Increase Cash Flow and Reduce Debt

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The challenge of getting out of debt can be even more daunting during recessionary times when it is difficult to increase your income. But a combination of creating some new revenue streams for yourself and your family, and cutting expenses, may do the trick to help you get started on the road to getting out of debt.

Get out of debt.

Lease your home and move in with friends/relatives and share expenses. This assumes you live in a neighborhood where there are potential renters, and you have friends or relatives who are keen on weathering the recession by reducing expenses. With all the properties sitting vacant these days, finding renters is not always easy. However, this strategy has the advantage of allowing you to live with people you know and hopefully can trust.

Start a part-time business doing home services in your neighborhood.  Services you might consider offering would include:  pet sitting for people who travel frequently, running errands for the elderly, or watching neighbors’ homes while they are on vacation. This type of venture has a lot of flexibility; you can decide how many hours to devote to the business, and the clients are close by so there is minimal travel time.

Rely on public transportation more.  This can help you lower your auto expenses–gas, repairs, tire wear, and even insurance if your cost is based on the number of miles you drive. Your vehicle will have a longer life and thus you will not need to replace it as soon. If this seems too much of a hassle, you could try using public transportation just a few days a week. It will still have a positive financial impact.

Reduce Credit Card Debt

Reduce non-essential services you are paying for, such as premium cable. Maybe you pay $20 per month for movie channels. Many people don’t know that public libraries have movies you can sign out for free, including the latest new releases.

Lower utility usage. Your utility provider can show you lots of strategies to lower your heating and cooling costs. All of us waste electricity to some extent. Most of us can reduce cell phone costs by changing plans or making more calls from the land lines at home.

Substitute lower cost entertainment for higher cost. Maybe you go to baseball, football or basketball games. Add up the total cost of these experiences: tickets, travel, food, beverages, souvenirs—and you will see a day at the ballpark can be expensive.  Other forms of entertainment, movies, museum visits, and cultural fairs can provide fun new experiences for your family with less impact on your budget.

Learn how to cook and save money on eating out. It can be great fun to discover you have previously unseen culinary talents, and this applies to both men and women. Online resources such as http://www.foodnetwork.com/have thousands of recipes with step-by-step instructions that even the most inexperienced chef can master.

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