The plight of the adult these days is to be qualified and have an education but still not be able to afford the basic cost of living. It is like one huge plot hole in life, and one that is mostly felt by the newer generations.
A couple of decades ago, a university education was not unobtainable. Minimum wage was able to support a family. The housing market was not a black hole that consumed the dreams and aspirations of all those who dared go near it. The baby boomers wonder why millennials are so sour about their existence, well this is why. They are not generation Z, who grew up knowing things were pretty bleak.
When millennials were children, hope was still alive. They were told that if they worked hard, they could achieve their dreams. This notion only started falling apart when they started qualifying. Once they headed out into the big, bad world, they realized the world was not as kind as it was presented to be.
It is difficult, a slog and unfair. The scales are not tipped in their favor. They are not tipped in anyone’s favor. Except the remarkably rich, that is. But, with the following tips and tricks, rent should not be the foremost concern of any person struggling to get by. Where there is a will, there is a way, and these are the ways.
18. Save with Apps
There’s an app for everything. This is the beauty and at times the horror of this new digital world. In this particular instance, it’s a wonderfully good thing because there are apps that can actually make saving more palatable.
Why does saving need to be palatable, you may ask? Well, because it’s not any fun. Sure, everyone knows they should be saving, but this doesn’t make it an enjoyable thing. Saving is wrapped up in delayed gratification, an entirely foreign concept to the new generations.
These budding adults are used to things being available at the tap of a button. They are not accustomed to waiting or planning for the future. Why would they be, if the future is so uncertain? But, back to the initial point.
Saving is a must, and downloading an app called WinWin will help you do so with the tap of a button. Once set up, small and set amounts of money go into the app to be saved. One can also play games like pinball to add a little extra to the existing savings.
17. Get paid to drink beer
This might sound like a completely outlandish idea, but it is actually a thing. It is by no means a scheme that can earn you thousands in one go. With this idea, you simply add a couple of dollars to your existing disposable income.
There is technically free beer involved, so once you factor that in, the numbers go up. The idea is that you get paid to go out and try out craft breweries. The process is relatively simple.
Hop on the internet and sign up for something called Secret Hopper. Then, simply go to a brewery on the list and purchase, consume and rate its product. In return for your input, Secret Hopper reimburses you for the beer and adds a couple of dollars for your time.
Not only do you get some extra pocket money, but you’re essentially drinking for free. Granted, some conditions apply. But on the whole, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
16. There is no shame in asking for help
Sometimes no matter what you do, there’s just not enough money at the end of the month. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it may be time to ask for help.
This shouldn’t be a source of shame or discomfort. If you need help, ask for it. There is no use avoiding the issue in an attempt to save face. No one is saying you have to ask your parents or your friends.
Before going to such extreme measures, try dialing 211. This is a service offered by United Way. It is completely confidential, so you don’t have to worry about anyone finding out. Basically, the service directs you to community services to help you get the advice or help you need.
There is also something called a Modest Needs Grant, which is specifically designed for people who are not below the poverty line, but who are almost incapable of making ends meet.
15. Rethink those online purchases
Shopping online can be dangerous, and not because of the countless scams one can get sucked into. The real danger in online shopping is the ease of access. You don’t have to get dressed and head to the store to buy things. You can do it all from the comfort of your own home. It’s is all so quick and easy and not to mention distracting.
You head online looking for a jacket you kind of need and walk away with a discounted towel rack, a miniature power-tool kit and a couple of food storage containers that just looked so darn nifty.
Before you know it, you’ve blown this month’s rent money. But there is an upside. Not all of this money is gone for good. These purchases can be reversed to varying degrees.
If you’re really strapped for cash and are dealing with major buyer’s remorse, why not try getting a refund? Paribus is a good jumping-off point for those who are completely new to the concept.
14. Get money from your company a few days earlier
This does not mean you should head to your boss and ask for an advance on your salary. This method is far cleverer than that. Salary payments generally work in the following way. The accountant sends the money to the banks employees bank with, and the money has to clear before you can access to it. This generally takes a couple of days, meaning that most people get their money on the last day of the month.
If you’re prepared for this, there might be no problem of bounced check. But, wouldn’t life be so much easier if your money came through a few days earlier?
If you use Chime, then this could be the case. As soon as the order for your salary has gone through, Chime gives you access to your money. There is no waiting period, ensuring you can pay your bills in peace and on time.
