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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

5 Ways to Take Control of your Finances When Money is Tight | Saving Money Tips

As some of you know, I recently broke my ankle which has caused me to be out of work for the last 3 months and I had to have surgery. When this first happened I was very concerned that my finances were about to drastically change. Going from two full-time incomes and a side hustle to now only getting 60% of my pay, medical bills fast approaching and on top of all these, we also were having expensive car troubles. All hope wasn't lost for me though and it isn't for you either. Today's article is for when your money situation changes, these 5 things can get you back on track! 

1. Increase your Income

In my case, my ankle was broken but my laptop and hands were not! I already had a part-time job where for about 5 hours every week I write blog posts for an all natural company. So I reached out to my client and told her that I would be home for the next few months waiting to heal and waiting for my surgery. Just by letting her know my situation and asking for more hours, my hours went from 5 hours a week to 20! What an amazing blessing! 

Now you're probably thinking, "That's great Sam but what if we don't already have a second job in place? " Have no fear! There are many side hustle options nowadays that can help you get cash fast! Depending on your situation and access to a car or the internet, there should be an option here for everyone! 

  • Sign up and deliver food for Doordash and start earning cashs early as the same day.
  • Good with kids or pets? Apply to babysitting jobs, pet sitting or even odd jobs on Care.com
  • If you aren't able to really leave your home, like me, an at home side hustle is perfect. Consider becoming a virtual assistant, or freelance writer! Get started using websites like Upwork to find clients! 
  • Apply for a parttime seasonal job locally like at Target, Amazon or even as a coach for a kids sports team at your local rec center or high school. Look on Craigslist and ask around for these type of opportunities. 
  • Here are a few other great blog posts with side hustle ideas: 10 extra ways to make extra moneySide hustles for introverts, and How to become a Virtual Assistant with NO experience.

2. Drastically Reduce Your Spending 

Now some of you might have gotten to this point, and are thinking "Thank you, Next" but, just hear me out. We often times spend money on things that in the long run aren't as important to us as reaching our other goals like buying a home or even just getting caught up on bills. If we can eliminate what's weighing us down we can make real progress. 

Start by writing out every single monthly bill that you have and about how much you spend on things like groceries, and entertainment. If the total amount you spend exceeds the income you have coming in or doesn't leave you any room for savings, its time to pull out that red pen and start crossing things off your list.  Things like upcoming vacations, monthly subscriptions, magazines, etc are the first to go. 

For any of the other non-necessities that you still feel like you cant cut, research each one. Love having cable? Learn how others live without! Google cheaper alternatives and pick the solution that works best for you and your family. Maybe switch to a cheaper provider or better yet cancel it altogether and switch to Netflix! Do you enjoy your premium Spotify membership? Download all the free versions of Spotify, iHeartradio and Pandora instead so you have as much free music as you could ever want! 

For the other bills that you can't just cancel like your electric bill or water bill, call your provider or go on their website directly. This was you can see all the options they offer to help you save money! For example, my electric company has several different ways to save money and on numerous occasions have given me a discount just for calling and asking! You never know! 

For groceries, I'm not a fan of clipping paper coupons. To be honest, I never remember to bring them into the store. To save money on groceries I like to join the rewards program at my grocery store, eat from my pantry first, stick to things on the outer aisles (real food: fruits, veggies, grains etc), buy from the discount racks, and I follow my grocery store on Facebook because they often offer exclusive digital coupons that I can download right onto my rewards card. 

If you need to, do a spending freeze altogether. For those of you that haven't heard of this method, its extreme but very effective. Essentially, for a certain amount of time (maybe a few days, a month or a year) you only buy the bare necessities. Like gas for work, basic groceries, and paying any of your bills. Everything else is on a freeze! When we were saving up for our house we did spending freezes for months at a time! When I recently broke my ankle we also did spending freezes as best as we could. Here is an article about how to get started with a spending freeze. How to do a Spending Freeze- It's Easier Than You Think!

3. Sell Your Old Stuff

Man, in times of crisis you should see me running around my house like a mad woman! I go through each room and start taking pictures of anything and everything I can think to sell. Got any old furniture or toys your kids don't play with? Post them for sale on Craigslist or Offerup. Have clothes that you've outgrown or items that you can no longer return? Try selling them on eBay or to a local consignment store. 

The trick to making this work is to keep posting your items until they sell. On Offerup or Craigslist I like to go back in every 3-4 days and either lower my price or repost my ad altogether. Post on Facebook that you have items for sale and ask your friends to share your post. Better yet, join one of those local buy and sell Facebook groups so more people can see what you've got. I'm usually able to sell most things within one week and depending on how much stuff you have this can result in a quick few hundred dollars back into your bank account.

4. Ask for Help 
 

Now for this tip, I'm not referring to asking for money. When I say ask for help, I mean reach out to your friends and family and come up with creative ways to tackle your financial situation. 

For example, do you typically send your children to daycare? That can get expensive, fast! If money is tight, try and skip a few weeks of daycare and ask your family members to watch your kids. We are so blessed, to be honest, my stepson has never had to stay at daycare or really even have a babysitter because our family is big and there's always someone who loves to help watch him when needed. Now if you don't have a family with that type of availability or maybe they don't live close to you, think about trading babysitting. Set up a trading system with your friends or coworkers, watch their kids when you can and have them watch yours in exchange, for free. 

Need to buy something? Like a part for your car, school supplies or new clothes for that interview? Ask your friends and family if they know of cheap places to get those items or if they have anything that you can borrow for free. A great website to reach out to your community for help is called Freecycle if you need anything like baby supplies, tools, old treadmills, clothes (I've even gotten free compost), etc this website is for you! 

Asking for help also means calling your bills and if needed letting them know you're in a tight position. Often times, if you are upfront and honest they, can either change your due date, give you a longer grace period or even reduce your bill altogether! 

If you're in a really tough spot and need immediate assistance, you can also reach out to local places like the Salvation Army or Red Cross for any food, shelter and household needs you and your family may be facing.

We can't get through this life alone remember to reach out to others for moral support and advice! 

5. Pray 

Last, but not least pray. Pray your heart out even if you feel upset at God or feel like nothing will come of it. God is tough and can handle how we may be feeling and He will come to your aid in times of trouble. Keep praying until it gets better and pray even when your situation has improved. 

"But in my distress, I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears." Psalms 18:6 NLT 

"The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles." Psalms 34:17 NLT


A great and easy way to read the bible for free is to download the free The Bible App -You Verison on your phone. It has almost, if not all the versions of the Bible, different languages, devotionals to get you started and they even added a section to find verses based on the emoji that describes how you feel! It makes connecting with God during such a busy and overwhelming time much easier. 


Well, those are my top 5 tips on how to get a hold of your finances when life throws you a curve ball! Have you tried any of these tips before? Which one will you try out first? Let me know down in the comments below. 

Looking for more ways to save money? Check out these link's to my other budget-friendly blog posts! 


XOXO, The Natural Babe 

LET'S BE FRIENDS!//

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8 comments

  1. We have spent years trying to reduce our spending and expenses. It is an ongoing exercise!! Not always easy

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  2. These are such a great tips. Saving this post. My husband and I has been reducing our spending and expenses. If it’s not necessary or something that we really need we don’t get it.

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  3. I reduced my spending and increased my income. It's definitely helping with getting rid of debt and I am able to save a little bit too!

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    1. increasing your income helps so much! Great job :D

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  4. Buying less is such a good step. We generally have too much stuff!

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