Reader suggestions for fixing finances

One goal of the Financial Fix-Up is to help all our readers improve their finances while closely following three families through the process. Reader Doreen was excited to share some ideas she and her husband have put into practice while tuning up their finances through the Dave Ramsey “Total Money Makeover” program.  Read her suggestions below, and feel free to share your own in the comments section.

To increase income, consider taking on a paper route for an extra paycheck each week. You do need a reliable car and it can mess up your sleep schedule, Doreen says. Another way to earn extra money is to donate plasma, she says. While the amounts they pay vary, she currently receives $20 for the first donation and $40 for the second donation in a week. You do need pass a physical that checks your weight, blood pressure and protein and iron levels.

To save money, Doreen suggests shopping a store called Cheep Foods on 45th Street in Fargo, which sells discounted groceries. “All of their groceries are damaged, so they sell them at a discounted price,” she said. “Even though the box may be torn and taped back up, the contents are safe and secure. I have been shopping there for years and have not had a problem yet.” One downside is you cannot be guaranteed a specific product you are looking for will be there.

Another thing she suggests to save money is to donate clothing and other items to the for-profit thrift store Savers, and shop there, too. “When you bring in a donation, Savers will give you a coupon good for receiving 20% off your total sale when you purchase $10 or more,” she said. “Also, Savers has their items tagged and color coded. Every day a certain color of tag is 50% off the original price, and the original price is never that high to start with.” She also likes that the store donates money to the YWCA.

Doreen also said people with medical bills to pay should try calling the business office of their medical provider and ask for a discount. She said she’s gotten a 10 percent discount on bills by doing this, but you have to know to ask for it.

So how do YOU earn extra income or save money? Please leave a comment sharing your advice.