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Finding Extra Cash | If you're looking for how to make easy money, then I've got a better idea for you: the easiest money to bring back into your monthly cash flow is the money you're no longer spending. We painlessly added $201.34 back into our monthly cash flow with very little work. See how we did it, and how you can DIY this, too! |

Looking for how to make easy money? Hint: the easiest way to increase your monthly cash flow is to actually stop spending leaks.

You may be wondering how to make easy money online, by negotiating with your boss, etc. But you know what? What you're really wanting is more money in your monthly cash flow. And the easiest way to get that is through auditing your monthly spending + plugging the leaks.

There are two great things about shaving off costs on monthly expenses. First of all, it’s a one-time surge of energy that will continue to reap you money down the road (do once, enjoy over and over again). Secondly, the motivation to conduct an audit usually comes when you are experiencing some sort of financial downturn. Which means taking the time to tighten up now will actually give you a quicker financial bounce back once you are back on your feet!

You might think that auditing your own monthly costs means you will have to get rid of services that you enjoy. I’m here to show you that many times that is completely avoidable. Not only did we give up next to nothing, but in some cases we actually added to our services. Intrigued?

Here’s what we found during our audit:

  • Auto Insurance: Back in December, our auto insurance was set to increase $20 per month for the same coverage. In one phone call with our insurance agent, I was able to hack off $10 of that increase, as well as increase our liability coverage by $60,000.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance: There was not much gained in the home insurance arena. However, our agent did give us a discount of $40/year ($3.33/month) for the same coverage.
  • Netflix: Originally we were signed up for a $21.63 plan that allowed for streaming (Paul liked this for his business trips). We lowered our plan for a new cost of $12.98/month.
  • Cell Phone: We did well here. I was originally paying $83.23 per month for 450 minutes, 2 GB data, and unlimited texting. After my contract ended, I switched to Virgin Mobile’s $35 + tax/month plan. Paul’s cell plan ended this month, and we switched him from a $128/month bill (his company used to pay all of this, but we’ve picked up the tab for the last four months) to a $45/month plan with Straight Talk.
  • Business Spending for Blog Carnival Submittal Service: I used to pay for a service ($20/month) to submit my blog posts to blog carnivals, but decided that it was no longer worth it. And guess what? My traffic is actually higher!
  • Phantom Credit Card Charges: Paul had two company expenses still going on our credit card that used to be reimbursable but no longer are (a $12.95 monthly expense to Experts Exchange, and a $15.09 monthly expense to ATT Data). He no longer needs or uses either, though it took us a month after the layoff to catch the charges.

Our gains include $60,000 in additional liability coverage, unlimited data on my cell plan (my old cap of 2 GB was an issue for a full-time blogger) and unlimited texting for Paul (he used to have a cap). Our only decreases in service are we no longer have streaming through Netflix and I no longer use a blog carnival submission service, both of which we no longer have a use for.

And the monetary gains? A whopping $201.34 back into our monthly cash flow, or $2,416.08 over the next year. Not bad!

How to Try this Out for Yourself

Try this out for yourself.

Here are three steps to achieve this:

  • Identify Recurring Service Charges on Your Accounts: The easiest place to start is to look at each of the services you pay for {magazine subscriptions, premiums, cable packages, etc.} and lop off any that you don’t use. Hint: you can call your credit card or bank and ask them to look at your account to tell you of any charges that are recurring.
  • Ask for Specials and Discounts: Next, tackle the remaining services you'd like to keep. Call up your providers and ask if they have any specials or discounts available to you.
  • Substitute in Cheaper Alternatives: Did those cuts not go far enough, or perhaps your service provider was being stingy with the discounts? Look for cheaper alternatives by shopping around. It may take a few hours, but it’s usually well worth the time investment as the months of savings rolls on and on.

Want to hear more about how to reduce your own spending without sacrifice? Subscribe below. 

3 replies
  1. Bryce @ Save and Conquer
    Bryce @ Save and Conquer says:

    We went after all recurring charges with a vengeance several years ago. I didn’t keep track of what we saved, but it was probably something similar to yours. We stay on the lookout for new grey charges that my appear on our credit cards when we sign up for a service, and are always looking for additional ways to reduce our recurring charges. They can certainly add up if you’re not paying attention.

  2. Daisy
    Daisy says:

    Every year or so, I do the same thing. I was able to save a similar amount during my last expense cut back in January. Like you, one of the areas I saved the most in was on my cell phone bill. I cut back some extras that I was paying into that I didn’t need.

    Carnivals are tricky; you never quite know whether they are worth submitting to. I stopped submitting to carnivals too and I didn’t notice a difference at all with respect to traffic or subscribers.

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