When most people need some extra money, they simply look at their things and sell what they don’t use. But this only gets you so far and is a short term solution. If you really want to start putting money into savings, it’s time to start thinking long term. If you’re tired of spending all of your money on monthly expenses, there are a few things you can do without resorting to donating plasma. Here are a few ways you can decrease your spending and start saving money.
Check Your Subscriptions
The first thing you should do when trying to save money is to take a look at your bank statement and see where your money is going each month. The main things to watch for are recurring bills and spending drains. Are you subscribed to any magazines that you get in the mail and immediately throw in the trash? Did you sign up to get dog treats each month that make your pet sick half the time? You should really just cancel those subscriptions and use the money or more important things.
Consolidate Your Debt
It’s not uncommon for people to graduate college with more debt than they expected to gather, to say the least. Whether it’s student loans, credit card bills, or both, it can be intimidating to get these bills every month. A good way to ease your mind is to consolidate your debt, either by transferring your credit to one card or seeking a third party loan at a lower interest rate. Getting all of your debt onto one bill will make things feel more manageable and lower rates will help you pay it off faster.
Watch Your Energy Use
If you’re responsible for your utility bills, it’s important to start good habits. Even if you can’t upgrade your insulation or windows like a homeowner can, there are ways to lower these expenses. Switching to LED bulbs are a must as these will decrease your energy consumption drastically. Draw your shades in the summer and open them on sunny days in the winter. Install a better showerhead that will use less water and be sure to turn off all electronics when they’re not being used.
Using your kitchen will save you a lot of money. Eating in will help you save 50-75% of the cost of takeout, which can add up to thousands of dollars each year. Even simply making your daily coffee at home will help you save up to $50 a month. Making a grocery list and spending money at the store rather than a restaurant is the most cost-efficient way to eat, so start following some food blogs, make a list, and get cooking!
Don’t Spend Like Your Friends
It can be hard to say no to a night out with your friends, even if you’re tight on cash. However, even though it may seem like your friends have it all together and are able to spend more money than you, most people live beyond their means and never discuss it. Rather than let yourself live outside of your budget, be the example and live within your means.
Bad tenants can cost your rental business a lot of money. Best case scenario, you’ll have easy access to positive monthly cash flow. Worst case, you’ll end up paying for expenses from your own pocket. This is why it’s important to have an effective screening process in place, to help find potential red flag tenants and decline their application before it’s too late. Here are a few things to look for to make sure you end up with the best tenants possible.
Low Credit Score
Always do a credit check on prospective tenants. It’s a simple process that can protect you from chronically non-paying or late-paying tenants. Be wary of people with a score of 620 or less. This can be indicative of many things such as struggles with budgeting, keeping a job, or taking on too much debt. Whatever their reasons, a good rule of thumb is to avoid these tenants.
Suspicious Behavior During Interview
It can be hard to spot every red flag in an application, which is why it’s important to meet potential tenants in person. If schedules or locations don’t allow this, phone interviews are the next best thing. Does the person seem nervous or avoid answering a question? Do they repeatedly reschedule or appear late to the interview? Is their story consistent with what they told you on their application? These are all red flags that suggest they may become a problem tenant.
Asking Inappropriate Questions
Pay attention to the questions they ask during the showing and interview. These questions will indicate what’s most important to them and what they prioritize in a property. Are they asking if their neighbors are ones to complain about noise? Do they mention their friend might stay the night a few times a month? If so, these could be signs of upcoming conflicts if you accept their application.
Eager to Move-In
A quick move can be a big red flag. It can signal a lost job, unexpected move, or an eviction from their current property. Unless the prospective tenant can prove they have a reasonable explanation for their rush (e.g. they’re starting school soon, their house burnt down, etc.), consider this a red flag.
Unwillingness to Offer Information
People that have nothing to hide don’t try to hide anything, plain and simple. Incomplete or ambiguous answers on applications or during interviews usually indicate there’s something in their history worth hiding. Many people are reluctant to share their social security number, which is understandable. However, it’s a necessary part of running a credit check. For this reason, if someone refuses to give you this information, you should consider it a red flag.
Attempting to Delay Deposit or First Rent
If a prospective tenant shows any hesitancy about making their initial payment, this can be an indication of a bad financial situation. Promising they’ll give it to you after they move in or asking you to “hold their spot” until they can get you the money is a pretty good sign you’ll never actually see that money.