Quick Tips for More Spending Money

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? As hard as it is to say, you may have to get in line; unfortunately, it seems the numbers are growing more than ever of those struggling to make ends meet. From college aged to the elderly, living paycheck to paycheck has become a new and highly stressful way of life.

It isn’t as easy as we would like it to be to try and get out of this form of living; in fact, for many they may have been living this way for so long it has become a natural routine. One of the easiest ways to slowly start to get out of this mundane and disheartening routine is to figure out a way to earn an extra income, an extra cash flow if you will. Whether it’s from using a skill you already have, giving guitar lessons perhaps, taking up an extra job, or even getting rid (selling) unwanted and unused items, there is a good amount of profit available if you are willing to put the extra work in. No matter how small or mundane some of these ideas might sound, you would be surprised of how lucrative they can actually be. When you are tired of living in your rut you become eager to find a way out; realizing the amount of possibilities that are available to you and acting on the opportunities presented will surely get you a step ahead in regards to your financial goals and future.

If you have a skill of any kind, sports related, creative writing, computers, electronics, music, you name it, there are people out there willing to pay you for your services. Have a bunch of junk around the house or cluttering up your garage you’re simply tired of looking at? Then perhaps you should consider having a yard sale or even start selling some items online to make a sufficient and substantial profit. There are also numerous sites looking for specific items, for instance sites with a focus on jewelry, that would be willing to pay a pretty penny for your unwanted gems or gold; sell your jewelry for cash, you won’t be disappointed!  If you have a bunch of items you can’t seem to sell online try having an online sale and you’ll be sure to get a good amount of cash to put away for a rainy day or to help pay the bills. Then there is always the thought of taking up a second job, this might not be plausible or appealing for many but it will get you out of the hole and away from living paycheck to paycheck.

Whichever method works best for you and your circumstance, you must keep in mind that there is always a way to get ahead in this world and out of the living from paycheck to paycheck routine. No matter how much extra work and time it may take, and be aware that it will take a decent amount of extra time and effort, there is light at the end of the tunnel if you look for it.

Bankrupt Detroit Still Building $444 Million Arena?

There’s been plenty of news recently about the city of Detroit filing for bankruptcy.  Detroit has been in financial trouble for quite some time, in fact.  Dwindling population numbers combined with an increasing budget for the city have combined to cause major financial issues for the city.  Then, I see this article on CNN Money about the new Red Wings arena.

A city, deep in bankruptcy, is still going forward with plans to build a new hockey arena with a total cost of over $400 million?  What. The. Heck.  Further, if you read the article, almost $300 million of that total will be taxpayer funded.  They’ve got some expert that studied the plans and he estimates that it might bring in $1 billion in funds over the next 30 years.  Which will do little for the city, if they don’t exist in 10…

If circumstances were different, and the city hadn’t just filed for bankruptcy, I could see moving forward with the arena.  After all, the arena that a team plays in can be a very important part of keeping the team in the city, as well as a good source of tourism funds.  But, that’s really all it does.  It’s not going to help the city get police to respond in under an hour.  In fact, if it increases tourism, that might get worse.  It’s not going to help with the huge outflow of population.  It’s not going to help them keep their schools funded, or fully fund the pensions of the retired workers.  The impact will be mostly centered around the arena, and not very far reaching.

If, in fact, it does increase the tourism in the area, I suppose you could make the argument that it would bolster the city’s revenue.  But enough to make any real dent in the current situation?  Not likely.  The construction likely will take at least a year.  Maybe two.  Aside from some temporary construction employment, the positive impact of the arena won’t be felt for at least two years.

Compare this to someone like you or me declaring bankruptcy and then continuing with construction of a new home.  Here’s how that would likely work out.  First, the bank would cancel any remaining funding in a construction loan.  (Unless you waited until after bankruptcy to try and get the loan, in which case they’d likely laugh you out of the bank.)  Second, if you had used the land as collateral on the construction loan, the bank would seize it.  Third, you’d finish up the bankruptcy, go back to work, and have to work at saving up enough to start over again.  No bank would let you just continue on with the new home.  So why is the State of Michigan allowing this?

From what I gather from that article, it sounds like the new arena, and it’s funding plan was approved in the Michigan legislature back at the end of 2012.  Detroit was in trouble then, but has only filed for the bankruptcy in the last few weeks.  So, it was approved before the situation got worse.  Fine.  But, again, just because it seemed ok then, doesn’t make it still ok.  If the state wants to help Detroit out, they’d be better off spending that $300 million on making sure essential services are properly funded, and able to provide services in a timely manner.  Or, they could spend it on a major house cleaning, cutting future debt of the city, and finding solutions to the current debt.

Or, they could build a new hockey arena…

What is your take on all of this? Should they continue building the arena?

How I Save More Than Just Money By Cutting the Cable

I was one of those kids that watched just about every show on television and could only fall asleep if the TV that was in my room was on. When I discovered one of my friends did not have cable, I couldn’t help think how abnormal it was. Now fast-forward to today’s time, and I am the abnormal one.  While streaming shows is becoming much more accepted and popular, my husband and I still get a lot of weird looks when we say we don’t have cable. However, by streaming our favorite shows through Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, we have saved three things.

First, we have saved over $1000 a year by cutting the cable. The number seems a little too large to be true, right? Well, it isn’t. Cable would cost us an extra $100 a month. Sure, there are tons of deals and bundles right now, but usually you only get a specialized rate for a year. So even with the special rate, we would be spending an extra $600 a year.

Secondly, we save a lot of time. We are the type of people that would watch television just to watch it, which can be a bad thing. Why waste your time to watch shows like Hoarders or Tanked just because it is the only thing on at that moment? With Netflix and Hulu, we know which shows we want to watch and don’t watch much else.

Cutting the CableFinally, it saves a lot of stress. Okay, maybe not a lot of stress, but definitely some degree. We babysat my sister-in-law’s kids one weekend and thought we would enjoy their ginormous television package with over 900 channels. It was Friday night, so it would seem pretty easy to find several good shows or movies to watch, right? Wrong. It was a little stressful scrolling through hundreds of stupid channels (infomercials and such) and trying to find something we both could agree on. I think we wasted an hour just trying to find something on. I am sure once you get use to your channels it is easier to find something, but I do still think it is ridiculous to have so many channels, yet still so very few selections in good things to watch.

With Netflix and Amazon, it is also nice to know that my children will be able to watch their favorite shows without ever seeing a commercial. This means I will not have to get dozen of requests for a Barbie with blue hair that turns into a dolphin underwater or for those special chicken nuggets with green goo in them (these two products are totally made up now, but don’t be surprised if they become a real thing).

So now you know. My decision to stay cable free is much more than just saving money. It is nice to save a huge chunk of money, but it is also nice to know that something does not control my time, my stress, and my finances.

What would you save if you went cable free?

original img credit:Alyssa & Colin, on Flickr