As mentioned previously I have resorted to various tools and tricks in my attempt to decrease expenditures and increase savings, which will ultimately increase the cash on hand for my home purchase. Some of these were no-brainer but some tricks, I am sure many will oppose. In the end, I view all of these in terms of risks and benefits and I have determined that I am comfortable making these changes for the short term.
- Get a part-time job. My line of work makes it difficult to get part time jobs since I may have to travel at any point for work, which only leaves weekends available. I have gone through the application process for a test prep company to tutor GMAT (similar to the company that No More Harvard Debt went through), and start training in July. I am hoping to bring in at least $500/month after taxes through this.
- Sell stuff. I am starting to comb through my apartment to find items that I can sell. I have already taken two big bags of clothing to eDrop Off that have sold and I have another bag to take for my next visit. I had to part with some beautiful items that I worshiped but never wore. I sold my Wii which was being used only to stream Netflix. All those MBA textbooks that I’ve held on to but never opened since graduating? I will sell those too. Whatever I do not use but has a value will be sold.
- Cash out rewards. I cashed $727 worth of various credit card points for gift cards (GC). I am sitting on a ton of miles and hotel points with various airlines and hotels and will look at cashing out those, as well. I will keep the miles at my favorite airline and free hotel nights, but I will cash out everything else for cash or GC. If I can’t find any GC I like, I will most likely keep the points until after the house purchase and cash out for an item. The goal is to use these GCs rather than cash.
- Decrease my spending budget. A follow up post to come on my new budget for July.
- Stop Roth IRA contribution. I still fully intend to contribute the max amount for 2012 but I will hold off until after the house purchase to ensure I have the most amount of cash possible.
- Stop student loan payments. My 0% loan contribution will continue but I have been overpaying on my federal loan for the last several months, which has been enough not to make any payments until next year. I also have a habit of putting my bonus money to my student loans, which will stop. Same as with #5, I will hold off on making payments until the house purchase, then I will attack this aggressively again.
- Surveys. I have been doing surveys off and on, and I think it is time for me to start again. It’s never a lot of money and there are payout delays, but money is money.
Those are all the tricks I can think of to increase my cash hoard. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations that could help me increase my cash? If so, I’d love to hear it!