Who wouldn’t want $1,000?
Isn’t it funny how often unexpected expenses pop up that could be taken care of if you had $1,000 lying around? Funny’s the wrong word for that feeling but you get the point.
- Plumbing issues
- Plumbing issues caused by you trying to fix the previous plumbing issues
- New brakes and tires for your car
- A minor medical procedure
- A dog runs through your bedroom window…twice.
- The A/C unit needs repair
Every single unexpected event listed above happened to us within the last year.
Every time something happened we had a starter emergency fund of $1,000 set aside from our normal checking account so we never had to put it on a credit card. We dipped into the emergency fund, paid to fix the problem, and replenished it with our next paycheck.
In Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, Baby Step #1 is to save $1,000, a starter emergency fund.
You’re encouraged to do this as quickly as possible, even before your next paycheck. Dave says, “sell so much stuff the kids think they might be next.” His point was well taken in our lives…what’s the point of owning stuff if it actually owns you? Having debt meant we didn’t actually own this stuff anyway. We just OWED a lot of money to other folks. Plus, we can always just buy it again later in cash once we’re debt free.
But if you’re like 76% of Americans currently living paycheck-to-paycheck with little to no emergency savings you don’t even have that extra $1,000 laying around. So how do you get it?
3 Ways to Make $1,000 Before Your Next Paycheck
1. Create a budget…and stick to it!
This might seem ineffective but it’s exactly the opposite. Your first reaction when trying to save $1,000 as quickly as possible shouldn’t be to donate plasma or sell your neighbor’s TV when they’re at the grocery store.
If you’ll create a budget that cuts back on excessive spending and simply stick to it, you’ll be so surprised with the money you have left over. Additional side effects may include fits of white hot rage as you add up how much money you could have if you had started living on a budget a year ago.
- Stop eating out (psst…that’s where all your money’s going! Think of how many PB & J’s you can make for the $12 you spent on fast food last night!)
- Use cash – you’ll feel the pain of spending it more than the magical fake money of debit-credit cards.
2. Sell Your Stuff
This is where people have the most trouble, for a lot of reasons. There’s a reason your stuff is your stuff. You obviously like it! And maybe somebody else isn’t as attached to it as you are and won’t be willing to pay what you feel it’s worth. Who cares?!? You stopped being able to have that opinion when you had to put a $300 car repair bill on a credit card because you don’t have a starter emergency fund. Sell it! Remember, you can always just buy it again (the right way, with cash) once you’re out of debt.
- Have a garage sale. Hundreds of $1 transactions means hundreds of DOLLARS.
- Sell your clothes at a thrift shop or consignment store.
- Sell DVDs (a personal favorite). There’s plenty of options on Netflix.
- Cancel cable. Waste of time and money.
- Sell equipment (bikes, kayaks, exercise machines, etc). You can always rent as you want to use them afterward.
- Sell any kitchen appliances/glassware you haven’t used in the last year.
3. Work an Extra Job
- If your job allows it, work as much overtime as possible. Remember this is all about making $1000 ASAP.
- Clean someone’s house.
- Mow yards (personal favorite).
- If you work during the day, wait tables at night.
- If you work at night, unload trucks or deliver the paper in the morning.
- Walk someone’s dogs, preferably with their permission.
- Find something you like doing already anyway. If you’re always hanging out in coffee shops, why not hang out on the other side of the counter as an employee?