13. Boost your income with your car
Carpooling has a couple of advantages. The first is that you spend less on gas money. The second is that you’re doing your part for the environment.
Why drive alone with only the radio to keep you company? You can cut your spending and brighten your commute by driving with others. Then there is the whole rideshare and Lyft option. These services get people from point A to B while affording others with disposable income. If you are struggling to stretch your money to the end of the month, maybe give Lyft a try.
This side job can be both flexible and lucrative. There are, however, a couple of requirements. You must be age 21 or older, have at least 1 year of driving experience and your car needs to be at least a 2007 model. If you fit these specifications and are able to pass a background check, Lyft could very well be the answer for you.
12. Get a string of very temporary roommates
Before going any further, we should clarify that this does not mean going out onto the street and picking up the first person you find. This is a pretty dangerous strategy, and depending on the circumstances could even be illegal. Of course, as with almost anything else, there’s an app to regulate such things.
Airbnb is an app that allows people to temporarily rent out rooms, cottages or even tents from people who are looking to make extra money by opening their doors to kind strangers.
There are a fair amount of regulations that govern this service, so you don’t need to worry excessively about strange and dangerous people. At best, this is an app than can help boost your bank balance each month. Especially if the property you rent is in a very desirable location.
It is also an opportunity to meet new and interesting people. Nothing like a new story to brighten up your week.
11. Cautiously get a credit card
Caution is the magic word here. This is not saying you should get a credit card and head out on a shopping spree. The point is to get a credit card to benefit from deals and signing bonuses.
Depending on the company, signup bonuses can go all the way up to $150. This kind of money can be very helpful as a once-off thing, but you have to be careful with your spending. No one needs a bad credit score in their life.
Some credit cards even offer you cash back on the purchases you make with them. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers this and a tasty little something extra. If you spend $500 in the first 3 months you have the card, they will give you another $150 bonus. You’ll obviously need to repay the money you spent, but an extra $150 could always come in handy.
10. Try your luck
No, we’re not telling you to play the lotto. Yes, people have won, but the odds are astronomical at best. At worst, you’ll wind up spending money you don’t have on money you’ll never see. Just don’t do it.
But, there are ways that you can test your luck without having to fork out any cash. The following method should not be relied upon, as it does depend on luck and you have no guarantee. The odds of winning big are slim, but at least you won’t lose any money trying.
It can offer extra cash if the stars are shining down upon you. There’s always room for money, so it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. It is free, after all.
Download apps like Lucktastic. There are competitions, games and scratch cards. All of which are free thanks to a mass amount of advertising on the apps. The chances of getting rich via this channel are slim, but there’s no harm in trying. Who knows what could happen?
9. Your opinion counts, kind of…
Ever heard of market research? It’s research done by companies and individuals who are interested in knowing about consumer responses to just about everything. Why is this important? Because there are websites you can visit where you can actually earn money simply by completing surveys.
There is not a lot of money involved, but if you put in enough time, the small bits do add up. Most of these sites work on a points system.
Fill in enough surveys and collect points, and you will eventually have money in your PayPal account. The great thing about these surveys is that they are relatively effortless. They do not require an ample amount of brainpower, just a little bit of your time.
In order to supplement your disposable income in a noticeable way with these surveys, you’ll need to devote at least a couple of minutes every day. A couple of dollars a week, while welcome, won’t really going to put a huge dent in your expenses.
8. Work with animals
Who doesn’t love playing with puppers and doggos? This tip is for people who absolutely love animals. Who would cherish the idea of spending a couple of hours with loving animals, even without money involved? Luckily for you, there are ways to actually get paid to spend time with animals.
Pet-sitting can end up as quite the lucrative side job if you market yourself properly. To start off, you can offer your services to friends and family. If you’re looking to expand your customer base, it might be a good idea to head online and sign up with a couple of pet-sitting sites.
There are also varying options that allow you to put together a profile online which will allow pet owners to come to you. The more experience you rake up, the more you can charge for your services.
7. Chores are not only for kids
When you finally became a young adult, you were probably thrilled that you no longer had to do chores at your parents’ home. If you’re low on cash and still need to pay rent, you might want to break out the old gardening gloves.
It probably wouldn’t be the best idea to go door to door asking people to pay you to wash their dishes, but if you hop onto Craigslist, you might find a couple of gigs that put cash in your pocket.
