4 Quick Ways to Increase Your Cash Flow

by Mike on January 13, 2010

Whether you’re goal is to pay off debt, beef up your emergency fund or cross some other hurdle in your financial journey, nothing speeds up the process quicker than an increased cash flow. You can only increase your cash flow in two ways: spend less or earn more. Below are some ideas that I’ve personally implemented to get started. They’ve worked for me, and hopefully they’ll work for you!

1. Review your insurance policies. Are you paying for more coverage than you need? Are you missing out on any discounts (military, organizations, etc)? How much would you save on your car insurance by raising your deductible? (Note: I don’t recommend raising the deductible unless you have funds in place to cover the cost should something happen). Are you paying for more life insurance than you need? Again, I am not recommending that you haphazardly slash all your insurance policies, but I am suggesting you take a look at them and make sure you are paying for what you need…no more, no less.

My story:
I was constantly being charged overage fees on my cell phone. These quickly racked up to $200-$300…after the second month of these astronomical bills, I increased my monthly payment by $20 for the unlimited minutes plan. When my contract expired I switched to another service provider with an unlimited voice & data plan. Savings: $30/mo from the previous unlimited plan

2. Lowering your cable bill can significantly increase your cash flow. So you’ll miss a few shows…motivate yourself by thinking about your long term goals. Do your homework and get ready to make some changes. Before calling your current provider, find out if there is a competing service offered in your neighborhood (satellite, cable, etc). Ask about their prices and if they have promotions for new members. Armed with this information, call your current provider, tell them you want to lower or cancel your service. Often times they will make concessions to keep you as a customer. They may offer you a promotional rate for 3-9 months. At this point it is up to you rather you want to keep your service and take a lower rate, temporarily increasing your cash flow, cancel the service altogether, or switch to another provider.

My story:
I opted to completely turn off my cable. I realized most of the shows I watch either come on broadcast stations or I can watch on the Internet. I was offered some very tempting deals to keep my service, but in the end I decided to cancel anyway. Savings: $60/mo

3. Sell it on Ebay! Do a full inventory of your possessions. What do you own that you can sell? I’ve successfully sold used military uniforms, computer parts, martial arts equipment, and instruments on Ebay. Do you have slightly used clothing? Shoes? Purses? Try selling them as a whole lot. Some items ship & sell better than others, so do some research to make sure what you’re selling is worth the effort.

My story: I was sold 2 whole life policies (yes 2!!!)….after much research I surrendered both of them after 4 years and took the cash value. For my current situation, term or no life insurance makes the most sense as I don’t have any dependents. Savings: $50/mo plus one time cash value of the surrendered whole life policies

4. Cell phone plans: If you are reading this, chances are you are in the 82.4% of Americans that own a cell phone category. Review your usage for the last couple months. If you are consistently under your quota, consider switching to another plan to save money. Also research smaller providers (Cricket, Metro) to see if they have lower monthly plans. With cell phone companies competing for our business, it is a buyer’s market. Most companies offer unlimited nights & weekends, free incoming calls, and mobile to mobile. Review your calling patterns and figure out what works for you. Do you talk to the same people all the time? Perhaps T-mobile’s myFave network would suit your calling pattern. Alternatively, if you find yourself consistently going over on your usage, you’ll either need to change your talk habits or spend more now to save later.

My story: I made over $75 on Ebay selling martial arts & electronic equipment I have not used in years. As of the date of this writing I have pulled approx 10 more items that I will be listing for sell that will probably generate another $200 – $300.

What about you?
There are many more ways to increase cash flow than what is listed here. Have you used any of the methods listed above? Perhaps you have more ideas? I’d love to hear your success stories and ideas in the comments below!

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4 Ways to Get Some Quick Cash
October 4, 2011 at 8:52 am

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Fiona January 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

I love your advice, but a pet peeve is the grammar sometimes. I think you mean “Whether” when you write “Rather.”

2 Rainbow Rivers April 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Nice Article! I am afraid I have only used the Sell on Ebay that you list.

I do not do any of the others because I do not, nor have I ever had a cell phone, I have a land line phone! I also do not have high speed interenet, only cheap 9 bucks a month dial up, slow yes but works for my needs for now although the kids complain they can not play online games!

I free up money by only spending $200 a month on groceries for a family of 5.
I invest some every month as I am really trying to work on bringing in passive and portfolio income.

I write articles on associated content, while not much, it does bring in something every month from $20 to a $100 depending on how much I am able to write in any given month.

I have held garage sales to raise quick cash and as a result went for 3 years with NO furniture.

I do not have cable Tv, I refuse to pay for something that use to be a free service and still is if you use those boxes they have now.

Also we scrap metal for cash which can bring in quite a varied income from month to month but something we find fun and any extra money is a bonus, amazing how much is made of metals when you really start being aware of it!

I also plan errands so I don’t waste gas, only grocery shop once a month then two other times in the month I lump library, parks, bank errands, laundry and what ever else I need to do into those two other days so I only go to town a total of 3 times a month at most in any given month.

I also go for pop bottle walks for returnable cans when weather allows not only giving me nice extra cash monthly but health and exercise as well!

3 Financial Bondage July 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I canned cable internet some time ago, too expensive, and I got a pay as you go cell phone that I put $26 on every 3 months. Monthly cell phone bills cost too much for my liking. iPhones look cool but I don’t need one, especially at $100+ a month

4 PF Journey February 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm


Thanks for stopping by. Wow, no cable or Internet…that would be hard for me too!

Off topic, but since you brought it up — strive for consistency, even if it means sacrificing frequency.

Don’t be a stranger!

5 dustin evenson February 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm

hey lakita, thanks for the articles, you give some good common sense. My wife and I went cable and internet less our first six months of marriage, it was hard but well worth the sacrifice.

Keep blogging away, I’m new to blogging like you but haven’t got your consistency.
.-= dustin evenson´s last blog ..Extra Cash Today, Spend it all Tomorrow =-.

6 PF Journey February 23, 2010 at 9:42 am

Thanks Aaron!

I try to keep the “personal” in personal finance 🙂

7 Aaron @ Clarifinancial February 23, 2010 at 8:07 am

Very nice piece. Some of the examples were affixed to the different pieces of advice. I like how you keep it personal, like with your life insurance policies. I look forward to the follow-up article where you discuss the other half of cash flow too;)

8 Bsimple February 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Consider refinance your existing mortgage and review your banking fees. Those non-bank ATM charges can add up as well as overdraft charges. Just a few simple things.
.-= Bsimple´s last blog ..Simple Personal Financial Tip: Know your Score =-.

9 PF Journey February 4, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I agree 100% with the ATM charges – they add up quickly!

A refi may or may not increase your cash flow, it may save you money in the long run, but the money for closing costs is going to put a dent in your immediate cash flow. Also, just because a lower rate is available, it doesn’t necessarily mean refinancing is a good idea. It would be best to crunch the numbers for yourself and talk to a trusted professional. Preferably someone that has nothing to gain or lose from your decision.

10 Paul @ FiscalGeek February 4, 2010 at 11:01 am

What has worked the best for me rather than increasing my cash flow was directing it appropriately via a zero based budget. That made all the difference in the world. Especially if I was bringing in more money but didn’t have a plan for it.
.-= Paul @ FiscalGeek´s last blog ..The Secret to Success. Hustle. =-.

11 PF Journey February 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm


That’s a good idea too! I also “sweep” money left over to savings

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