person may pay $12,559 over their lifetime just for phones. Research shows when we purchase things the joy of the initial purchase wears off quite quickly. Comparatively when you spend your money on an experience, like a vacation or concert, the happiness return is incredibly longer lasting. The point of all this is if you can squeeze an extra year or two out of your phone do it. Not having a phone payment adds up. $60 a month for a phone payment times 12 months is $720 a year you can save. While you won’t have the latest phone to brag about you will save money and may be able to put that money towards something that can bring you longer lasting joy.

Extra Money - Continue using your cell phone and don't upgrade immediately

6. Cut the cable

This almost doesn’t need to be said, but cable is out. Cable and satellite tv providers have been losing business and it doesn’t look like the trend will change. With cable tv you pay to have commercials and why? There are so many different streaming options that will allow you to still enjoy great shows without the need to watch commercials. Having one or two streaming services can easily cut down your tv budget.

A hold out for cable has been sports and watching live games. This is still something that cable and satellite providers still have a slight advantage, but you may be surprised at the alternatives out there now. Keep in mind your goal is to save money. Here are some cable alternatives for sports. Gamepass for $99 a year allows you to enjoy all the NFL games. The nice part is if you can wait until the game is over you can watch without commercials. Next, Amazon has started streaming Thursday football games for its prime users. Finally, tap into your friends and families who have cable. Its typically more fun to watch sports with people anyways.


7. Internet Searching

Okay here is a truly no hassle way to make some extra money. Everyone is use to the dominate search provider Google. Wouldn’t it make more sense to get paid for your searches? Data is often more valuable then the service being provided. So here is how you get paid for your searches, switch to Bing. Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, rewards you with points for your searches. You can then redeem your points for gifts cards, donate money to charity, or gamble the points for bigger prizes. I make around an extra $25 a year. Not much, however, I do nothing different to earn that money. I have not seen any major differences in search results either. Think of it this way, if someone asks you if you want $25 wouldn’t you take it? I would! What you need to do is get a Microsoft account and switch your default search engine on your computer and phone to Bing. Let the rewards begin.

comptuer with Google homepage pulled up on browser.

Need More?

Still don’t think these steps will help you find enough extra money for your financial goal? Then maybe a financial coach should be your next step. 76% of adults agree they could benefit from getting everyday financial questions answered from a professional, according to a survey put out by, The National Financial Educators Council. Or read this article on one of the best ways people develop great budget skills. Cash Envelope Budget