Could you use an extra $1,500 in the next 6 weeks*? Need to lose those last stubborn 15/20/30/50+ pounds?
Whether you’re saving for a trip with your boo or your friends, or just looking to jumpstart a “get this fat off me now!” program, you’re in the right spot. Before I fire off the tips, let me direct you to Ramit Sethi’s page of financial awesomeness. Ramit shows you how to automate your finances so that you can live out the rest of your life having a ton of fun.
1. Go to Ramit’s site by clicking here.
2. Sell Some Shit
According to Clutter Coach (and my friend) Melody Granger, we use only about 20% of all our belongings 80% of the time. That means, there’s a whole lotta shit you could sell. I started by selling an old lap top and selling 3 bags of clothes to Buffalo Exchange. Total savings: $350
3. Downsize what you can.
Look, I understand that downsizing sucks. I personally prolong it as I can. My cable service was off the chain this year. It took me 3 months to actually talk myself into downgrading to a service I actually use. I really don’t watch that much HBO and Showtime so why the hell was I paying an extra $30 per month for something I don’t really use. Then there was my cell phone service. I was paying well over $80 for a VERY modest plan. I changed to a prepaid phone that gives unlimited everything and saved an extra $38 per month.
Total savings: $68 per month/ $816 per year
4. Cook More
Before you roll your eyes and say “This bitch is crazy”, hear me out. When I say cook, I don’t mean 5 star gourmet meals. Nuh-uh. I’m talking basic Rachael Ray style 30 minute meals. I’m talking soups, salads made with pre-washed and neatly packaged lettuce, fresh veggies already sliced (and sometimes seasoned), and batches of brown rice made with a rice cooker and kept for a week.
It’s seriously easy! Trust me, I’m a lazy ass when it comes to cooking, and I get it done every week. However I don’t cook every day. I cook batches of food on Saturdays and Sundays and put it in storage containers. During the week, I divvy out what I need and have enough for another meal. This does require planning, but if you manage to do this, you can save A LOT of moolah. I went from eating out 4 times per week, to once every 2-3 weeks.
Total savings: $220 Total possible pounds to lose: 10-15 in 4 weeks
5. Go Beach Body
Gym memberships are hella expensive. The average cost is between $50-$70 per month. There are a lot of cons to joining a gym including inconvenient hours (unless you’re at 24 hour gym), certain aerobic classes offered on days you can’t attend, sweaty equipment, horrible music, the size 0 chick with the bouncy ponytail is hogging the treadmill or elliptical, etc.
Total savings: $37.50+ per month/$450+ per year Total pounds lost: approx 10-30% fat loss (i.e., lose 2-5 pant sizes)
6. Stretch meals by using veggies
Some of you already cook. You can easily stretch a soup by adding couscous or rice. You can add lots of chopped veggies to your chilli to not only make it stretch, but also to make it heartier. Trade your chips for carrot chips. They’re cheaper and you can eat the whole bag without feeling an ounce of guilt. Or hunger. Add loads of bell peppers and onions to your fajitas for a super filling meal. You can even split the bill with a friend and cook everything together.
Total savings: $100+ Total possible pounds to lose: 10-15 in 4 weeks.
7. Become a Maxinista (or shop at Ross)
Cute designer clothes for up to 80% of retail price. Need I say more? TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom’s Rack, and Ross are your friends! Love them. Visit them often. If you only have a $20 clothing budget every month, get your boo-hiney to a Ross and pick up a cute designer dress for $19.99 or a nice pair of Calvin Klein slacks for $17.99. I once saw a pair of Dolce and Gabanna jeans at Ross for $120. Retail price $700!!
Total savings: Depends on how much you usually spend on clothes. But I’ll ballpark it $150
8. Getting a side gig is easy.
I’ve always worked a side gig for extra money. Not because I necessarily needed it, but because I like having money. Period. Plus, growing up, my mom always had at least 3 jobs. I guess it’s in my blood. I’ve edited college students papers ($20 per page), tutored students ($20 per hour), taught ESL students conversational English ($30 per hour), bartended private parties ($80-$120 per hour), been an MMA marketer ($ depends on the amount of retail sold), etc.
All of these side jobs didn’t take a lot of my time and if I compounded the amount I made every month, I’d end up with a substantial amount of money. For example, tutoring 3 days per week for an hour and a half grossed $360. Add to that the 2 five paged papers I edited in less than 2 hours and I made a total savings of: $560
9. Split the cost
Listen, I understand that not eating out can be a drab. If you must eat out, then split a meal (and the cost) with a friend. Do this once or twice per month and you’re saving ½ the cost you’d spend by yourself.
Total savings: $20-$100 per month Total pounds lost: 2-5 pounds per month
10. Do your own Mani & Pedi
The average manicure and pedicure costs about $40. If you can budget off 1 hour of your time and do it yourself, you can save: $480 per year.
A teacher I know saved $150 in gas every month simply by carpooling 4 out of 5 days out of the week. His two hour commute to work was wrecking havoc on his budget. He found another fellow teacher who lives close by and they figured out a carpooling schedule. They both ended up saving butt loads of money. Money which they saved in a money market account. (My personal fave is ING Orange Savings Account.)
Try it out and see if it works for you. If not, try commuting via public transportation one day per week.
Total savings: $150 per month for carpooling and $50+ for using public transportation 1 per week
So ya see, with just a few small adjustments, you can easily add $1,500 to you income. To top it off, you could drop about 10-15 pounds to fit into your latest Freakum dress you bought from TJ Maxx. Work it girl!
*Note: I understand that some people will probably find a little less than $1,500 in 6 weeks. This sum total is based on a salary of at least $53,000 per year. If you earn less, there’s a possibility you could find less. But some money is better than NO money!