While you’re probably imaging the flat-screen TV or Caribbean vaca you’ll take with that tax refund, the reality is that many of us won’t get anything from the IRS. Even worse: We might owe money.
That’s why it’s important to build up a little cushion of cash now: It can mean the difference between repaying the IRS and them hounding you for cash for months to come (ick!). Here are five things you can do to easily build up a stash of cash in time for tax time.
1. Don’t overpay for gas
It’s tempting just to get gas from the station near you, but that’s often not the cheapest. Instead, use the GasBuddy app to find the least expensive gas in your area. You can sometimes save 20 cents or more per gallon this way, which can mean big savings!
2. Ditch costly impulse buys
You know the drill: You go into a store knowing you just need a few little things, but somehow end up busting your budget. To prevent that from happening, practice the five-second rule: Before you put anything in your basket or cart, wait five seconds, during which time you’ll ask yourself “do I really need this?”. Most of the time the answer is no, so move on to what you do need.
3. Sell your stuff smartly
With a site like UltraPawn.com, you can safely and easily sell stuff like old jewelry and electronics. They’ll send you money for the items within 24 hours. Now that’s quick cash!
4. Go green
To keep from overspending, “go green,” which, in this case, means only taking cash with you when you leave the house — no credit and debit cards allowed. It’s impossible to overspend when you can’t access more money!
5. Pick up a side gig
No one likes to think about extra work, but to earn cash fast, consider picking up a side gig like landscaping, babysitting or house cleaning in your spare time. You can use a site TaskRabbit.com to find these gigs, or tap into your Facebook or LinkedIn network to ask people if they need help with little tasks.