Add Space to Your Budget

Person adding up bills on a calculator

There isn't much that certified financial planner Chris Pimpo hasn't seen. From simple solutions that offer financial stability to drastic life-changing decisions that have helped people step beyond severe debt, Pimpo recently told Trulia some financial strategies that could have a major impact on a person's budget [1].

Don't be afraid to test the market
If someone is in a troubled field such as journalism or appliance repair, the chances for a pay raise or promotion are rather unlikely. So Pimpo suggests looking for a field more well-equipped to offer better compensation. He said it's important to pay close attention to the benefits.

"You may get a $5,000 to $10,000 a year income boost, but if the new company has a lower-tier health benefit - and you end up paying $200 extra a month for health care - or there is no 401(k) matching plan, those are huge factors [that could affect your finances]," Pimpo said.

A few industries with recent declines in profits include newspaper publishing, photofinishing, appliance repair, DVD and game rentals, recordable media manufacturing and hardware manufacturing, according to a report from Business Insider.

If a person is in one of those fields but can't manage to swing a new career, they might want to consider getting a second job, according to Pimpo.

"[F]ind a second job that you love, like working for a nonprofit - or maybe the job is in a field that you've always wanted to work in," Pimpo said. "Can you design websites? Be a writer? Teach music? Maybe you can do some contract work, or find a job on the weekends that brings in an extra $500 a month. You want to balance [the work] with your marriage and family."

Fixing your budget without a career change
But there are also ways to increase a budget without changing employment.

USA Today recommended Americans should closely examine their living situation [2]. The cost of living and home-related expenses are roughly 43 percent of the average person's living expenses. The source said people can save money by choosing to live in a smaller home or by selling household items they no longer need.

Americans hoping to live frugally should also consider what they are eating and drinking. Harry Balzer, chief analysts for the market research firm NPD Group, which tracks eating trends, told USA Today meals made at home costs about a third of what it costs to purchase at a restaurant.

Balzer said many people are choosing to eat out less, or choosing quick-service restaurants such as Panera or Chipotle where they don't have to tip a waiter or waitress.

"More retirees, like the rest of the population, are finding cheaper meals at quick-service places," Balzer said.

Consider taking in a roommate
For homeowners looking for some additional revenue to put toward their mortgage loans, they might want to consider renting out space if an extra bedroom is available. However, Pimpo said it's important to check local laws to see if it's legal to rent out a room in the area one lives.

Money Crashers reported those who decide to use their homes as investments and rent out rooms should look at other rental rates in their area [3]. Placing an add in a local paper or on the Web is a good place to start when hoping to draw up interest.

However, homeowners should personally interview the applicants and perform a background and credit check to make sure the prospective renter would be a good fit. Homeowner's should also set boundaries before a tenant moves in. They should know how much rent is on a monthly basis and if the tenant will chip in for utilities.

[1]. 7 Life Changes That Could Help Your Finances

[2]. Retirement: 10 ways to live frugally

[3]. 6-Step Guide to Renting Out a Room in Your House Should You Do It?

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