How are you coming on your financial goals? Is that debt getting paid down? Close to having a house down payment? Socking away enough for retirement?
If so, great! Keep up the good work. If not, maybe you need to improve your monthly cash flow by increasing the amount of money coming into your account and/or reducing what goes out. While that should be an on-going objective of your financial strategy, there are some quick and easy ways to pump up your cash flow in the short term. Here are five ideas to get you started:
1. Drive for Uber. Drivers for the ride-sharing service reportedly make an average of $20-$25 per hour. If you can find 10 hours a week to drive that’s up to $1,000 a month. Of course, you’ll have to deduct gas and other costs, but you’ll still net a nice increase in cash flow. When will you drive? How about for an hour or two before or after work? Or just one weekend night -- when fares are higher?
2. Task Rabbit. Do you have a skill that’s useful around the house – or just some extra time and a strong back? Either way, you can generate additional cash flow by making your skills (or back) available on taskrabbit.com, which matches people who need help around the house with “taskers” who are willing and able to handle those chores. Among the post popular categories of jobs are handyman work, making deliveries, IKEA furniture assembly, packing, cleaning and moving. The pay varies based, of course, on the level of skill required to complete the task and you’ll pay a 20% fee to Task Rabbit for getting you the gig. There are confirmed reports of people making as much as $2,000 a week via Task Rabbit working pretty much full-time.
3. Ask for a Raise. This is a simple but often overlooked way to increase your income. If you feel you have a strong case for a pay increase, go ask for it! Do your homework first. Research your company’s policy on merit raises and ask for a hike that’s in-line with those numbers. Offer evidence that you deserve the increase – figures that show you are generating or saving money for the company. If you are in more of a staff job, present laudatory emails or notes from superiors, clients and business partners.
Make your case with confidence and strength. Don’t be negative. No whining.
4. Cut the cable. Or at least cut back on your cable television service. How much do you really watch live TV? When is the last time you saw a movie on HBO? Unless you watch a lot of sports or cable news it could make sense to completely ditch cable in favor of such on-demand services as Netflix or Hulu. If sports is your thing, it’s still worth calling your cable provider to renegotiate your deal. You might be surprised what they offer when you tell them you plan to completely cancel your service.
5. Re-set your thermostat. Heating and cooling typically account for more than half of your home energy costs. You can save 3 percent on your heating bill for every 1 degree you lower the thermostat. For example, if you normally keep your apartment heat at 75 degrees and lower it to 72 degrees, you’ll save 9 percent on your bill. That could translate into a $100 or more per year in savings.
These are just a few of the countless ways you can improve your monthly cash flow. Make just a few such changes and you’ll see a nice increase the money falling to your bottom line, where you can pick it up and use it to help fund your future.