July Challenge: Find an Extra $100 in Your Budget

There are tons of ways to spend money in July—fireworks, vacations and cookouts to name a few. But the month is also full of ways to find extra money!

Our July challenge is to locate an extra $100 within your budget. Or, pick an amount of your choice! Depending on your monthly budget, you could aim for a lower or higher amount. Just pick a target and aim. Chances are, a few minor spending tweaks will do the trick. You probably won’t notice any lifestyle difference, but you’ll definitely notice the extra money! It will then be yours to spend, save or give. Here’s how you can find it.

Beginning of the Month

Take a closer look at your budget. Ask yourself where you can trim $5 or $10. Download or clip grocery coupons. Sign up for Amazon deals on things you frequently buy. These minor adjustments to a few budget categories can add up. The sooner you make those little adjustments, the more time you have to fund an extra night out with friends or a day trip.

Middle of the Month

Do a one-week spending freeze. Pick a week, and every time you’re about to spend money, ask yourself if you’re paying for a necessity. If it’s a luxury, like a dinner out or a 51%-off-a-massage Groupon offer, remind yourself that you’re on a freeze. Write down all the purchases you postpone. When you get to the end of the week, add up what you didn’t spend and move that amount into your extra $100 fund.

All Through the Month

Pack your lunch. However many times you eat out for lunch each week, reduce it by one visit. Save that extra $7 or $10 by brown-bagging your meal. If you like going to lunch because it gets you out of the office, find a nearby park or picnic table and bring along some friends.

Order a different dinner. If you go to a restaurant for supper, order from the appetizer menu. You can get an even better price on those nachos or flatbread pizza during happy hour.

Switch cable providers. A 2014 Nielsen report found that the average American home receives 189 television channels but, consistently, only watches 17 of them. Since you probably watch just a fraction of the TV channels you pay for, pay a fraction of the price! Go with a less expensive service that gives you what you want such as Sling TV or Amazon Prime.

Sell things from around the house. You probably have $100 sitting around your home in the form of old DVDs, unused sports equipment, or toys your kids have outgrown. Sell them on your neighborhood buy/sell/trade Facebook page or on Craigslist. That could wrap up your July challenge in no time!

Imagine what you could do with another $100—have a fun day out with your family, pay off debt faster, or give to someone in need. You could very well have that money already. It’s just hiding somewhere. Find it with an EveryDollar budget today!

Make sure to include your extra $100 in your EveryDollar budget so that you give, save or spend wisely! And follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips on finding money in your budget!