These types of jobs can be found under the “gigs” section of Craig’s list. They can range from anything like helping a person clear out their garage to mowing the lawn.
These jobs do not pay a lot, but they are generally not difficult and can be done over the weekend. There should be no shame in doing these jobs. It is honest work for honest cash.
6. Get rid of all those DVD’s lying around
Honestly, who watches DVD’s anymore? Better yet, who even owns a DVD player? Most houses have a stockpile of media-related paraphernalia they kind of just leave lying around. Maybe they are waiting for a resurgence, or maybe they think DVD’s will actually be worth something one day.
It’s not entirely impossible, but the chances of getting rich off your DVD collection is incredibly slim. If you’re in a pinch, it’s probably better to get rid of them now for extra cash rather than hold onto them for no reason.
There are a couple of stores that would be willing to take those DVD’s and/or CD’s off your hands for a small price. They won’t pay a lot. But if you have a sizeable enough collection, you may be able to bridge the gap at the end of the month. This is clearly only a once-off option.
5. Slim down your wardrobe
Everyone has clothes they don’t wear any more. There are always a couple of items that hang around in the back of the closet. Every time we clean our closets, we convincing ourselves the right occasion might finally arise to wear that darling sweater.
If you’re really honest with yourself, you know you’re never going to wear it. If you were going to put it on, then you would have done so already.
When money is tight, you need to make the hard choices. March right up to your closet and go through all your clothing. Be honest with yourself and ask whether you have worn it in the past year.
If not, then it’s time to give it away or sell it. Clothes in good condition can be sold on a couple of apps and websites. You won’t get what you paid for them, but you could make a couple of bucks depending on the item and style.
4. Let go of those gift cards
Gift cards live in a weird limbo. They are given when a person doesn’t actually know what kind of gift to give. You’re happy when you get them because at least you can buy something you actually want. More often than not, though, those gift cards wind up taking up space in your wallet or a drawer somewhere.
You might think regifting them is the best possible use. But, they can actually be resold for cold, hard cash. Where can one do this? Online, obviously.
You can do everything online, including selling old gift cards. Raise and LetGo are good places to start. Keep in mind that cards cannot already be expired or near their expiration date.
You will not always get the exact price of the balance. But you didn’t spend the money, so this shouldn’t be too big an issue.
This is clearly only an option for people who like children and babies. If you can’t stand the noise or the mess, it’s probably best to avoid these kinds of jobs. If you love children and are talented at keeping them entertained, this could be a good opportunity to earn some extra cash.
A bonus is that this job can be quite sustainable if you’re good at what you do. People always need babysitters, and they could be paying you instead of all those high school and college kids vying for the same job.
Because watching children is a very important job, you can actually earn quite a bit of money. This is especially true if you’re an adult. People will assume you will do a better job than a teenager.
If you can’t think of a place to start, as with almost everything else, head online. There are forums and websites aplenty.
2. Sell your books
This point is similar to the DVD and clothes suggestion. Selling your possessions to make ends meet may feel a bit degrading. It might make you feel like you are in dire straits. But everybody has a rough stretch at some point; it’s just the way the world works.
Don’t be ashamed of yourself. Approach it as an opportunity to declutter your home. We all have a lot of nonsense lying around that could be of more use to someone else.
When it comes to books, you won’t get anything close to what you paid for them. But, if your collection is sizeable and of good quality, settling them may be worth it.
The best place to start is a local bookstore. They may be willing to take those books off your hands. If that doesn’t work, try the internet. There are a couple of buyback options to investigate. Doing this online can sometimes wind up being a lengthy process, but it could get you that much closer to the end of the month.
1. When all else fails
Maybe you have reached the end of this list and you still just don’t have enough money. Maybe you’re out of time and can’t fall back on any of the options we suggested. This is the time to suck up your pride and ask a loved one for help.
This may be a humiliating experience. Yes, you are probably a fully self-sufficient adult who shouldn’t be asking your parents for money. Life happens to the best of us, though. There are times when you have no choice but to ask someone to lend you money.
This should obviously not become a habit and should only be done if you’re out of options. But, it should not be ruled out as an option all together. It’s better to ask for money than get kicked out of your place and have to move back home, right? If you are going to borrow money this month, you should approach next month as an opportunity to do better.