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While the economy has been booming for the better part of 3 years, Americans cannot seem to get ahead of their finances, which is cause for concern. According to a recent survey, 29% of Americans have more credit card debt than they do savings – an increase of 21% since the survey started nearly a decade ago.

In fact, the same survey found that only half of Americans have more in savings than they do in debt (44%), which is alarming to say the least. Other surveys conducted confirm this, with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) finding that,  “…25 percent of adults aren’t paying their bills on time, and 8 percent have unpaid debts that have gone into collections — both increases of 3 percentage points from last year.”

American’s themselves seem to be aware that they are in a dire financial situation, with one poll suggesting that 1 out of 5 Americans fully expects to “…die while still in debt” with 18 percent of those planning to “…take their loans to the grave.”

If you are part of the growing number of American’s that cannot seem to get ahead of your finances, you may be looking for a change. One way in which you can help tackle your debt and build an emergency savings is by finding ways to earn some extra cash.

Here are 3 simple side hustles you may want to consider:

Rent Out Your Home

Do you live close to a sports arena or large city? Consider renting your home to guests through sites such as AirBnB while you and your family are away this year. Valuables and documents can be easily stored off-site in a local self-storage unit, and since sites vet and review the people renting, you can rest assured that the process is safe.

Use An App

If you have a car, you can work on your own time driving for Instacart, Favor Delivery, Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, GrubHub, and more. Using these services allows you to work your own hours, providing you the opportunity to earn as much as you need to. Gig working has become so popular, it’s been reported that, “the number of people working on-demand [gig] jobs will grow from 3.9 million Americans in 2016 to 9.2 million by 2021.”

Selling Items Online

Used books, DVD’s, CD’s, electronics and more can be sold directly to customers online. Sort through items within your home that are in good condition, or even look through items for sale at local thrift stores and garage sales. You can even check what items sell for online using your smartphone if you are rummaging through various sales before you buy. With dedication, you can really make a significant income.  Some individuals have reported doing so well, they rent a  self-storage unit to keep their inventory, choosing to keep the business going even after their debt is fully paid.

Let’s be honest: in most cases, debt doesn’t happen overnight. With the exception of unexpected medical expenses or large-scale repairs, the majority of debt comes from overspending. As such, it is important to take a long hard look at your finances and develop a long-term spending and savings plan to get back on track.

Implementing a budget, such as the 50/30/20 approach is a great way to do just that, allocating 50% of after-tax income to necessary expenses, 30% to unnecessary expenses and 20% to savings and debt reduction. Best of all, with 20% of your income being used towards savings and debt-repayment, you can utilize a debt repayment plan to get rid of your debt once and for all!

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt.” By using a side gig to earn some extra cash, paying down debt, saving and budgeting, you are setting up healthy financial habits that will last a lifetime. 

To a the newly debt-free and happier you!