The average American spends $36,000 in a lifetime on housing (mortgage or rent), and then another $914/month on their car explains Peter DiCaprio. Most people spend thousands of dollars per year eating out at restaurants and hundreds more on coffee and soda from shops, not to mention the money we spend on entertainment and “luxury” items like clothes and technology.
It’s not hard to find ways to waste money, but it is a lot harder to find the best and easiest way on how to make money with minimal effort (especially if you’re already working full time).
Before we get into those, though, let me tell you about my friend who showed me some of these. Two years ago he called me out of nowhere and said that he wanted to talk about something over lunch. When we met up he asked me flat out: was I making as much money as I could be? He explained that there were simple things I hadn’t thought of – stuff any idiot could do – that would put hundreds more in my pocket every month says Peter DiCaprio.
I was a bit offended, but he said it in a constructive way and I listened. He showed me his math and how it all worked… stuff you can do even if you don’t have any money to start with! Two years later, here I am writing about the best ways that I’ve found to make far more than an extra $400/month (its closer to $800 for me now).
So what are these five ways? Here they are:
1) Negotiate your cable bill
2) Use your car frugally
3) Price match
4) Automate your finances
5) Sell things you don’t use anymore
- The first one is pretty obvious: call up and explain to them that you’re considering changing companies because they’re charging you too much. Tell them what you make per year and how many people are in your family (you can even lie here…who’s checking?). Most of the time they’ll offer you a special deal, but they will sometimes tell you that there’s nothing they can do. This is where it gets interesting: ask to speak with their manager.
- Tell them that they’re unwilling to help keep your business and see what happens! Now, I’ve only done this a couple times before when I really wanted to watch a movie or something on a certain date, but it works. Use the same method if you’re thinking about canceling all together – just be nice about it.
- Remember that these cable companies are in the business of making money, so take advantage of their need to keep you around. They often don’t mind cutting deals since they’ll make it up later by jacking your rates back up after a year or two.
- The second thing is super easy too: use public transportation or your bike instead of driving everywhere! I know there are times when this isn’t an option, but if you can give up one trip a month to drive somewhere then you’ve already made some savings… and if there’s more than one person in your family who can do it then congratulations! You’re saving even more money each month.
- I guess what I’m trying to say here is that most people waste a lot of money on vehicles – cars specifically. You might have to pay more up front. But over the course of five or six years it’ll be significantly less. Shop around for insurance rates if you’re not already too… every few years save some money by switching companies.
- Price matching is something I recently did when I bought an iPad. The company I work for plans its purchases well in advance (sometimes a year ahead of time). So we were able to get the best possible price on these iPads. Then, after about two weeks they announced that their partner was running a special promotion. And anyone who spent over $1,000 could receive $100 off. So what did I do? I walked into Best Buy®, showed them my original receipt filled out with all the important numbers. And then the manager took over.
- Best Buy® honored our company’s original price. Gave us another $100 back on top of that, and even made me eligible for an additional 5% off! I ended up saving about $500 in addition to getting a free case!
Price matching is what you use when you know there’s a deep discount coming. In the very near future explains Peter DiCaprio. Best Buy® won’t do it for you, but some other stores will. Especially if your receipt says how much the item costs elsewhere.